Local Politics - Maryland
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09-02-2012, 07:27 PM
Local Politics - Maryland
OK, I debated whether to post this blog here. Marriage equality legislation is on the docket, again, in Maryland - but I think there are some Marylanders here on the forum, so it might serve a larger purpose.

Religion has been, and remains, the sticking point against marriage equality. Last year I met with my state senator and lobbied on behalf of legislation for marriage equality - he wouldn't be swayed based on his religious beliefs. I posted an "open letter" for him today on my blog, which I also sent to him privately...

http://centersolid.blogspot.com/2012/02/...eilly.html

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10-02-2012, 12:08 AM
RE: Local Politics - Maryland
Quick comment - typo in the last paragraph addressed to blog readers - preform should be perform. Hope it's OK to point it out, those kinda things drive me nuts Smile
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10-02-2012, 07:48 AM
RE: Local Politics - Maryland
(10-02-2012 12:08 AM)morondog Wrote:  Quick comment - typo in the last paragraph addressed to blog readers - preform should be perform. Hope it's OK to point it out, those kinda things drive me nuts Smile

Thanks for catching - I was rushing to get it posted and didn't proof read very well Sad -- Fixed!

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10-02-2012, 10:16 AM
RE: Local Politics - Maryland
Seasbury,

I'm in NoVa so not far away from you. I'm a live and let live type, and my position has always been that if gays want to marry it's fine with me. However I've always thought that the best solution would be a new institution of gay marriage, which I call "garriage" or getting "garried." This has been based on an unanswered question I have about whether the introduction of same-sex spouses hurts/affects the case law around marriage. I'm a conservative and aware that change often has unintended consequences. I think it would be irresponsible to support same-sex marriage (as opposed to garriage) without knowing if this issue has been examined. Do you know if it has? Our legal system is based on time-tested precedents as it relates to finances, alimony, child custody, child support etc. Have you seen anything that examines the effect of same-sex partners within the context of existing marriage case law? My concern is primarily around child custody and care, however there may be other issues I haven't thought of.

thanks
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10-02-2012, 11:04 AM
RE: Local Politics - Maryland
(10-02-2012 10:16 AM)Jeff Wrote:  Seasbury,

I'm in NoVa so not far away from you. I'm a live and let live type, and my position has always been that if gays want to marry it's fine with me. However I've always thought that the best solution would be a new institution of gay marriage, which I call "garriage" or getting "garried." This has been based on an unanswered question I have about whether the introduction of same-sex spouses hurts/affects the case law around marriage. I'm a conservative and aware that change often has unintended consequences. I think it would be irresponsible to support same-sex marriage (as opposed to garriage) without knowing if this issue has been examined. Do you know if it has? Our legal system is based on time-tested precedents as it relates to finances, alimony, child custody, child support etc. Have you seen anything that examines the effect of same-sex partners within the context of existing marriage case law? My concern is primarily around child custody and care, however there may be other issues I haven't thought of.

thanks

I think we are all best-served if all of the case law and precedents apply to all marriage. You are proposing a "separate but equal" solution. That has never been equitable.

Others propose the same thing, calling it "civil union" or some such. Conservatives seem unable to differentiate the word marriage from holy matrimony.

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10-02-2012, 11:15 AM
RE: Local Politics - Maryland
(10-02-2012 11:04 AM)Chas Wrote:  I think we are all best-served if all of the case law and precedents apply to all marriage. You are proposing a "separate but equal" solution. That has never been equitable.

Others propose the same thing, calling it "civil union" or some such. Conservatives seem unable to differentiate the word marriage from holy matrimony.

I wrote on this about a year ago looking at this same issue -- Why is government in the marriage business in the first place?

http://centersolid.blogspot.com/2010/12/...iness.html

The only way to comply with the equitable solution that doesn't violate separate but equal is to have the state issue Civil Union licenses for all parties, that extend all rights and privileges necessary for how the government (and law) treats, what are in essence, contractual relationships.

Leave the business, and terminology of - marriage - to the religious organizations to determine. As it stands - if people wish to "marry" in a church there is a denomination somewhere that will perform the ceremony.

This becomes a "social issue" because we are stuck in a culture war that really does not need to be fought...just my opinion...

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10-02-2012, 11:36 AM (This post was last modified: 10-02-2012 11:41 AM by Jeff.)
RE: Local Politics - Maryland
(10-02-2012 11:04 AM)Chas Wrote:  I think we are all best-served if all of the case law and precedents apply to all marriage.

What is your opinion based on? Have you seen it studied? I have not but would like to know if there are issues.

(10-02-2012 11:04 AM)Chas Wrote:  You are proposing a "separate but equal" solution. That has never been equitable.

I don't know if "separate but equal" concerns apply here, as the context of SBA was educational institutions, and here we're talking about licensing.

(10-02-2012 11:04 AM)Chas Wrote:  Others propose the same thing, calling it "civil union" or some such. Conservatives seem unable to differentiate the word marriage from holy matrimony.

There's not religious issue in this for me. I hope that's obvious from prior posts of mine.


(10-02-2012 11:15 AM)Seasbury Wrote:  This becomes a "social issue" because we are stuck in a culture war that really does not need to be fought...just my opinion...

It's a mistake to not differentiate among issues as it treats potential allies as adversaries. My question is not one of terminology or religion or culture. It's the real question of whether the important institution of marriage is adversely affected by introducing same-sex couples to a body of case law that has been built on hetero couples. Since no answer is forthcoming, I'll assume that you are not aware of any study on the topic.
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10-02-2012, 12:30 PM
RE: Local Politics - Maryland
(10-02-2012 11:36 AM)Jeff Wrote:  It's a mistake to not differentiate among issues as it treats potential allies as adversaries. My question is not one of terminology or religion or culture. It's the real question of whether the important institution of marriage is adversely affected by introducing same-sex couples to a body of case law that has been built on hetero couples. Since no answer is forthcoming, I'll assume that you are not aware of any study on the topic.

Jeff - please describe how case law would differ based on heterosexual marriages and homosexual marriages and I can attempt to provide a response.

Thankfully the days of a judge automatically awarding custody of children to the mother are over - if they weren't you might have an important point to make. Having a court determine who is more motherly among same sex couples would be a heck of a sticking point.

Why do you think case law would need a different interpretation?

I would also like to better understand the characterization of the "important institution of marriage" and how that applies to the topic. I'm not saying marriage isn't important - I know mine is - but when more than half of all marriages end in divorce - some within days...when the institution of marriage is sullied by those that would otherwise seek "open marriages" I just need a clearer understanding of terminology used. Smile
Thanks!

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10-02-2012, 12:58 PM
RE: Local Politics - Maryland
(10-02-2012 11:15 AM)Seasbury Wrote:  
(10-02-2012 11:04 AM)Chas Wrote:  I think we are all best-served if all of the case law and precedents apply to all marriage. You are proposing a "separate but equal" solution. That has never been equitable.

Others propose the same thing, calling it "civil union" or some such. Conservatives seem unable to differentiate the word marriage from holy matrimony.

I wrote on this about a year ago looking at this same issue -- Why is government in the marriage business in the first place?

http://centersolid.blogspot.com/2010/12/...iness.html

The only way to comply with the equitable solution that doesn't violate separate but equal is to have the state issue Civil Union licenses for all parties, that extend all rights and privileges necessary for how the government (and law) treats, what are in essence, contractual relationships.

Leave the business, and terminology of - marriage - to the religious organizations to determine. As it stands - if people wish to "marry" in a church there is a denomination somewhere that will perform the ceremony.

This becomes a "social issue" because we are stuck in a culture war that really does not need to be fought...just my opinion...

No, civil unions are not the only way. Marriage for all works, too.
Civil marriage is a contract, it forms a legal entity for which we have plenty of case law. If we create a new thing called civil union, there is no body of law or precedent. Of course, the courts could apply precedents from marriage case law, but then we just have civil marriage.

The 'business' of marriage is entirely secular. It is only the sacrament of marriage that is religious.

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10-02-2012, 02:00 PM
RE: Local Politics - Maryland
(10-02-2012 12:30 PM)Seasbury Wrote:  Jeff - please describe how case law would differ based on heterosexual marriages and homosexual marriages and I can attempt to provide a response.

I'm looking for the answer to this same question. I don't have the answer. I think those proposing change should have knowledgeable experts identify if there are any problems before proposing it. If I were advocating for this issue I'd want to have a study by some esteemed jurists that I could pull out to show that the merits of the issue have been considered and there is no likely harm. Since you haven't produced that, I can only assume that it hasn't been done. That the greater gay community has been able to muster its financial resources when needed, and could certainly do so to pay for such a study says to me that the issue hasn't been seriously considered.

Not that you asked, but I think you're also making a strategic blunder by not having this case already. It leaves you fighting it on just the religious issue.

(10-02-2012 12:30 PM)Seasbury Wrote:  Thankfully the days of a judge automatically awarding custody of children to the mother are over - if they weren't you might have an important point to make.

My understanding is that the mother still receives custody 85-90% of the time.

(10-02-2012 12:30 PM)Seasbury Wrote:  Having a court determine who is more motherly among same sex couples would be a heck of a sticking point.

I don't think the issue is who is more "motherly" but what is best for the child. Is this something courts are competently able to do in a same-sex situation? Would precedents from hetero couple cases be the determining factors in a same-sex situation? Should they? Is it in the best interest of the child? Are there other non-child issues that need to be looked at?

(10-02-2012 12:30 PM)Seasbury Wrote:  Why do you think case law would need a different interpretation?

Won't precedents from hetero-couples be used to decide same-sex disputes? Is that a problem? What will be the effect on children? Will same-sex precedents be used in hetero disputes? Is that a problem?

(10-02-2012 12:30 PM)Seasbury Wrote:  I would also like to better understand the characterization of the "important institution of marriage" and how that applies to the topic.

Marriage has been a very important institution in our society. If we're changing it, it needs to be done with forethought. Do you really disagree with this statement? I know you want what you want but don't you think that proposing a significant change demands some analysis for unintended consequences? Your (the pro-gay-marriage side) current case appears to be "We want this and what could go wrong?" I think that demonstrates a complete lack of seriousness about consideration for the change.

On the whole, I feel that both sides of this issue have demonstrated abyssmal behavior - your side for focusing solely on the religious objections, and simply asserting but not making a reasoned case for why this poses no harm - the other side for its infuriating "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman" and side-stepping the obvious desires of so many same-sex couples. That's why my current position is to create a new institution that can develop its own set of precedents.
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