From: Harvey Newstrom (mail@HarveyNewstrom.com)
Date: Wed Jan 16 2002 - 07:09:43 MST
Samantha Atkins wrote,
> You also might want to remember that most of us don't want
> "domestic partner" laws. We want to be able to have the same
> rights to marry and have our unions recognized as everyone else.
> The "domestic partner" stuff is a dodge from many sources,
> most of them not gay, to avoid running head on into
> fundamentally relgious objects to lgbt marriages. There are no
> "special rights" involved.
Thanks for pointing this out. I forget how this stuff is portrayed to
Just to set the record straight: Gays do not want domestic partners laws.
These were invented as a diversion to keep gays from getting regular
marriages. In Vermont, for example, gays really don't get the same kind of
marriage. The laws are separate, the terms are different, the forms are
different, the procedures for dissolving it are different. Contrary to
confusing claims, gays cannot get married anywhere in the U.S. The
misleading claim that gays can marry in Vermont just makes it harder for
them to push for equal marriage rights in that state.
Similarly, gays never wanted "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policies in the
military. This was invented by conservatives. It is effectively a gag
order on gays that says if anyone finds out you're gay you will be kicked
out. This is worse than the previous situation where they had to prove
illegal sexual conduct in a military court-martial. Now, a person who
"thinks they are gay" without ever acting on it can be kicked out, and is
presumed guilty unless they challenge in court and prove they are not gay.
This is worse than what the situation was before. Although it has been
portrayed in the conservative media as an example of gay rights, it actually
was fought by gays and is considered by gays to be a reduction in rights.
Personally, I feel any gay-rights law or any law that specifically mentions
gays to be flawed. We need to apply laws generically to all people. Having
special laws or procedures for gays gets into the "separate but equal"
fallacy. Imagine if we literally interpreted the constitution's references
to "All Men..." as excluding women, and started writing a separate bill of
rights that applied to women. This would create a second-class citizen
status with separate laws. I think all laws, if they exist at all, should
be generic. No employment discrimination on ANY basis not job-related. No
housing discrimination on ANY basis not tenet-related. Partnerships,
beneficiaries, inheritance laws should apply to ANY person the deceased
chooses to list as a preferred survivor. Applying laws evenly and fairly to
everyone makes a lot more sense than trying to write new laws for every
single case that might arise.
-- Harvey Newstrom, CISSP <www.HarveyNewstrom.com> Principal Security Consultant, Newstaff Inc. <www.Newstaff.com> Board of Directors, Extropy Institute <www.Extropy.org> Cofounder, Pro-Act <www.ProgressAction.org>
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