Gay Equality vs Gay Marriage

  • brskee76

    Posts: 32

    Jun 19, 2009 2:03 PM GMT
    Hi I'm very curious to know the opinions of gay men in the USA. Being a closet (sorry!) gay man in Australia it bewilders me how discrimatory US laws are against gay men and women It seems that people are more concerned about gay marriage than actually achieving equality, for example Australia is finally recognising same sex relationships and removing all discrimination from all federal law (http://www.ag.gov.au/samesexreform) yet gay marriage isn't recognised. Shouldn't the priority be on equality rather than marriage, sure it's important but I think being able to be gay and not be fired or discriminated against is more important than being able to be married.I'm very interested to see the views of actual gay men living in the US, it almost seems that they have to fight to survive to be who they are!
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    Jun 19, 2009 6:11 PM GMT
    In America we've found through trial and error that having one thing for one group of people, and a separate but wholly equal thing for another group of people turns out to not be equal in the long run.

    This is why we can't stop short of full marriage equality here. Civil unions, even if they were to grant every local, state, and federal right that civil marriage does, would not, and could never be, equal.
  • auryn

    Posts: 2061

    Jun 19, 2009 6:11 PM GMT
    US_LGBT_civil_rights_August_2008.png

    This is why ENDA is being reintroduced.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employment_Non-Discrimination_Act

    Senator calling powers.... ACTIVATE!
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    Jun 19, 2009 6:48 PM GMT
    brskee76 saidShouldn't the priority be on equality rather than marriage, sure it's important but I think being able to be gay and not be fired or discriminated against is more important than being able to be married.I'm very interested to see the views of actual gay men living in the US, it almost seems that they have to fight to survive to be who they are!
    The marriage question IS about equality. If someone says "my group has right ABCD, and we will let you be equal and give you right ABC" are you really being given equality? This is as it was written in George Orwell's animal farm:
    Animal Farm"All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."
    Besides, we are perfectly capable of fighting on all fronts.
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    Jun 19, 2009 7:04 PM GMT
    They are both equally important and tied together. I believe we should be demanding our rights as citizens. I know I am one of the lucky people to live in the US and to live in New England. But know my rights are limited once I cross the state line or leave the region.
  • a2507

    Posts: 152

    Jun 19, 2009 8:46 PM GMT
    "Besides, we are perfectly capable of fighting on all fronts...."

    Actually, I don't think we're capable of fighting on all fronts.....we certainly haven't done this. The LGBT movement has focused on the places with large populations and greater wealth: New York, California, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and really has done very little in states with fewer and poorer LGBT people. After all, these are the places where the funding for community organizations comes from.

    Part of the reason marriage has jumped to the forefront is that it is the next frontier for those who already enjoy the privilege of basic civil rights protections. But we reinforce a two tier system with the implication that LGBT folk need just to move.

    Yesterday, in a different forum I think, a Californian suggested that we, the US LGBT communities, should just focus on overturning Prop. 8. And many from across the US did help fight Prop. 8. But where is the quid pro quo? Will Californians, a much larger community, and vastly more wealthy, someday fund a campaign for basic civil rights in Oklahoma? Or South Dakota? Or Mississippi?

    Maybe by pushing the envelope with marriage, it will make other things, like jobs protections, more achievable. But as a minority movement with limited resources, I don't think getting marriage for a few states is as important a goal as workplace and other equality laws.
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    Jun 19, 2009 9:09 PM GMT
    a2507 said"Besides, we are perfectly capable of fighting on all fronts...."

    Actually, I don't think we're capable of fighting on all fronts.....we certainly haven't done this.
    We are actually doing this now.
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    Jun 19, 2009 9:15 PM GMT
    sfinboston said But know my rights are limited once I cross the state line or leave the region.


    Actually, your rights are limited right now, even in your state, since you don't have access to the over a thousand rights and responsibilities married couples have under federal law.
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    Jun 19, 2009 9:37 PM GMT
    a2507 said"Besides, we are perfectly capable of fighting on all fronts...."

    Actually, I don't think we're capable of fighting on all fronts.....we certainly haven't done this. The LGBT movement has focused on the places with large populations and greater wealth: New York, California, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and really has done very little in states with fewer and poorer LGBT people. After all, these are the places where the funding for community organizations comes from.

    Part of the reason marriage has jumped to the forefront is that it is the next frontier for those who already enjoy the privilege of basic civil rights protections. But we reinforce a two tier system with the implication that LGBT folk need just to move.

    Yesterday, in a different forum I think, a Californian suggested that we, the US LGBT communities, should just focus on overturning Prop. 8. And many from across the US did help fight Prop. 8. But where is the quid pro quo? Will Californians, a much larger community, and vastly more wealthy, someday fund a campaign for basic civil rights in Oklahoma? Or South Dakota? Or Mississippi?

    Maybe by pushing the envelope with marriage, it will make other things, like jobs protections, more achievable. But as a minority movement with limited resources, I don't think getting marriage for a few states is as important a goal as workplace and other equality laws.
    There is no need to make this so complicated. I as a Californian am limited to what I can do in Georgia. I could send money (as I did with Vermont) but there has to be a power base there that can be harnessed -- I can only vote in California. There is also the overall political disposition of the state. California has a population of 36,756,666 (most populous state) and Georgia 9,685,744. California is blue, Georgia red. If Georgians have a problem, it is with their conservative population. You can fund all the campaigns you want, but you are not likely to convert conservatives to liberals .. dollars do not convert to votes. If you want to gain ground .. you have to either already have a more liberal base to work with easily or you have to make friends with conservatives and let them know your story in person .. that is make yourself real and human.

    There are national organizations like Glaad (among others) that support LGBT everywhere. http://www.glaad.org/ As far as the Marriage thing .. if you can get rid of DOMA and have Marriage in a few states .. you are more likely to be able to carry your marriage to other states.

    DOMA - Is being challenged in the courts now. Also Rep. Jerry Nadler, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, is working on a DOMA repeal bill that he plans to introduce after the July 4th recess.

    ENDA? That is being worked on.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employment_Non-Discrimination_Act#111th_CongressThe Washington Blade reported on June 17th, 2009 that Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) plans to introduce a fully inclusive bill in June of 2009, with original cosponsors slated to include 4 Republicans.[23] The lead Republican cosponsor will be Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL).[24]


    HATE-CRIME legislation? That has already passed the house. and working through the senate.

    DADT? This is being worked on too. There is the SLDN among others .. http://sldn.org/ Also as you know the majority of Americans both left and right now say it is OK for gays to serve in the military.

    If those things pass federally then they work for all of us.

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    Jun 19, 2009 9:44 PM GMT
    As a couple of posters touched on, there has never been nor will there ever be Seperate But Equal. Women have their antidiscrimination in the constitution and while they may wield power on the social field and are climbing the ladder in the corporate world in leaps and bounds like never before, but they still aren't equal, but have more equality than we as gay people do.

    Black Americans have fought long and hard to gain acceptance and equality and after nearly half of a millenium, we still find places and arenas where we still have to fight.

    And I won't even begin to try to access the atrocities done to the American Indians.

    America, though still a young country, still has a lot of growing up to do and some adolescent angst and arrogance to get over. We love to see ourselves as the last great hope of the world and will jump to the defense of the people of almost any given country when there is a hint of atrocities committed by the leaders of that country in the name of human decency and human rights (as long as it is in our interests), yet still have not found a way to walk that walk while talking that talk when it comes to her own people and gays are her people as well.

    As gay Americans, it is our solemn duty as citizens to fight for what is rightfully ours when it comes to freedom to be who we are. And that freedom includes marriage, serving in the military, going to work without fear of being fired, being able to walk around without fear of being harassed or killed. Equal under the law. Not just someplaces in America. Everywhere in America.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 19, 2009 9:46 PM GMT
    HRC is not the only act in town .. meet GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios .. and feel free to donate!

    http://www.glaad.org/welcomejarrettbarrios

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    Jun 20, 2009 3:25 PM GMT

    If religion was the reason, there would be no marriages outside of religious ones, right?

    Nope.

    Atheists and others have non-denominational weddings every day. No one has gone after them.

    Just the gays get that special treatment.
    .
  • jlly_rnchr

    Posts: 1759

    Jun 20, 2009 9:27 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    If religion was the reason, there would be no marriages outside of religious ones, right?

    Nope.

    Atheists and others have non-denominational weddings every day. No one has gone after them.

    Just the gays get that special treatment.
    .


    Oh man, if only religion had its way, a whole slew of people would be out of a marriage. Not just the atheists. I would think that infertile men and women would also not be allowed to marry, seeing as how marriage is solely for procreation. To think, Jon and Kate not allowed to be married....and then subsequently divorced (it's gonna happen).


    More on topic...the Supreme Court has said in its opinions of the past that "Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man, fundamental to our very existence and survival". If this is true, then it's an obvious jump to allowing every single person to do it, not just a man and a woman. Also, marriage is simply a very overt, public thing. When we have the right to marry, you will know it, and see it. It's something we will now be able to do. It's positive.

    Employment discrimination is indefensible, obviously, but it's also less controversial. You don't see an equivalent of NOM making ads celebrating the ability to discriminate at the workplace based on sexual orientation. Possibly because a huge number of companies have already ended this practice officially, even without a federal law telling them to.

    Personally, I think marriage deserves to be the focus of the fight for equal rights. Once (not if) we get that, it will be a domino effect and we will have it all.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Jun 20, 2009 9:50 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    Take out the word "marriage" and you immediately have eliminated opposition that is based on marriage being a religious-based word / act / status. People are against gay "marriage" because it violates their religious beliefs.



    I don't think that is true because the people most against gay marriage are also against anything else for gays that is like marriage. Whenever civil rights are involved you just can't give any leeway, it's all or nothing.

    People who oppose gay marriage for religious reasons also oppose homosexuality itself and don't want it given respect in any form. The reason why you don't hear this so upfront anymore is because more Americans are accepting of gays than in the past so they, the religious opposition, can't be TOO upfront about it or they will lose what support they already have.

    For example, in California they actually did try to ban domestic partnerships as well.

    Equality doesn't come with compromises, we are either treated equally or not. Sort of equal is not equal.


    I haven't even touched upon how banning gay marriage for religious reasons discriminates against religions that do accept gay marriage - so it is about religious equality as well.


    I would be fine with civil unions if that is the only thing the government recognized for gay AND straight people. Gays right now are being treated like punching bags in regard to civil rights, we should never accept anything else but complete equality. No compromises.

    It's all or nothing for me.
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    Jun 20, 2009 10:03 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidThe people advocating for gay marriage are making a strategic mistake.

    Take out the word "marriage" and you immediately have eliminated opposition that is based on marriage being a religious-based word / act / status. People are against gay "marriage" because it violates their religious beliefs.
    It is only a strategic mistake if your goal is to surrender to the rule of religious belief. If your goal is to subject others to religious rule in violation of the 1st amendment then it could be seen as a mistake. icon_rolleyes.gif
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_ConstitutionCongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
  • brskee76

    Posts: 32

    Jul 12, 2009 2:52 PM GMT
    Hi guys, I wanted to start a debate about equality and I certainly got that! All I will say is that I don't believe that gay marriage should be the sole focus of equality. Being a man who is quite anti marriage I would personally feel I would rather be able to work and live without being discriminated against rather than being able to be married. Yeah I know a lot of guys want to be married but I would I would take a job over being married! I know a lot of people (generally straight) that have been married and are now not, it should not be the priority! As they say baby steps! Take the steps to make sure you have true rights in society, don't be blinded by marriage ( it's not that great!)
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    Jul 12, 2009 3:09 PM GMT
    brskee76 saidHi guys, I wanted to start a debate about equality and I certainly got that! All I will say is that I don't believe that gay marriage should be the sole focus of equality. Being a man who is quite anti marriage I would personally feel I would rather be able to work and live without being discriminated against rather than being able to be married. Yeah I know a lot of guys want to be married but I would I would take a job over being married! I know a lot of people (generally straight) that have been married and are now not, it should not be the priority! As they say baby steps! Take the steps to make sure you have true rights in society, don't be blinded by marriage ( it's not that great!)
    As I pointed out above it is not the sole focus at all. Where ever there is a law that says "you can't because you are gay, but you can if you are straight" there is inequality .. IT IS a law of inequality to make gays "less than" straights. Because you don't like marriage doesn't mean no one else should not have it - not having a choice is NOT FREEDOM.

    What do you not understand about equality? You can't gain equality by accepting that you are not equal.
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    Jul 12, 2009 3:12 PM GMT
    My interest is not so much in getting married, as it is having legal rights with my partner. We own property, we plan to have kids and I would hate for anything to happen to either him or I and we not be able to do anything about it because we do not count legally speaking.

    If I could get those rights I'm fine. The label marriage doesn't even have to be on it.

    Right now I'm in the army reserve, which sucks, only because if I went active I couldn't take my partner with me. So I want rights. I want equality and with that will come marriage rights at some point too.

    But i will have to agree that if they will not give it the same label, we haven't made any real breakthroughs.