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CA and NH: Hope and Sighs

The California Supreme Court has announced that it will rule Tuesday, May 26, 2009, at 10 am, on whether Proposition 8, which passed in November by a slim majority of voters (4%) and eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry, was a valid amendment to the California Constitution.
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The court will rule on these questions before the judges.
1. Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution?
2. Does Proposition 8 violate the separation of powers doctrine under the California Constitution?
3. If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?

I don’t need to tell you which way I hope they rule.

And I am sure there will be plenty of talk about it in the blogosphere on Tuesday.


On the same token, interesting news from New Hampshire.

Apparently the state’s House and Senate approved a bill allowing same sex marriage that was rejected by the state Governor and sent back for a vote with some new language added in. The vote on the amended bill fell two votes shy of passing keeping same sex marriage still illegal in NH.

What, you may be wondering was the new language that the governor wanted added in? The governor (John Lynch a three term Democrat) said he wouldn’t sign the bill into law until it contained “the strongest and clearest protections for religious institutions and associations, and for the individuals working with such institutions."

In other words protection for religious groups so that they can “decline to take part in any marriage ceremony without incurring fines or risking lawsuits’

Which, ummm, Duh!

Don’t religious groups ALREADY have the right of refusal? The Mormon church won’t marry you (or even let you inside the Temple) if you aren’t Mormon, the Catholic church won’t marry you unless at least one of you is Catholic… and even then if it is a mixed marriage you have to get married on the church steps and are not allowed to take your vows up at the alter.

No problem.

I, personally have absolutely no issue with a religious group or the designated “holy” person from said religious group refusing to do one of their sacred rites with or for a nonbeliever. Just like I wouldn’t expect a Pagan Priestess to baptize me in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I would also never ask a Pentecostal minister to partake in the sacred ritual of Beltane.

Again, duh!

Now, things would be different if there weren’t alternative ways to get married… if say a clergy person was he ONLY legal way for two people to tie the knot that would be a whole different kettle of fish. But we have judges, we have ships captains, we have “progressive” preachers… if you want a religious ceremony you CAN find someone to marry you to your beloved even if you are of the same gender. If you want a wedding and don’t need it to be religious then you have even more options.

So, again… why does this need to be implicitly stated in the law itself?

Either there are gay couples who are going to be petty enough to raise this issue or the governor is being preemptively petty… either way I think it is a colossal waste of time and effort.

Of course, that’s just me.

Dear House and Senate of NH,
Your governor is being slightly twitty but perhaps he is just trying to stop some mindless stupidity later on. Get over it and pass the darn bill.
Sincerely,
A CA resident


/bangs head on desk.

7 comments:

Michael Ejercito said...

So, again… why does this need to be implicitly stated in the law itself?Because someone might try to"marry" someone of the same sex in a Catholic Church and then sue the Church for discrimination.

Note that there are initiatives to modify the California state constitution that will repeal Prop. 8, and those initiatives contain provisions that prevent public schools from teaching about gay relationships.

moosh said...

I say the state should stay out of our love life. Marry who you want, live with who you want, make love to who you want.

Will said...

Abolish Marriage. The ceremony should have nothing to do with a contract by two (or more) people to gain legal benefits recognized by the state.

Call it something else so that all the various religions can do whatever they want however they want and can refuse whoever they want.

End of story. Everyone's happy. Why is this even being debated?

JT Eberhard said...

Wow, I can't believe it didn't pass in NH...

Found your blog randomly, but am very grateful for this. I may utilize some of it in my own (www.xanga.com/zerowing21), if that's ok?

Thanks again.

JT

Kay said...

Michael: Yes, I know… the potential for someone to try to sue a church (any church) is the reason why the extra language was desired… but it is my understanding that religious groups are already protected. Perhaps that is a state by state sort of protection. I need to do some more research. As to your second point, I am not quite sure how it relates to the topic at hand.

Moosh: I agree! There is a Pagan adage that I think sums it up pretty well: “As it harm none, do as you will.” The question I always come back to with any sort of civil rights (such as, say gay marriage) is who is being harmed? No one!

Will: I have heard this argument before and there is a part of me that really likes it even if it isn’t very practical. I am a fan of Civil unions being available to all people in lieu of marriage as long as they afford the same rights as marriage. (Civil unions and domestic partnerships are currently not a valid alternative to marriage not just because of the lack of equal rights but also because they are only offered to same sex couples.)

JT: Thanks for finding/staying/reading. Feel free to use whatever, and I look forward to checking out your site as well. I still have hope for NH. And I still have hope for CA. less than 24 horus until a decision.

Will said...

Kay: Depends on what you mean by impractical. If you mean, probably won't happen, then I'm afraid you're right, at least not for some time. Unfortunately, we screwed up big-time when it came to marriage. It's a legal contract wound around a religious ceremony, and we're not going to solve anything until that changes. Maybe after a few decades of fighting about it, we'll give it a try. Until then, anything else we do will just serve to make some significant segment of the population mad.

Kay said...

Will, good point and pretty much what I was getting at. Impractical because the ritual aspect and the legal aspect of marriage are sooooo closely tied in our society at this time that a blunt change to that couldn’t happen. I hope that given time and work and changes in social norms and practices, that someday it will be possible to separate the two.