wlotus: (Rainbow Heart)
Since the Supreme Court denied the public the chance to view the Prop 8 trial via live tv or YouTube, the live blogging the Courage Campaign is doing of the trial is our only view into the proceedings as they happen. If you can, please give to help them keep that coverage going.
wlotus: (Rainbow Heart)
From Courage Campaign: "9th Circuit denies appeal from #Prop8 supporters. YouTubes will be uploaded. Trial starting on-time Monday."

I am glad the appeal was denied. Even though Prop 8 directly affects only same-sex couples in CA, it indirectly affects all same-sex couples in the USA. What is happening in CA is not happening in a vacuum. Many of the people who worked and financed for and against CA's Prop 8 movement do not even live in CA. They have an interest in seeing same-sex couples' civil rights denied or granted, and they will (and have) use(d) the outcome in CA to support and oppose similar legislation all over the country.

This isn't just about CA same-sex couples. It is about the rights of all same-sex couples.
wlotus: (Stupid People)
I find it ironic that Prop8 backers want the trial delayed to appeal the YouTube posting of the trial, because they are concerned their witnesses will be vulnerable for harassment. Let me get this straight: they can oppress people by passing laws denying their civil rights, but they are worried about their own people possibly being harrassed.

I don't know about you, but that sounds like a double standard to me.

wlotus: (Blackberry)
Yesterday afternoon, after burning my brain out by studying for too many consecutive hours, I did some research on civil unions vs. marriage. Though I am an advocate for same-sex marriage, I did not know why other advocates insisted civil unions were not simply marriage under another name. Opponents of same-sex marriage have claimed civil unions give the same protections as marriage, so same-sex couples should accept that and leave the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. Just a quick read, though, convinced me marriage equality advocates are right to be so adamant.

Legal marriage is a federally protected condition. No matter what state in the United States you travel to, your marriage and your rights therein are protected. You are admitted without question (and without the need to show legal paperwork) to your loved one's side when they are hospitalized. You have the right to claim their body and their estate (barring a will stating otherwise) when they die. If your employer offers family coverage under their benefits plan, you are entitled to said coverage without question. Whether living in or temporarily traveling through a state, these and other rights and protections follow you.

Civil unions, on the other hand, are recognized only on the state level. (Even worse, domestic partnerships are recognized only on the local level.) That means that as you travel to/through states, the rights and protections over your committed, life-partnership will vary...or even disappear. If you want any hope of legally protecting your union, you must carry legal paperwork with you to prove your partner has the right to make decisions about your healthcare and operate as power of attorney in the event of a medical emergency. Even with this paperwork, hospital employees may or may not give you the access you are entitled to, and a (lengthy, expensive) legal challenge may not go your way, as a surviving partner and their children recently found out in a Florida case. You must have a will (which can be contested by hateful family members, by the way) stating your partner has the right to claim your estate, in the event of your death. Even in states that recognize civil unions, you can be denied coverage under your partner's benefits, depending on the laws in that state and how an individual employer chooses to interpret said law. (This has happened in NJ, where civil unions are legally recognized.) You can be denied the right to claim your partner's body in the event of their death. And even if you have all of those rights in your state, if you are in another state when these issues arise, even if you were just passing through on your way to work, school, or vacation, those rights do not follow you across state lines, as each state makes its own decision about whether and how to recognize your relationship with your partner.

In short, your rights are fluid, based on the whims of whatever state you happen to be in at that moment. I wonder how many heterosexual couples would be okay with their rights and their relationships being treated that way.

In the 100 or so years between the end of American slavery and my birth, religious and socially conservative people used their interpretations of nature and the Bible to justify separation of the races and a lack of protection, respect, and recognition for interracial marriages. Just like justice eventually prevailed, allowing civil rights and marriage equality in those cases, I have to believe the same thing will happen in the case of civil rights and marriage equality for same-sex-loving people. It is common sense: anything less than full equality simply does not match the last few lines of our pledge to our flag, "with liberty and justice for ALL." That kind of injustice cannot stand the test of time. We as a nation have proven it already, and I believe we shall prove it, again.

I have to believe it, or I will be forced to no longer believe in my country.

Well, it looks like the copy of this post that was lost in the ether finally arrived...3 hours later! I've deleted the duplicate.


wlotus: (Default)

October 2010



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