Lars mounts his soapbox

In 1992 a measure was brought to the Oregon voters, Measure 9, which stated in part;
Be it Enacted by the People by [sic] the State of Oregon:
SECTION 41 (1) This state shall not recognize any categorical provision such as "sexual orientation," "sexual preference," and similar phrases that includes homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism or masochism. Quotas, minority status, affirmative action, or any similar concepts, shall not apply to these forms of conduct, nor shall government promote these behaviors. More.

It was defeated in the November 3, 1992 general election with 638,527 votes in favor, 828,290 votes against.[2]

The ballot measure was the effort of the Oregon Citizens Alliance, a conservative group active in Oregon politics in the 1990s. Supporters of the measure felt that their traditional values were under siege in the face of growing acceptance of homosexuality by society. Opponents stated that the measure was unfairly discriminatory, that it was unconstitutional, and that it demonstrated the homophobia and bigotry of its backers.

Although the measure failed, its legacy can still be seen today. The Oregon Citizens Alliance went on to introduce a series of watered-down ballot measures along the same lines as Measure 9 (most of which failed). On the other hand, opposition to Ballot Measure 9 formed the basis of much of the current gay rights movment in Oregon, including the organization Basic Rights Oregon.[3]

In 2004 and 2005, there was controversy and political disagreement concerning the status of same-sex marriage in Oregon. In 2004, Multnomah County began issuing same-sex marriage licenses, which began a political battle over same-sex marriage that ended later that year with an amendment to the Oregon Constitution. In 2005, the legislature introduced a bill to create civil unions which eventually died in committee and did not become law.

I was one of the 422 couples who did manage to get married before the courts decided to shut it down after 1 week.

Th experience affected me a lot more than I would have thought it would. Not so much that was allowed to marry my partner Geoff, but more that I was finally considered a valid member of society. A very short lived feeling as the anti-gay forces quickly swung into action. Within one week of the November vote to deny same-sex-couples the right to marry I had received my refund check from Multnomah county for the marriage liscence.

With the recent passage of proposition 8 in California the anger and frustration again surfaced in me.

As recently mentioned in The Gay Dissenters Blog, it does take a toll on ones psychological well being when ones fellow citizens are constantly attacking and voting on your personal rights.

The question, in my mind, that needs answering at this point is not whether same-sex-couples should have the right to marry, but whether marriage itself is a civil right or a religious rite.

If it's a civil right then it and should be available to all citizens that choose to "marry" their fortunes together, homo- or hetero- sexual.

If it is a religious rite then it has no place anywhere in state doings, health and welfare benefits, inheritance issues, tax breaks, housing, hospital visitation etc.

And, no, I do not think that granting same-sex-couples the right to domestic partnerships or civil unions is the answer. There is either a state sanctioned domestic partnership for all couples or there is the right to marry equally and with the same jargon for all couples. If marriage is a religious rite then churches can bless the union separately from the state registry of the union.


tyndra said...

We discuss the same matter over here.

I can not understand why so many people are against a same-sex-marriage, as none of their potential marriage-partners is blackguardly depredated.

There would not be more homosexual couples if marriage was allowed. There are no less if it is not allowed.

So what is the motive force of ultra-conservative groups trying so hard to abort any progress?

gouvernment must ask itself, whether church and country are disestablished or not. obviously, they are not.

Günter said...

Kann sich vielleicht in dieser Hinsicht unter Obama was ändern? Kennt man seine Einstellung zu diesem Thema?

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with you. But it's almost the same over here. PLUS: Homosexual married couples don't have the same rights as heterosexual couples have. At least here in Germany.

Lars said...

@ Tyndra, religion is slowly losing it's power over the masses and a lot of people feel threatened by that.

Günter, wie ich es gehört habe ist Obama will sich nicht darin einmischen, aber unter sein Regierung wird eine Haufe ändern.

Judy, even in states here that have homoehe the rights are not the same.
4 or 5 years ago I had a double hernia surgery, as I was going under the nurse asked if there was a wife or girlfriend that the doctor could call after the surgery and let know if I was okay, I replied that there was apartner that should be notified, Nurse Zicke said "Oh no, doctor can't do that". It is just unfair and small minded.

Zing said...

I always think of marriage as a relict, something noone really needs i think it was just invented to keep a certain order in societies (i don´t know but that is the only reason i could think of) The church had power over the people in the middle ages by beeing the authority when it came to rites like that, the christening etc. even kings had to marry, even though a certain king got divorced several times which resulted in heavy political issues. This "oder" however somehow evolved as a part of our modern society, even though i think we should get rid of this stuff many of my friends still marry for tax reasons or like in your example "what if he/she has to go to hospital,and noone will notice me" etc. basically it´s nice if two people say they want to care for each other but marriage should not give them any special rights because all in all we all should have the same rights wether we are married or not gay or not, black or white, from mars or even freaks like me ;)

Lars said...

Zing, the shift from Matriarchal to Patriarchal society also contributed strongly to what we see as marriage today. When a woman was in charge of her home it didn't matter if a man stayed or went, when it shifted to male ownership it became that, men with property, including the women involved. Binding the woman legally to the man as his property opened the door political marriages etc.

Zing said...

you are right, well it´s a very complex topic if you want to enlighten it from all sides, i just visited my cousin this weekend and he and his wife want to renew their marriage in a nice ceremony this summer with a non religious preacher somewhere outside, that are things i really think are cute. Of course in your case this wouldn´t help to convince nurse Zicke.