Local stances on marriage

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SHOULD PARISI ISSUE LICENSES?

Poll ended at Fri Apr 02, 2004 2:29 pm

Yes. He thinks its so fair, he should walk the walk. The Midwest should get in on this!
17
65%
No, the law is the law (except equal protection clauses which remain to be fully interpreted).
3
12%
No, he knows that gays using questionable licenses would not be a potent way for them to fight.
6
23%
 
Total votes: 26

hotshot
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Local stances on marriage

Postby hotshot » Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:29 pm

http://www.madison.com/wisconsinstatejo ... /69305.php

Who are the two who voted against equal protection for gay couples?

And: "I support same-sex marriage, I think it's all about fairness. But I don't have the power to, simply by issuing a license, change a law. If I issued marriage licenses, that would not make gay marriage legal," Parisi said in an interview. "It would only confuse the subject. I think a much more potent demonstration of how gays and lesbians are discriminated against is to show that they are not able to legally marry in Wisconsin, because that is what the law is."

You think? Maybe because you have marriage rights and need not be in any hurry on the issue. Why does Parisi think he should choose for gay couples the most "potent" ways to fight for their human rights? Ways that do not involve him. If not for his doing what he says is unfair, couples could choose for themselves to get questionable Dane County marriage licenses and try to use or sue over them, or not. But that wouldn't be potent enough for Mr. Sad, But Not My Problem? Is this compelling to anyone?

Yeti

Postby Yeti » Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:32 pm

Who are the two who voted against equal protection for gay couples?


Onken and Thomas.

ShaneDog
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Postby ShaneDog » Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:52 pm

Actually Parisi is pretty much just echoing the line of Action Wisconsin - the statewide lobbying/gay rights org. First, before I rant, I have to say that I generally support Action Wisconsin and am currently organizing a huge fundraiser for them.
Now, having said that, I have to say that I totally disagree with the way they are going about this. Now is not the time to be defensive. Here's why. People who are anti gay marriage are not going to change their minds on their own. Action wisconsin thinks that if certain cities like Madison start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples that there will be a backlash and the anti-gay marriage amendment will pass. Guess what, its probably already going to pass and by being on the defensive we're basically saying that its ok for people to be in support of state-sponsored discrimination, or at least that its not worth civil disobediance to get. Let's say that things stay the way they are and Action Wisconsin manages to stop the anti amendment from passing this time around. What is going to stop it from passing in the future? Are people going to suddenly change their minds and be for gay marriage? The easiest way to force people to realize that this is a civil rights issue and that straight people are not going to be harmed is to just start doing gay marriages. It will shock people at first and there may be somewhat of a backlash but in the long run, its going to change more people's minds then always fighting the anti bills.
Wisconsin has an equal protection clause in it's constitution, does it not? Why isn't action wisconsin trying to sue to get gay marriage? All I hear from them is that our supreme court is very conservative and we would probably lose. That may be true, but judges are _supposed_ to rule on the merits of a case, not simply what is supported by their ideology. The case for gay marriage is pretty fucking strong AND there is already legal precedent in at least one state. If they end up saying that our equal protection clause doesn't apply to gay people it will bring their bigotry out into the open.
The way things are now, spineless Democrats and anyone else in office who claims to support gay rights can say they are against an anti-gay amemendment but not have to come out and support marriage. Why are we giving them that option?

Rights are almost never given. They are usually siezed by the people from those who are in power.

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Postby wee beastie » Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:59 pm

I understand that some on this forum, who are otherwise supporters of gay marraige or civil unions, have voiced their opposition to elected officials engaging in civil disobedience on this issue.
At first blush, it seems a compelling argument that elected officials should set an example by following the law (despite disagreeing with it), and leave civil disobedience to regular citizens. Having elected officials decide which laws to follow and which to not, sets a bad precedent. It seems somewhat hypocritical for law-makers to be selective law-breakers.

However, that said, we are faced with the fact that the American Revolution would never had occured if this philosophy was followed.
Those who signed the Declaration of Independence and who broke with the British Empire were government officials of various stations.
Should they have left the revolution to the farmers and shop-keepers?
If so, it would have never occured.

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Postby Daisy » Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:13 pm

I'm uncomfortable with elected officials breaking those laws they happen to not like. Not because decorum must be preserved at all costs, but because it may set a precedent with some unintended consequences.

That said, I think an official should do whatever s/he can - such as casting a no-brainer vote for an advisory ordinance urging the state to stop discriminating against gays/lesbians - to advance the cause of equality.

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Postby Aphrodite » Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:23 pm

There's a difference between "breaking laws you happen to not like" and taking a stance when others are having their constitutional rights violated. In this case, I think elected officials have a moral imperative towards civil disobedience.

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Postby Daisy » Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:40 pm

I know what you're saying, but...
Aphrodite wrote:I think elected officials have a moral imperative towards civil disobedience.
...that's exactly what Judge Moore said in Alabama.

One man's "moral imperative" is another's disregard of inconvenient laws.

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Postby ShaneDog » Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:46 pm

Daisy wrote:I know what you're saying, but...
Aphrodite wrote:I think elected officials have a moral imperative towards civil disobedience.
...that's exactly what Judge Moore said in Alabama.

One man's "moral imperative" is another's disregard of inconvenient laws.

The relavent question here is: Is anyone being harmed by lack of civil disobediance? In the case of gay marriage the answer is pretty obviously yes, gay couples who wish to be married are being harmed by not being allowed to do so. In the case of displaying the 10 commandments in a courthouse or wherever it was, no one is being harmed by the presence or absence of the 10 commandments so it's really not at all analogous.

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Postby Daisy » Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:46 pm

I'm not, by the way, suggesting that there's a readily identifiable right and wrong approach here. It's a tricky question how you go about it, and what the right venue for challenging the law is. I think on the question of outcome - the pursuit of equal protection, civil rights, etc - there's less moral confusion, but good people can disagree about the best way to get us there.

I have no problem - other than respectfully disagreeing - with those who favor a different approach.

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Postby Daisy » Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:50 pm

ShaneDog wrote:The relavent question here is: Is anyone being harmed by lack of civil disobediance? In the case of gay marriage the answer is pretty obviously yes, gay couples who wish to be married are being harmed by not being allowed to do so. In the case of displaying the 10 commandments in a courthouse or wherever it was, no one is being harmed by the presence or absence of the 10 commandments so it's really not at all analogous.
Well, it's unsurprising that you'd feel civil disobedience is justified in the service of something you agree with and unjustified in the case of something with which you disagree.

I'm sure the other side (against gay marriage, for the Ten Commandments) would see it differently. They feel that Christianity, and their freedom of religion, were the targets of discrimination.

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Postby ShaneDog » Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:54 pm

Daisy wrote:
ShaneDog wrote:The relavent question here is: Is anyone being harmed by lack of civil disobediance? In the case of gay marriage the answer is pretty obviously yes, gay couples who wish to be married are being harmed by not being allowed to do so. In the case of displaying the 10 commandments in a courthouse or wherever it was, no one is being harmed by the presence or absence of the 10 commandments so it's really not at all analogous.
Well, it's unsurprising that you'd feel civil disobedience is justified in the service of something you agree with and unjustified in the case of something with which you disagree.

I'm sure the other side (against gay marriage, for the Ten Commandments) would see it differently. They feel that Christianity, and their freedom of religion, were the targets of discrimination.

True, and if they could demonstrate how they are being harmed by not having a display of the 10 commandments I would agree with their needing to do civil disobediance to keep them there. I doubt they would be able to convince anyone that they are being harmed by temporarily not having the 10 commandments displayed. In this case, people are actually being harmed in a demonstrable, concrete way, by not being allowed to marry.

I should also say that I support the judge in his decision to do civil disobediance in that case because no one is being harmed by his civil disobediance. So, basically my test for civil disobediance is

Civil disobediance is ok if:

a) You disagree with a law
and
b) No one is being harmed by your civil disobediance
and
c) You have reason to believe that the constitution will support your point of contention

Civil disobediance should be encouraged if:
a) Someone is being harmed by a law
b) You are able to take a concrete action that will change the law or mitigate the effects of the harm
c) Your civil disobediance will not hurt anyone

Also, anyone doing civil disobediance has to realize that there may be consequences to their actions. That judge in Georgia, while right to do what he did, has to live with whatever happens because he chose to disregard the law.
Last edited by ShaneDog on Wed Mar 03, 2004 4:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby FaeryGurl » Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:55 pm

Daisy wrote:I know what you're saying, but...
Aphrodite wrote:I think elected officials have a moral imperative towards civil disobedience.
...that's exactly what Judge Moore said in Alabama.

One man's "moral imperative" is another's disregard of inconvenient laws.



Elected officials participating in civil disobedience garners a lot more attention (and support/dissidence) than the average citizen's act of civil disobedience. It brings attention to the issue, which brings it to the people in a much more effective manor.

Then it is the responsibility of the rest of us to get off of our butts and throw our support in on the "right" side of the moral issue in order to change the wrong laws(discriminatory marriage laws) and protect the right ones (separation of church and state).

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Postby Daisy » Wed Mar 03, 2004 4:01 pm

FaeryGurl wrote:Then it is the responsibility of the rest of us to get off of our butts and throw our support in on the "right" side of the moral issue in order to change the wrong laws(discriminatory marriage laws) and protect the right ones (separation of church and state).
Sorry...I didn't get the memo stating that we liberals are now moral absolutists.

I was still operating under the OLD construct that - on many questions - different people subscribe to different notions of what's "right" and "wrong."

I'll update my files post-haste.

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Postby Daisy » Wed Mar 03, 2004 4:07 pm

ShaneDog wrote:True, and if they could demonstrate how they are being harmed by not having a display of the 10 commandments I would agree with their needing to do civil disobediance to keep them there. I doubt they would be able to convince anyone that they are being harmed by temporarily not having the 10 commandments displayed. In this case, people are actually being harmed in a demonstrable, concrete way, by not being allowed to marry.
Although I happen to agree with one and not the other, I submit that the 2 groups probably perceive being "harmed" in roughly the same way. One group is denied public recognition of personal commitment, the other is denied public recognition of spiritual commitment.

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Postby ShaneDog » Wed Mar 03, 2004 4:08 pm

It's not like civil disobediance doesn't happen every single day when the cops pull someone over for driving while black. Remember, the law says that only people who are (suspected of) doing something wrong should be pulled over but some cops "take the law into their own hands" (ie civil disobediance) because they know what's good for the community and they know that a black person driving a nice car down the street must have stolen it or must be a drug dealer. If there's going to be civil disobediance done by the "bad guys" I don't see whats wrong with supporting it when its done for/by the "good guys".


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