He was talking about California as well.
Well, then, he was wrong. And even if I'm wrong and he's right about California, if he and his partner move to Nebraska then their civil union will legally blow out like a candle in the wind. And let me just point out that using Elton John as an example of how normal everyday people (gay or straight) should live is really not a great idea. I mean, it's not like he and his partner are worried over whether or not his job at Wal-Mart is going to allow them to share health insurance. His life is so completely removed from normal experience that any advice he might offer other than maybe the best way to get wine stains out of white-tiger-fur rugs or where to buy rhinestones by the metric ton is pretty suspect.
I'd be quite happy to send you the blueprint which you could forward to President-elect Obama?
Oh, if only it were that simple.
But it isn't. Rules governing marriage are decided on a state-by-state basis here, in case that wasn't obvious from the recent election.
I don't honestly know if you are bigoted, or homophobic, or whatever. I haven't been on these forums long enough to get a sense of that. Nor does it really matter in this argument.
I'd like to go back to your original argument that civil unions are "separate [from] but equal [to]" marriage, which I think is probably the only argument that can be debated here sensibly. First of all, in making that argument, you've made it a given that gays should be treated equally. I don't think I'm putting words in your mouth here. That's actually a big step forward because unfortunately there are many people who don't think even that should be the case. Those are the people who created, campaigned for and voted for Prop 8.
But let's just say for the sake or argument that we all agree that gays should be treated equally. (By the way, if anyone's offended by the way I'm using the word "gays" I apologize. I'm just trying to be brief--really!)
Here's the analogy that you used to illustrate the legitimacy of the "separate but equal" case:
Men don't have a civil right to compete against women in the 100 metres because equality is achieved by having separate events for men and women. A gay person doesn't have a civil right to marry because others have signed up to a specific meaning of the word but equality can be achieved by same-sex civil unions.
And then later...
the gay view of equal rights is that men should be able to compete against women in the 100 metres sprint whereas my view is that men don't qualify because it's not the "100 metres sprint" but the "women's 100 metres sprint" where the difference is all important for equality.
If I can extend your analogy here, suppose that in the larger picture, the only way for men and women to make a living was by running in the 100-meter sprint event for their gender. Let's just say that was the only job in the whole United States of America. Suppose when men ran in THEIR 100-meter event--not won it, just RAN it, it was the LAW that they were awarded a gold medal, a college scholarship, the job of their choice, and a house, and everyone in the whole country had to acknowledge their claim on the medal, etc.
And when women ran in THEIR version of the event, it was the law that they were awarded a certificate saying they ran it, which not only had no value other than the paper it was printed on, but was also not recognized in 46 of 50 states. That's separate but not equal.
And that's how civil unions (and domestic partnerships, more or less) work here in the US. They are the only game in town when it comes to establishing a public/legal/etc. acknowledgement of a committed life partnership between 2 people of the same sex, and all that acknowledgement brings with it. And when you compare them to the legal protections and so on given to married heterosexual couples, the two games aren't even in the same league with each other.
So, really, the "Gay View (as if there was just one gay view)" is that the rewards should be the same for participants in either versions of the event (most important), and the event should have the same name, regardless of who's running(not quite as important, but still pretty important).
but equality can be achieved by same-sex civil unions.
It's possible it COULD be, but that is certainly never going to be the case until EVERY SINGLE legal right, privilege, protection and responsibility that is afforded to married people all over the US is given to civil unions. And even then, most people would still consider them not marriages. Which is too bad, but I acknowledge there's nothing we can legally do to change people's bigoted ignorant minds.
Except...As I and other people have said here, probably the most common sense thing to do is to take the word "marriage" out of civil ceremonies. If I had had my way entirely my wedding would have been conducted by a strictly municipal authority (as opposed to a Unitarian minister, which was fine but a little too close to Christian for my liking, but it made my wife's family happy). And if at some point when i was filling out my tax forms every year the little box that I check that says "married" starting saying "civil union" or "civilly united" or whatever, I really wouldn't care, as long as my legal status remained the same.
The rest of the arguments you make in this thread don't really have any bearing on this question, as far as I can tell.
Let's see. "The WTF is it to him?" argument got shot down. And in case you still think it's alive, just bear in mind that as far as I know Olbermann is broadcasting to the entire US and beyond, including California.
The Mafia argument: Essentially you were saying that just because something is thriving doesn't make it worthwhile or morally superior or good or whatever word you want. But "things that thrive are good" was not the point of the post you were replying to. I think the point was that recognition of the rights of same-sex couples in one instance hasn't brought the world to an end. Which is true so far.
Then there was the post where I think you were saying that there's no difference between arguing for the rights of two people of the same sex to be able to marry and arguing for the rights of someone to marry a chair or a goldfish. There is a difference. Goldfish and chairs aren't people. It's still more or less OK to believe that chairs don't have rights, and the rights of goldfish are generally limited as well. Determining the rights of non-people or even deciding what legally constitutes a person is an entirely different legal/moral question. But when you deny the rights of one person to marry, you're denying the right of the other person, too. And in case you need another reminder, we're talking people here, as in adults in their right minds.
Then there was the whole "nature says milk is just for cows" thing. Again, using what nature thinks is not a legitimate argument. First of all, nature doesn't think. Second, if it did, how would anyone know? The only way they could know is if nature told them. And I think if you look a couple of steps ahead with that idea, you're getting into religion. And once you get into religion, well you can forget logic, so why argue at all?
The there was the "people find gay marriage distasteful" argument, but if you're using that argument you're essentially saying that it's OK to deny equal treatment based on taste. Not in the US it's not, or at least not how I understand the law, which is why we are forced to deal with other people's bad taste all the time (and they are forced to deal with ours). And I wouldn't have it any other way. I find the marriage of the incomparable Catherine Zeta-Jones to the wizened and pouchy Michael Douglas distasteful, but sadly she is OK with it, so it has all the legal weight it will ever need (...sigh...).
In that same post was a line about "the laws of nature and the accumulated wisdom of mankind." Well, I think I've dealt with the laws of nature already, and I have one thing to say about the accumulated wisdom of mankind: It's STILL ACCUMULATING. It's not done, the final draft will never be done. Conventional wisdom is always evolving, and just because some idea has been around for a while (like, say, nuclear war or child labor) doesn't make it good. Oh, wait, you said that already.
Then there was the religious tolerance and freedom of speech post, which was irrelevant and read like an attempt to switch playing fields in the middle of a match.
Then there was the "look at all these countries that are homophobic" post. Are you saying that makes it OK? WTF is it to me that Chad is anti-gay marriage? They suck, forget 'em. We're talking about the US, specifically California, because that's where I live and I would like it not to suck as bad as Chad. (Sorry Chad, just being honest...you make Sudan look like Club Med) And then the Obama thing. You're basically saying, "hey all you liberals love this guy so much, and he claims to be against gay marriage, so why are you so FOR it?" All I can say to that is that nobody's perfect. I was sad to see Obama knuckle under to bigotry that way. What he chooses to believe or profess belief in doesn't affect my beliefs.
And then there was a bunch of stuff about how European gays were happy enough with civil unions. Because I am a woefully geocentric Yankee bastard I will shamefully admit that I do not know if the rights that a civil union confers on a same-sex couple in any given European country are the EXACT same as the rights a marriage confers on a heterosexual couple. If NOT, then they aren't happy, no matter what you say,or at least they won't be happy for long. If they are the same, then great, but they shoulda held out for being called "married" or the better idea, NOBODY being called "married."
And then we got into your definition of marriage, which is irrelevant, because your definition of marriage isn't what we're discussing here.
And then we got into the Elton John thing...
...which brings us back to the top of this post. Like I said, your best point was the separate but equal thing. I hope you can see that it's not the case.