Saturday, April 09, 2005

We're Not All Right in Kansas

Kansas and Missouri made it through the “off” election season.
Not surprisingly the ballot initiative to ban gay marriage passed easily in Kansas. And not even more surprisingly, the religious zealot right in the state is saying this is just the beginning of things to come. Oh, joy. I can hardly wait for the campaigns against gambling, drinking, birth control, stem cell research and abortion to get into high gear, as if it hasn’t already. And, this all from a right wing agenda that has aligned itself with a party that claims it doesn’t want government interfering in our lives. I guess they only want not to interfere if we believe as they do.
However, the gay marriage amendment initiative might have some people who voted for it complaining in the future. Even if they don’t know any people who are gay and believe that homosexuality is a “lifestyle choice” rather than part of who these people are, they might know someone or have family that is (gasp) co-habitating with someone of the opposite sex.
The Kansas ban on gay marriage is even more disturbing than Missouri’s because voters who voted “yes” for this amendment was also voting to exclude people from enjoying the benefits of domestic partnerships. No one but married people, according to the wording of the amendment, will be able to claim benefits from their partner. What does this mean for heterosexual couples that choose not to marry? No one knows for sure, but conservatives who supported the measure before April 5 were saying they didn’t think it applied to heterosexual couples and that the controversy over that portion of the amendment was a last minute “scare tactic” by liberals. Judging from people who have been writing on online blogs and those that have written letters to the editor in the papers, they’re afraid that the amendment might require them to take costly legal action to allow their partners to visit them in hospitals and make decisions in their medical care, to share equal rights with them on home and property ownership and to seek insurance benefits. Some companies, which appropriately offer benefits for domestic partners, say that their benefit programs will not be affected.
People who work with civil rights say there will more than likely be a court challenge to the amendment in the near future. Stay tuned.


Blogger Patrick said...

Let's face it, the anti-gay marriage move was just plain anti-gay. It wasn't about saving marriage. If it had been, it would have been anti-divorce.

The one thing these monsters can't face is that they are on the first steps to establishing what might be called an ultra-mainstream, where everyone "without" is not allowed to participate. We've seen it with the subtle and not so subtle ways in which religious righters tend to distance themselves from the unsaved. The anti-gay marriage thing is a not-so-nuanced way of using law to create even more distance. Taking it one step further, the Michigan legislature passed a law aimed directly at homosexual (and potentially others of different faiths, beliefs, and nonbeliefs) that allows doctors to refuse service to those whose lifestyles they don't morally agree with.

So, you're not all right in Kansas and haven't been for a damn long time. But, then, we've got Matt Blunt.

5:13 PM CDT  
Blogger hooper2 said...

Certain supporters of this ban act as if homesexuality is the only sin mentioned in the Bible. It's not. Perhaps with a few exceptions (possible Mother Theresa), almost all of us fall short on a daily basis of leading the good Christian life. But, you don't find Kansas banning those things that trip us heterosexuals up. The Bible talks about loving your neighbor as yourself - if only, we could all embrace and leave the judging up to Someone who has more love and compassion than we ever will.

4:14 PM CDT  

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