Monday, September 25, 2006

The Radical Responds to Bob Ellis

Bob Ellis said to me in a comment on my last post:
The arguments you referred to are completely false, and if anyone actually believes them, then they haven't done their homework.
I'm inspired to answer to some of his "facts," although it seems like he's been getting most of his from fair and balanced sources such as Fox News and the American Family Association. (He even googled the word "quasi-" for me. I think it's sweet).

Bob said: [Amendment C] will not hinder unmarried heterosexuals from caring for one another, or passing along inherited property.

This where the term "quasi-" comes in... Bob called me "ignorant" or "brazenly lying" for thinking it "vague". The problem is that "quasi-" is very broad legal term... used, like Elizabeth Kraus did, to paint with a very wide legal brush. If unmarried persons start stacking up through expensive legal effort a group of contracts that, as a whole, mirror the many rights and responsibilities that come for free with marriage, it would open the door legally for the argument that the agreements, and "style of life" add up to a quasi-marital relationship, and argue that as a group they are invalid because of Amendment C. I wouldn't put this past a conservative activist judge, of which there are many here.

It also won't affect domestic partner benefits that private companies choose to offer to their employees. A judge in Michigan ruled in 2005 that such benefits are benefits of employment, not benefits of marriage.

Yes, indeed, praise the Lord, they lost that one in Michigan. Must have been a "lib'ral activist judge." That's in blue/indigo Michigan though, in conservative SD, I'm not so sure it will come out the same way. Here's the full story from Michigan about what went down in that fine state:
In Michigan, Citizens for Protection of Marriage repeatedly stated in its literature and in press interviews that a ban on same-sex marriage would not affect domestic partnership benefits.

"This has nothing to do with taking benefits away," Marlene Elwell, campaign director, told USA Today on October 15, 2004. "This is about marriage between a man and a woman."

The campaign's communications director was equally adamant. The proposal would have no effect on gay couples, Kristina Hemphill told the Holland Sentinel. "This amendment has nothing to do with benefits," she said.

Yet shortly after Michigan's ban passed, Governor Jennifer Granholm pulled domestic partnership benefits from contracts being negotiated for state workers. And Attorney General Mike Cox issued an opinion stating that such benefits for municipal employees could not be renewed in future contracts.
Bob continues:

In Virginia, which has an upcoming vote on a marriage protection amendment, the state Attorney General did a legal review to determine what, if any impact their marriage protection amendment would have on the areas commonly cited. His findings: none whatsoever. You can read the advisory here.

A little bit about the messenger. Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell, is an extreme, conservative Republican, who is associated with the extremely Rev. Pat Robertson. (Fact: Robertson contributed $36,000 to McDonnell's election PAC).

I don't know why politicians of his bent seem to be obsessed with sex, but go figure. Here's a choice quote from this guy:
McDonnell said engaging in anal or oral sex could disqualify a person from being a judge because both activities are against the state's "crimes against nature" laws.
(He was actually talking at the time in the context of a HETEROSEXUAL relationship at the time.) Sorry Bob, I give McDonnell's opinion a weight of ... zero.

Back to Mr. Ellis:
The authors carefully crafted the language of the amendment.

They sure did, but they were politically careless. They overstepped their bounds, and that's why this political year is a watershed event. 2006 will be remembered as a major sea change in South Dakota politics, and maybe the whole nation.

The assertion that "quasi" is some sort of "vague" word that no one really understands is, depending on the level of knowledge of the person saying it, either a brazen lie or the height of ignorance.

You're showing your arrogance here. "Quasi" is a deliberately vague, meaning , being used by right-wing social engineers an attempt to nullify the irrefutable scientific facts and the real-world experience of compassionate people. "Quasi" means this law draws a tight circle around a group of families and says that society will support and protect those inside, but not others.

It's contrary to Christian values. Jesus said that to love your neighbor as yourself is the greatest commandment.

The simple fact is that there is no reason to oppose Amendment C...unless you want to make it easier for social architects and activist judges to force homosexual "marriage" on society and counterfeit the basic building block of order and stability in our civilization.

Social architects? Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and all the saints. That's exactly what Amendment C is: social engineering--an attempt to guide our personal relationships and family life with the steel reebar of constitutional law.

The "basic building block" marriage myth is just that: a myth. (By the way, this point came up in the discussion the Episcopal convention, by the way, and was respectfully corrected.) The institution of marriage as we know it is, depending on your definitions, 250 years old, give or take. I happen to think marriage is gradually getting better, and even participate myself in the institution. Much to your consternation, I'm sure, we owe no small thanks for this to your hero, Ronald Reagan, married twice himself, who brought us no-fault divorce and with it forced accountability and honesty in marital relationships across America. If you want to know what marriage has mostly been like for the last 6000 years, read the Old Testament, or watch The Piano. No thanks.

Good neighbors don't discriminate!! No on C!

3 comments:

  1. Gosh, where do I begin?

    STATEMENT: ?If unmarried persons start stacking up through expensive legal effort a group of contracts that, as a whole, mirror the many rights and responsibilities that come for free with marriage, it would open the door legally for the argument that the agreements, and "style of life" add up to a quasi-marital relationship, and argue that as a group they are invalid because of Amendment C. I wouldn't put this past a conservative activist judge, of which there are many here.?

    RESPONSE: People have been doing this for years?even heterosexuals?and it?s never been a problem. You?re trying to fantasize problems where there is no evidence of their likelihood in an effort to scare people who otherwise would have the good sense to vote to protect marriage. Pitiful that you think you can?t win on the obvious ?merits? of your position.

    One key thing to remember in the Michigan case was that these were government employees, i.e. paid by the taxpayers. If a judge ruled it?s okay to force the taxpayers of Michigan to subsidize an immoral behavior, then there?s certainly no danger that a private company is going to be force to end domestic partner benefits.

    STATEMENT: ?A little bit about the messenger. Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell, is an extreme, conservative Republican, who is associated with the extremely Rev. Pat Robertson.?

    RESPONSE: So you?re saying the Attorney General of Virginia is a liar? Is that what you?re saying? I just want to be very clear on that. However, by your same logic, the fact that a bunch of extreme liberals who are associated with the ACLU and pro-homosexual groups gives their opinion on this matter a weight of?zero.

    STATEMENT: ?You're showing your arrogance here. "Quasi" is a deliberately vague, meaning , being used by right-wing social engineers an attempt to nullify the irrefutable scientific facts and the real-world experience of compassionate people. "Quasi" means this law draws a tight circle around a group of families and says that society will support and protect those inside, but not others.?

    RESPONSE: What kind of silly drivel is that? You?re desperately trying to avoid the fact that ?quasi? isn?t some great mystery of the ages. Do you really still claim not to know what ?quasi? means? Here, I?ll help you. The Merriam-Webster dictionary says: 1 : having some resemblance usually by possession of certain attributes (a quasi corporation) 2 : having a legal status only by operation or construction of law and without reference to intent (a quasi contract) That seems plain enough to me. The legal system understands what "quasi" means, and so does pretty much everyone else...except liberals, maybe. It means we're not going to call something a cat when it has feathers, no matter how much people claim it meows.

    STATEMENT: ?It's contrary to Christian values. Jesus said that to love your neighbor as yourself is the greatest commandment.?

    RESPONSE: See, I told you that some of you Episcopalians desperately need to read that Bible closer. "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'? (Mark 12:28-30) You can?t honestly say you love the Lord our God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength when you willfully subvert his design for human sexuality?and then make it even worse by trying to claim he didn?t really mean what he said. You also aren?t showing love for your neighbor by patting him on the back and encouraging him to engage in a behavior that (1) God says is wrong, (2) places his health at risk and (3) threatens his eternal soul.

    STATEMENT: ?That's exactly what Amendment C is: social engineering--an attempt to guide our personal relationships and family life through the steel reebar of constitutional law.?

    RESPONSE: You seem caught up in pretending that homosexuals have enjoyed all these imaginary rights throughout the annals of human history, and only recently during some attempted theocrat takeover of the United States have we started restricting homosexuals? rights. If you?ll check history, homosexuals never have had the right to ?marry.? It is the radical Left that is attempting to change what always has been and what has made this country the greatest place on earth. The rest of us would just like to keep things normal, the way they?ve worked well for thousands of years.

    STATEMENT: ?The ?basic building block? marriage myth is just that: a myth?The institution of marriage as we know it is, depending on your definitions, 250 years old, give or take.?

    RESPONSE: This is one of the most laughable attempts at historical revision I?ve ever seen! I've seen some whoppers, but that one surely has to take the cake! I know you?ve overwhelmingly demonstrated that your Bible doesn?t get much use, but please pull it out and read it. Marriage goes all the way back to the beginning of creation (Mark 10). And pretty much every other piece of historical information speaks to marriage as being between one man and woman. Your childish attempts to make exceptions appear to be the rule illustrate that your arguments are completely bereft not only of merit, but of factual support.

    Also, I said, ?The assertion that ?quasi? is some sort of ?vague? word that no one really understands is, depending on the level of knowledge of the person saying it, either a brazen lie or the height of ignorance.? I think it?s now clear which category the Robbinsdale Radical fits into.

    ReplyDelete
  2. By the way Bob, thank you very much for signing your posts. It's helpful for all of us to hear your point of view.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Gee, Bobby. For someone who makes a habit of calling those who don't agree with you ignorant (or at the very least uninformed), you seem to be a little lacking in the info department.

    Among the many flaws in your argument in favor of Amendment C is "People have been [setting up marriage-like agreements] for years--even heterosexuals--and it's never been a problem."

    Exactly, Bob. It hasn't been a problem. Unfortunately, you're the one who wants to change things, which could include changing whether or not non-married couples are allowed to create those contracts.

    Why hasn't it been a problem? Because those couples haven't had to deal with the vague wording of Amendment C. It's been fine so far, but if Amendment C passes, it could change a lot for those couples.

    Law school 101: If a couple is statutorially allowed to make those contracts, but the contract creates what a judge decides is a "quasi-marital relationship," then a the contract is legally null and void because it's unconstitutional.

    If you really think that "it's never been a problem," make sure you vote to not change things by voting NO ON C.

    ReplyDelete