Some Same-Sex Marriage related links

  • New Zealand’s Parliament has passed a Civil Unions law, which (in the NZ version) creates Civil Unions with all the same legal rights as “marriage,” and which are open to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. (The legal category “marriage” still exists, but is open only to opposite-sex couples). I’m glad for New Zealand queers – nine-tenths of a loaf is better than none – and very much admire the NZ legislature for voting for an unpopular civil rights bill.

    Interesting about this option being open to straights – which means that fewer straights will get married in the future. Funny, how the compromises necessary to appease the “protect marriage!” crowd sometimes end up weakening marriage far more than just letting same-sex couples get married would. (Thanks to “Alas” reader “Sarah in Chicago” for the tip!)

    Hugo has more on this subject.

  • Robert Hayes has finished his same-sex marriage series, and actually winds up suggesting that “marriage” should be left to the churches, while the government should just provide “civil unions” to same- and opposite-sexers alike. Although there are details to quibble over, on the whole I’d find that an entirely acceptable solution; what I favor is legal equality, and Robert’s solution provides that. I doubt that many non-libertarian conservatives would be willing to live with it, though.
  • Mary at Stone Court has an interesting (although very one-sided) post discussing the single parenthood and same-sex marriage issues as “dissensus politics,” political issues that become symbolic battles in the culture war.
  • Good bit from Rauch’s latest in the ongoing Rauch/Gallagher debate:
    Maggie sez: “The goal of the same-sex marriage movement is publicly and visibly to assert the legal and moral equality of same-sex and opposite-sex couples. If same-sex marriage is a civil right, this necessarily and intrinsically means that the fact that sex between men and women makes babies is not an important fact, socially or legally.”

    Sentence 1 is correct. But the second sentence should read, “If same-sex marriage is a civil right, this necessarily and intrinsically means that the fact that sex between men and women makes babies is not THE ONLY important fact, socially or legally.” Big difference, yes?

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7 Responses to Some Same-Sex Marriage related links

  1. 1
    theco says:

    Check out the story i have on my blog, It involves Falwell and Sharpton. Amusing.

  2. 2
    Jasper says:

    “Makes babies.” LOL. Ok sorry, but this is just further proof of how insipid this argument is getting. “YOUR sex doesn’t make BABIES! NYAH!!” Because you know, overpopulating the earth is as important for people with two SUVs in their garage as it was for people who lived in the desert facing famine and continual war (aka where da bibble comes from). I hope Gallagher has “made” one for each of the twelve tribes, wouldn’t want the American people to die out or anything.

  3. 3
    Julian Elson says:

    I would say that the importance of heterosexual sex’s ability to result in conception is a matter for the people having the heterosexual sex. There are some moral issues that transcend subjective valuations of importance (rape, slavery, etc). Whether or not having kids is important isn’t one of ‘em.

  4. 4
    Mark says:

    I agree with Hayes insofar as marriage should be left to churches whereas civil unions are matters for the state. If nothing else, this distinction would help remedy the increasingly muddied barrier between faith and government. Furthermore, the government’s position on divorce has always been casual, whilst the church’s position has always been rather strident. This is because the state understands marriage in terms of statutes and contracts. The church interprets marriage as a promise made before God. Therefore the state recognizing civil unions only, and leaving for the church matters of the supernatural would be the most consistent and logical thing to do.

    Speaking of…and a bit of a drift simultaneously, in my blog I make note of what I call “relaxed resignation” within the church and how that ties into the uniquely Christian doctrine of expected failure.

  5. 5
    Amanda says:

    I have a solution for making baby-making sex all special and stuff. If a couple wants to make a baby, they could sell tickets to the attempts to do so. Make it an arena event and leave the rest of us alone.

  6. 6
    leen says:

    You know what’s funny, is that NZ already *had* civil unions. When I lived there (a couple years ago), any partnership that was more than 2 years old became a “de-facto partnership” (same sex or no) and you got pretty much all the same benefits of being married. I knew plenty of couples who didn’t bother to get married because they really wouldn’t have gained anything except for a piece of paper.

    Anyway. It’s nice that they’re making it even more official. Also, in the “NZ is neat” category: they were the very first country (by many years) to give women the right to vote, and also birth control pills are subsidized to the point where they literally cost NZ$4 (about US$2) per pack. Kick-ass.

  7. thank you for your comments about my little country leen … yes, I am noticing the differences between the US and NZ.

    I would point out that defacto wasn’t precisely civil unions, the big difference being that straights could get a union at the drop of a hat, while it seemed like us queers had to ‘prove’ ourselves by being together for 3 years. While that certainly wasn’t the intention, its how it felt.

    But other things in NZ corner is comprehensive sex ed in high and intermediate (high and junior high) school, subsidised contraceptives to the point where more often than not they were free (though I will admit this didn’t increase the use of dental damns, those things suck regardless) and subsidised abortion services (because what is the point if they are legal if only the wealthy can have access to them?).

    But yeah, I trot out the “we got the vote in NZ first!” fact quite often when I am lecturing students in gender theory … it was wonderful to hear that mentioned in that recent Hilary Swank flick on the american suffragists.

    However, I am SOOOOOOO proud of my little country for passing this law … and equally nice was to hear the amount of debate in parliament and the media in NZ for getting the government completely out of the marriage business and just make civil unions the only thing available. While this won’t happen for years, its good to hear that debate happening at that level :)