Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Governor Huntsman, I Support Civil Unions, Too--Sort Of

It all depends on what you mean by the term "civil union". I fully support the existing Utah Marriage Amendment to the constitution, as well, which doesn't allow marriage of same-sex persons or anything like unto it. It appears that that's the same thing that Utah Governor Jon Huntsman supports. Utah Conservatives need to stop worrying about a stealth campaign to destroy traditional marriage in Utah.

In some states, civil unions are the

So when Governor Huntsman talks about supporting civil unions, he can't possibly mean that he supports something akin to marriage. I suspect that would be an impeachable offense to support a violation of the Utah Constitution...wouldn't it?

same thing as domestic partnerships. In other states, civil unions are the same thing as marriage. In Utah neither domestic partnerships nor civil unions could possibly be the same thing as marriage, because of the third amendment to Article 1, Section 29 of the Utah Constitution (the Marriage Amendment), which says:
1. Marriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman.
2. No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect.
So when Governor Huntsman talks about supporting civil unions, he can't possibly mean that he supports something akin to marriage. I suspect that would be an impeachable offense for a government official to support a violation of the Utah Constitution...wouldn't it?

In a recent interview, Governor Huntsman said he supported civil unions. According to the BYU Daily Universe:
Lisa Roskelley, spokeswoman for the governor, said he is in favor of state legislation that would extend additional rights to gays, adding that “he supports civil unions.”
As they are wont to do, Utah conservatives became immediately sure that the Governor had reneged on a

Utah conservatives are positive that the Governor has reneged on a campaign promise to support the ban of gay marriage. He hasn't.

campaign promise to support the ban of gay marriage. I don't see any big deal about what the governor said. I don't think he changed his mind.

As I wrote just a few days ago, I support rights for homosexuals--but that marriage is not a right.

Conservatives in Utah (and I'm sure other states) feel like

Utah Conservatives are afraid of a homosexual stealth campaign to destroy traditional marriage in Utah. They might be right. But why should that matter? Rights are rights.

they have to have a wide buffer in front of the "marriage" battle line, because they're sure that advocacy of homosexual rights is merely a stealth campaign, the ultimate conquest of which is legalizing homosexual marriage. They might be right. But why should that matter? Rights are rights. The point is, homosexuals deserve to have rights with relationship to each other, but they will not generally make good parents. That's why I support civil unions (i.e. domestic partnerships) but not homosexual marriage. It's that simple.

We already have

We already have a buffer buttressing traditional marriage in Utah. The Marriage Amendment isn't going to be abolished anytime soon.

a buffer buttressing traditional marriage in Utah. It's not very wide, but it--the Marriage Amendment--is extremely tall. In both methods for amending the Utah Constitution, two-thirds of both houses of the legislature have to vote in favor of the amendment, and then they pass it on to the Utah voters for a majority approval. That ain't gonna happen for a long time.

So I think that Utah Conservatives should relax just a bit. Give gays and lesbians the rights they deserve, and feel confident that their stealth campaign--if it exists at all--will fail.

They might just make a lot of new friends.




13 comments:

  1. Frank - good post. One thing I would add though.

    If it really were about hospital visitation and inheritance, that issue can be settled easily without adding more laws to the books. All the couple (same sex or hetero) needs to do is go to an attorney and draw up a power of attorney and a will and legal "guardianship" (for the case of hospitalization) and you have all the legal protections that married people have. And honestly married people still should have these documents TOO .

    LL

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  2. Interesting. I hadn't thought of that. Are ALL the rights they're talking about possible to achieve through that means?

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  3. "Give gays and lesbians the rights they deserve"

    What rights are those?

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  4. Frank,

    I agree that conservatives hurt themselves when they jump at shadows.

    That being said, I consider it fully possible for the governor to be supportive of something that is against our state constitution. I don't think it's right, but I would not put it past him to choose to personally support something that the majority in the state disapproves of. Even if he does believe that I don't think he'll do anything politically about it such as propose a bill to amend the constitution. Even if he's not running for reelection Huntsman wants to take a high approval rating into whatever his next pursuit is.

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  5. "The point is, homosexuals deserve to have rights with relationship to each other, but they will not generally make good parents." (emphasis added)

    Wow! Now there's a claim in need of a lot of substantiation.

    If this is more or less your entire basis for not supporting marriage equality for gay people then I think it's probably time for you to rethink your position.

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  6. JHP,

    I've listed those rights elsewhere. Please follow the links in the article.

    David,

    I have been called a pollyanna before (by myself and others ;-) ), so you might be right. But I sincerely hope not.

    Don,

    That's not the entire basis of my opinion, but it's a large part of it. If you are actually in the mood for substantiation, please read the article behind this link. (Hat tip to Cameron at Magic Valley Mormon.)

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  7. I've got the Ute game on pause so I'll offer the short, obvious response now. If you'd like to discuss the article point-by-point that will have to wait for another time.

    Your argument is that gay people "will not generally make good parents." There is nothing in the link you provided to back up such an assertion.

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  8. Really? "Nothing" is in the eye of the beholder. Did you REALLY read ANY of the article behind the link?

    Okay, perhaps I need to be more precise. Gay people will not generally make good parents when compared generally with heterosexual two-parent families.

    Are you going to dispute THAT without having read the article behind the link?

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  9. Frank,
    You can believe me or not, I don't care, but I did read the article (before my last comment.) And yes, there is NOTHING in that article, whether you qualify your statement by comparing gay parents unfavorably to hetero parents or not, to support your argument that gay people generally won't make good parents. Gay people are generally just as fit to be parents as straight people.

    You're making a huge leap here Frank. You're taking some very specious arguments which tenuously support the idea that hetero couples make better parents than gay couples and you're trying to apply those same arguments to your assertion that gay couples generally won't make good parents. It's apples and oranges Frank.

    Furthermore, there's another logical failing in your argument. Even if I grant you your now-watered-down assertion that hetero couples generally make better parents than gay couples, that isn't a good argument to deny gay people the right to marry the partner of their choice. I could argue that poor people generally make worse parents than rich people, or that dumb people generally make worse parents than smart people, but that doesn't mean we should start issuing means and IQ tests before granting marriage licenses to poor or dumb people.

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  10. Hetero parents make better parents than homosexual parents not because homosexuals don't want to be good parents. It's simply that the combination of mom-mom or dad-dad is not as healthy as mom-dad.

    You can say that you disagree with the article behind my link (by the way, I disagree with the summary behind your link), but you can't say that items 1, 2, and 3 (and to some extent 5) don't support my thesis.

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  11. But you didn't address the fact that your thesis doesn't present a good argument to deny marriage equality to gay people.

    We could argue back and forth all day long about whether or not gay parents are just as good as hetero parents (and I'm sure we could both keep putting up links to support our arguments) but unless you can prove that gay parents are somehow inherently, or "generally," bad parents then you don't have a valid reason to deny marriage to gay people.

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  12. Oh, and I can say that items 1, 2, 3 and 5 don't support your thesis (remember, gay people generally don't make good parents) because that's not at all what those points claim.

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  13. If all these rights and such are so easy to get then why do we even need to tie them together with marriage to begin with? Just let 'marriage' be personal and let people go get whatever contracts they want?

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