Archive for the ‘discrimination’ Tag

Prop 8: Response to a Comment

This was a comment to my previous post PROP 8 from “Anonymous” that I’d like to specifically address as a post:

there’s actually nothing in the constitution that says church and state are separate. it just says that the government can’t recognize one/any official religion.

also, churches are tax exempt because they benefit society. the government has an interest in making sure they can use their money to benefit the poor and the needy and organize programs to help people.

there are many non-religious arguments for prop 8.

anyways, no matter what you believe you don’t want the church’s to have to pay taxes. This means they’ll be able to endorse candidates and be more involved in politics. also, it means less money to help people.

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SHAMERICA says:

Actually, your argument regarding the words contained in our 1st Amendment is a common misstatement made by those who cite it without comprehension of it’s intent.  And it doesn’t just say the government can’t recognize one/any official religion.  It certainly wasn’t taught to be that simple in the very basic high school civics course.

The legal intent was to build a wall between church and State, as further supported by Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists where he made this specific reference.  Recall Jefferson was a major influence of the U.S. Constitution, though he did not contribute to writing it.

There is also Everson vs Board of Education that carefully expresses those important clauses we all remember and learned about in civics:  Establishment and Free Exercise and also references the intent of those clauses to keep church and State separate.

I agree that religious organizations should remain tax exempt for the very reasons you indicate.  They are held to specific requirements and can lose tax exemption for actions such as:  attempting to influence passage of legislation or promoting ideas which contradict public policies (like desegregation, discrimination, etc).  Some religious organizations have arguably violated these or blurred interpretation of them with the recent Prop 8 campaigns.

Honestly, I have yet to hear any solid non-religious arguments for banning same-sex marriage.  It takes away opportunities from a specific group of people.  That in itself is discrimination.  If any citizen cannot have the same rights as the next citizen, that is discrimination.  

This is a hot topic.  Interracial marriage.  Suffrage.  Foreign born citizens owning land.  These are only a few historically hot topics that endured controversy and redefinition before they ended up as we know them today – nondiscriminatory equal rights.

Thank you for posting.

Shamerica

 

Same Sex Marriage-what does it matter to you?

Last week some friends visited me.  They brought their 11 year old child, who knew I was gay and just learned I was married.  Her parents asked her to congratulate us.  Then something odd happened.  This couple started to go on about the definition of marriage, explaining that marriage is a religious term.  They also went on to say that some churches who refuse to perform same-sex marriages are facing losing their tax exemption status from the government and they DISAGREED with this saying it was wrong to punish the church! (I thought church and state were separated so how can the government make such an imposition?  Wait, I don’t even agree that churches should have tax exemption and should be paying taxes EQUALLY as the rest of the nation.  Don’t get me started).  Finally, they said that the REAL reason that people don’t want same sex marriage is that it will affect a host of things like social security, health care, family leave, you name it.  They couldn’t be more oblivious and I hope I made myself clear with them. 

The main reason people oppose same sex marriage is religious based.  Maybe the use of the term marriage is religious based, but what other word is there?  Millions have gotten married and not all were performed in churches or religious institutions.  So, what do you call those marriages?  If it’s a term you are bitching about, find another word that everyone will accept and let’s move on.  Yes, we’ve heard of civil unions, but when asked, what do you say?  I am civilly union-ed with so and so?  Is that even correct?  The fact is, the word marriage is used in a general sense. 

In California, the ban on same-sex marriage was lifted and deemed discriminatory.  Yay for the gays!  Bad for the straights.  But why?  Tell me what the problem is?  I have YET to come across an acceptable position besides the “it’s wrong” or “the bible says so” or “it’s disgusting.”  NEWSFLASH:  Not everyone follows the bible, it is NOT the only book in town, don’t be so ignorant of other religions that exist in our country, and who gave you the right to JUDGE?  That’s right, WHO gave you the right to pass judgment on people YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW!  A whole helluva nerve you all have!

So you don’t like same-sex marriage… and you can’t really articulate why in any intelligent fashion except to lean on your religion.  But what will you gain if gays can’t marry?  What is it that you are losing if gays marry?   No one has given me an answer to this.  Because no one can find a reason that doesn’t sound discriminatory!  So you want to take something away from me, but you get nothing out of it? 

If anyone caught the show “30 Days” where this very religious lady who was against gay couples adopting children stayed with a gay couple who had adopted 2 or 3 kids, this show would be a good example of this.  She was absolutely against gays adopting.  She admitted she liked this gay couple and admitted that they not only provided a loving, safe and secure home, but that they were doing a great job raising these kids, but she still did not believe in gay adoption!  So she was asked why she should be allowed to vote on something that would cause this couple to lose their children, asked what she was gaining by doing this… and she had no answer. 

A few days later, I spent some time with different friends.  Friends who not only supported me and my wife through this legal battle, but vowed to vote against this measure that would amend the California constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.  I asked them why.  They said because it had no bearing on their life, there should be no inequality in this day and age, and besides, they loved us.  I know some people who think they are my friends and say they respect me and wife and love us dearly as friends, BUT do not agree with gay marriage.  How can someone expect to be someone’s friend who does not agree that they should be equal?  NEWSFLASH:  You are not my friends and shame on you for thinking you can have it all. 

Sometimes it’s a tad embarrassing how the U.S. touts our freedoms and equality around the world, yet we are here today discussing the rights of human beings to enjoy equal opportunities.  I can only imagine what it was like when black people or women could not vote.  Or what about interracial marriage?  WOW, what a controversy THAT was.  We got over that, so why not this? 

WHAT DOES IT MATTER TO YOU?   And why do YOU think you should have a say in equality for U.S. citizens?