Are Supporter of Gay Marriage Skipping the 'Main Course'?

I was just thinking about the recent court case surrounding gay marriage. And I was wondering: are supporters of gay marriage skipping the main course, and going straight to desert?

Allow me to elaborate. Most states in the USA don’t even protect workers against discrimination (cf. this for example). Shouldn’t we win the battle of having gays protected against discrimination in employment, housing, etc. before we start talking about gay marriage? Indeed, when most people hear about gay marriage victories, like the court case, they think gay rights have gone far in this country–which they sadly haven’t.

BTW, I support gay marriage in principal, but civil unions in actual practice (i.e., I would support the political candidate who favors civil unions over actual marriage–I think it might be a little too soon for some people to accept gay marriage just yet:)).

Well, what do the rest of you think of my position?

What’s the order matter? Why not do them both?

That you’re more of an impediment to than a supporter of gay rights.

Perhaps the OP recognizes the reality of limited resources–political, social, time, financial, etc? Perhaps the OP is asking about a wider view of civil rights and how various priorities fit into social structures?

It might be easier if the OP could point to something more specific than a general Wiki article on LGBT rights in the United States. Do homosexuals face redlining in real estate transactions? Can businesses post No Gays Need Apply signs?

It looks to me like the tide has turned, big-time, and this is a battle on the verge of victory, to mix metaphors. Gay marriage is coming.

What you say would have made a lot more sense six years ago. Now, national legalization of gay marriage is within reach, and settling for anything less is unwise and unnecessary and unethical.

(FWIW, I’d still prefer that marriage no longer be a government institution at all, that all marriages be replaced by civil unions, but failing that measure, I’m thrilled with Judge Walker’s opinion).

As for the issue of workplace discrimination, as I understand it, Walker’s opinion suggests that sexual orientation is properly subject to strict scrutiny, which would mean that the opinion might help take care of workplace discrimination also.

It’s a fight being fought on all fronts. Whenever an opportunity comes up the battle will be fought. Minorities do not gain equality by blending in or moving at a pace bigots are comfortable with.

You idea of pressing civil unions over marriage is not defensible in my opinion. I mean really ‘it is to soon for people to accept’ is a rational argument? It’s still to soon for many to accept interracial marriage, should we have waited?

My opinion of your position is you are attempting to be moderate towards a large segment of people with clearly bigoted beliefs. They do nothing to deserve the representation you’re offering.

  1. This was a California case. Gay people have worker and housing protections in California. In fact, since sexual orientation is a suspect class in California, gay people have all the protections except for the right to marry. So, in California, your preferred method was followed. First, came all the other protections, then finally the right to marry. So, according to your own methodology, you should be cheering on California.

  2. There isn’t some unified Gay Liberation Front that coordinates all policies. People work on or volunteer for or give money to issues that they prefer. Some people prefer to work on marriage issues and some people prefer to work on employment issues. Your methodology would have a bunch of people sitting idle on multiple issues rather than employing people’s skills simultaneously to work on multiple fronts.

I see nothing wrong with doing the easy job first so you can reap the benefits now, instead of waiting until you’ve done the bigger, more tedious job.

Enforcement of a gay couple’s right to marry is far easier than enforcing their right to not be discriminated against by other methods. If you’re an unmarried adult who wants to marry another unmarried adult that wants to marry you, there is no room for the state to claim, “Oh no, we’re not refusing to let them marry because they’re gay, we’re doing it because <perfectly legitimate reason>,” because there are no perfectly legitimate reasons to fall back on. Once you get the law on the books you face nothing but open and shut cases in your favour.

I think it sucks. I think it would do more to oppress gays than to help them.

I mean, seriously, do you honestly think that kowtowing to small-minded obstreperous social Luddites is going to help things change in favor of gays? How the fuck would that work?

Well, maybe my position is as you all have pointed out, a little stuck in the past. Anyways, as I’ve said I support gay marriage in principal. (Meaning, I am too look forward to the day when that becomes full reality. If that day is now, I am pleased like the rest of you:).)

First of all, if you’re going to keep repeating it, in italics no less, it’s “principle.” The principal is the guy in charge of the school. Fun mnemonic: the principal is your “pal.”

Second, why in the world should we delay fighting for civil rights just because some people might not be ready to accept it? That’s really their problem to deal with.

Look, either you accept same-sex marriage or you don’t. If you believe in something “in principle” [sic] but not in reality, it’s your “in reality” belief that really counts. You’re being a hypocrite and a coward.

Indeed, if they were ready to accept it, we wouldn’t need to fight for it.

And “hypocrite” and “coward” are inappropriate for Great Debates. Dial it back some, there.


No. Gay marriage is the low-hanging fruit.

Again, no. Other forms of discrimination against Gays will be much more difficult to prove and prosecute.

If we waited for “some people” to come around, it would still be illegal for blacks to marry whites, and women still wouldn’t have the right to vote.

I think it reflects poorly on you that you support the abomination that is civil unions, a construct that all but screams to its purpose to mark one group as inferior to another.

Yeah, something else has just occurred to me now. I may have made a poor choice of words. When I use terms like “main course” and “desert” in my OP, I am not making a moral judgement on the issue of gay marriage. I am talking about the political reality of getting an issue like this thru legislatures, for example. Actually, I agree with all of you. I never realized the issue would get this much support in fact.

Actually, you don’t agree with all of us if you prefer civil unions for Gays. No matter how you slice it, civil unions are not equivalent to marriage. It’s something less, and it is discriminatory as it inexplicably sets a group apart solely based on their sexual orientation when said orientation would have absolutely no impact on the institution ostensibly being protected from it.

That you guys should just get civil unions for everybody and learn to distinguish between a government-sanctioned union, a church-sanctioned union, etc. The word is an enormous point of contention for you guys, while it’s not one in countries that distinguish between “civil unions” or “civil marriages” (terms used as exactly equivalent; any and all which are sanctioned by the government) and other forms (such as “canonical unions/marriages”, “traditional unions/marriages”, etc.)
And that fixing your discrimination system is not about gay rights. The notion that only those items which are listed in a specific law as forbidden are forbidden is just quaint. For other things you use precedent to clarify the spirit of laws, but for anti-discrimination laws ah no, there the word is what matters. Make up your collective mind!

I see this a lot, but I’m unclear on what effect this would have on spousal privilege (regarding court testimony), statutory inheritance rights, hospital visits, next-of-kin medical determinations, social security benefits and any number of issues where the married couple (or at least one of the spouses) must interact with a governmental agency or third party. I can draw up an extremely detailed contract for my girlfriend and I to sign which says we have a civil union that is on every imaginable point equivalent to a marriage as currently defined, but if she tells me about a crime she has committed, can I be required to testify about it in court? Current marriage law says no. Future non-governmental civil-union “law” (assuming a non-governmental institution can be called “law”) says… what, exactly?

What if the girlfriend is critically injured in a car accident and a decision regarding medical care must be made? She happens to be in a Catholic hospital (the closest one to the accident site). If we were married in accordance with current governmental law, that marriage would be enough to compel the hospital to recognize me as next-of-kin. If I show up with a 1000-page civil union contract with no recognition from governmental authority, what compels the hospital to recognize it?

It’s not clear to me that people advocating the “get government out of marriage” position have thought it through, but I’m prepared to be educated.

Well, typically they want to keep everything the same, and just rename marriage “civil union”. Of course, what we have now is civil marriage, so what exactly the difference between civil marriage and civil union is unclear to me.

Marriage is not a religious institution despite the sometimes involvement of priests and churches, any more than eating is a religious institution because people say grace before meals.