Kansas City, opinion, cocktails, snark.

October 2, 2008

Hope springs…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — akcb @ 5:26 am

I have some doubts about the extra-dreamy numbers in the new Quinnipiac poll showing Obama pulling ahead in Florida and Ohio and by as much as 14 points in Pennsylvania, but the trend isn’t surprising considering the McCain campaigns recent antics. Nevertheless, between Tina Turner, the Midtown Miscreant leaving a really nice comment on one of my posts and this warm-fuzzy poll news, today is a significant improvement on yesterday.

1 Comment »

  1. Bea, I’m going to hijack your soapbox for a second.

    It was heartbreaking that one of the very few things that both candidates can agree on is that gay citizens shouldn’t expect be full and equal participants in American society. There’s really no other way to put it.

    McCain/Palin: Marriage is exclusively heterosexual; religion plays central role; no federal amendment; “tolerance” of relationship choice.

    Obama/Biden: Marriage is exclusively heterosexual; religion plays central role; no federal amendment; limited right to contract.

    Biden said, “same-sex couples should be able to have visitation rights in the hospitals, joint ownership of property, life insurance policies, et cetera. That’s only fair.”

    Leaving aside the nebulous “et cetera,” frankly — whoopy friggin’ doo. These particular so-called “rights” that Biden articulates are ALREADY available to any individual with the foresight, resources, and legal capacity to contract. I have these same “rights” with regard to anyone reading this. Which is to say, I could give you a durable power of attorney, we could enter a joint tenancy with regard to co-ownership of property, and I could make you my insurance beneficiary.

    So he’s…what? Advocating the status quo? Bold.

    Further, that comment doesn’t remotely square with his precatory comment, “In an Obama-Biden administration, there will be absolutely no distinction from a constitutional standpoint or a legal standpoint between a same-sex and a heterosexual couple.”

    Absent marriage equality, how can that possibly be, since marriage itself specifically CONFERS A PARTICULAR LEGAL STATUS with an attendant constellation of constitutional and legal rights, privileges, benefits, and responsibilities that are de facto and de jure unavailable to people who do not hold that legal status.

    For example:
    1. Hospital visitation and medical decision-making is automatic because marital status makes the partners legal “next-of-kin.”
    2. An especially beneficial type of joint property ownership, called a “tenancy by the entirety” is available in many states (including Missouri), based exclusively on marital status.
    3. Federal and military pensions, and Social Security benefits, are conferred on the basis of marital status.
    4. In many cases, marital status is the exclusive route to health-care coverage for one’s family.
    5. Certain federal tax benefits are exclusively based on marital status.
    6. State law provides for intestate inheritance to survivors exclusively based on marital status.
    7. The “spousal testimonial privilege” is based exclusively on marital status.

    I could go on. But the point is this: though Biden insists that there would be “no distinction,” the law says otherwise.

    And even if Obama/Biden did create a separate-but-equal legal status (which they won’t, because they’re fine with the status quo), nothing prevents endless legal challenges on the basis that there was no legislative intent to permit parity on this or that point, simply because a different legal status, by definition, means it IS somehow different.

    We have a two-party duopoly whose primary distinctions relate to social policy. How can they be so inexorably like-minded on this particular issue? Shouldn’t we demand better? Shouldn’t the millions of civil libertarian voters hold as much sway in an election as the evangelicals do?

    I’m not a panhandler, I don’t want either party’s goddam “change.” Mere “tolerance” or the status quo’s “limited right to contract” doesn’t work for me either. I want progress, and neither major party offers it.

    So um, uh…PEW, PEW, PEW! [Wink]

    Comment by Mo — October 3, 2008 @ 7:46 pm

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