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_Jumper_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 12:40 AM
Original message
Dean's signing of the civil unions bill as governor
I think that Dean's signing of the civil union bill as governor will hurt him more in the general election than his opposition to the War in Iraq. Sadly, when it comes to equal rights for homosexuals we are at the same stage the battle for civil rights for African-Americans was in the 1940's. :(

What do others think?
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slinkerwink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 12:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. dude, with any of the other candidates, the Republicans will have a field
day with them if they support civil unions, which all of them do....
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_Jumper_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. rue
However, Dean is the only one that has signed it into law.

I primarily posted this because I have seen people debate about how much his opposition to the Iraq War will hurt him. I think this will hurt him more.

This is NOT a thread to argue that Dean is unelectable; I think he is electable, although he is not the most electable.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 12:43 AM
Response to Original message
2. This issue is crazy.
I am not a Dean supporter, but here is how I see it. All the candidates support civil unions (as far as I remember). This issue is why Dean gets nailed as a liberal (unfairly). He was the first to sign it. It is one of his great accomplishments in the eyes of the fundies. So yes, it will hurt him, but unfairly. Then again, which Dem isn't going to be hurt by this?
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rumguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 12:45 AM
Response to Original message
3. This is an issue that we'll win eventually anyway...
Edited on Mon Nov-17-03 12:47 AM by rumguy
Republicans usually end up losing "culture war" type issues like this...I say let's fight them on it...they're the ones who end up looking like extremists...Dean'll look moderate in comparison
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clarknyc Donating Member (393 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
5. Civil union opponents wouldn't vote for a Democrat
Anyway, Dick Cheney is in favor of civil unions. I think that makes it a non-issue.
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 01:58 AM
Response to Reply #5
17. That's an inaccurate assumption; some WILL switch on this issue
I don't think most people will consider it a voting issue, but some of them will--and those who will are much more likely to vote against the Pro-CU candidate than the Anti-CU candidate. The last poll I saw said that 45% of Democrats (and over 75% of Republicans) oppose civil unions.

Even if only 1 in 9 people who oppose civil unions are influenced at all on this issue--poof, there goes 5% of the Democratic base.

But worse than that, "gay marriage" is a rallying cry, and emotional touchstone issue that Republicans can use to get out their base--it's a sure fire winner issue for them. Many of the progressives who favor civil unions do so reluctantly and will not be motivated to vote on this issue.

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jeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 12:51 AM
Response to Original message
6. Clark supports civil unions too
I think every Democratic candidate supports it. And most Americans, too.

Civil Unions does not = marriage. It just means they have certain rights in the case of death or sharing of property.

I think it will surprise many people what a non-issue this will actually be when people learn what it really is.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Civil union poll.
This is kind of a surprise.

.

CBS News Poll. Nov. 10-13, 2003. N=1,177 adults nationwide. MoE 3 (total sample).

.

"Would you favor or oppose a law that would allow homosexual couples to legally form civil unions, giving them some of the legal rights of married couples?"

Favor Oppose Don't
Know
% % %
ALL 39 53 8
Republicans 23 71 6
Democrats 45 45 10
Independents 46 46 8

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://pollingreport.com/civil.htm
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RandomUser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #7
16. Hmm...that's interesting
I'm not sure how accurate this poll is, but it surprised me. It seems just as many Democrats oppose civil unions as support it. DU truly is considerably different from the majority of the mainstream population.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 05:44 AM
Response to Reply #7
22. I'm so *@#$# thrilled that the "left" is dead split on this issue.
:eyes:
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bearfartinthewoods Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #7
26. that's depressing. i would have guessed higher den indy support
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_Jumper_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. Right
And the Dem support is virtually identical to the independent support. I expected us to be subtantially more pro-equal rights.
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HFishbine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #7
31. Watch and learn
Edited on Mon Nov-17-03 06:58 PM by HFishbine
The lemming candidates betray their convictions and allow themselves to be manipulated by these kinds of polls. A stong leader will approach the issue in a way that taps into the underlying sentiment -- the 82% of Americans who think that the federal government should treat homosexual and heterosexuals equaly.
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_Jumper_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 01:05 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Perception vs. Reality
Perception is greater than reality in politics. All the Democratic candidates support it but it is not something they are known for. Aside from his opposition to the War in Iraq, this is probably what Dean is the most well-known for. This will immensely help reich-wing efforts to paint him as a liberal extremist.

I do not think people really care about the issue itself, since it will not affect them. It is a symbolic issue about accepting homosexuals as equals IMO.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Right
on all counts. Those are my feelings exactly. :toast:
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Paschall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 05:00 AM
Response to Reply #9
38. "...will not affect them. It is a symbolic issue..." ?
Better take a look at the excellent article by Plaid Adder here on the issue. Beyond the eventual passage of equal rights legislation, the threat from the other side is a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage/unions.

Here's the pith: "The Constitution has traditionally been amended in order to expand civil liberties and confer legal rights on previously disenfranchised Americans. Except for Prohibition..., should it pass, this amendment would be the first time in American history that we had amended the Constitution for the sole purpose of limiting the rights of a particular group of Americans."

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WindRavenX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 12:55 AM
Response to Original message
8. Republicans are making this an issue for '04
And it's going to be very hard to convince Americans that we are in the right...most are with Bush on this issue..
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Melodybe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 01:17 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. That is a lie...
American's have been far more excepting of homosexuals in the last few years, witness the success of "gay" shows doing well in the mainstream media; Queer eye, Will and Grace, etc. Many American's support gay performers like Elton Jon and Melissa Etheridge in their life choices. The majority of Americans are generally appalled when a performer makes disparaging remarks about gay people; Eminem, anyone? I don't think that your are giving American's enough credit, we have come a long way in 20 years and people will not go back on that. The people that truly have a problem with it are already right-wing republicans. Quite trying to make more of it than it is, Americans in general are fine with homosexuality, repubs are the one with the problem.
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_Jumper_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. I beg to differ
Read the polls at the link Bleacher's posted. Sadly, homophobia is widespread. Only 37% of Americans support gay marriage. In other words, only 37% of Americans believe in true equal rights for homosexuals. In Canada that number is 53% and 70% among 18-29 year olds...
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HFishbine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 07:18 AM
Response to Reply #12
25. Taking A Stand
This is one of those issues about which dems have to decide whether or not to take a stand. So many people are sick of politics as usual because they see little difference between the two parties. Are we going to allow ourselves to become more like republicans because we think that's what people want or are we going to stand up for equal rights for all people?

A strong candidate has the power to influence public opinion. He would make the case that appeals to Americans' sense of fairness. He would frame the debate in a way that taps into the sentiment of the 82% of Americans who think that the federal government should treat homosexuals and heterosexuals equally.

If we are going to sacrifice traditional democratic values for the sake of siding with the popular public opinion, we should be preapred to:

- Support a Constitutional amemndment against flag burining
- Curtail freedom of the press (most American think the press has too much freedom)
- Have the government promote religion.
- Give a fetus all the rights of a newborn baby.
- Have everybody carry a national electronic ID card.
- Acknowledge the existence of ghosts.

All of these are opinions held by the majority too.

http://pollingreport.com/civil.htm
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 05:53 AM
Response to Reply #11
23. On the contrary...
Deep seeded homophobia is alive and well, even when masked in the garments of "tolerance."

The homophobia can't be found so much in someone sitting at home watching television. So whether or not there are more neat shows positively depicting homosexuals is kind of irrelevant.

It's irrelevant because people don't care what's on TV, but the sure as hell care when a gay man and his lover move in next door. They sure as hell care when the see a gay couple holding hands, or sharing a kiss in the park. The sure as hell care when their kids go to a school that openly accepts gay, lesbian and trasgender lifestyles - after all they don't want their kids turned into Queers.

In other words all the things you mention, progress in the media, openly gay performers, etc really isn't evidence of much of anything. But you let it become an issue that has a chance to directly effect someone and see how open and accepting things seem today.

By the way -- all this "criticism" of Eminem led him to ultimate fame and record breaking sales on all fronts. Americans in general are far from fine with homosexuality and ever poll that matters reflects this fact. The question isn't "do you think queer eye for the straight guy is a good show?" The question is, would you allow your son to be friends with an openly gay male his same age?" Or, "would you support the legalization of gay marriages?" or "do you believe homes with homosexual couple parents are a stable and appropriate for children as the home of a married heterosexual couple?"

The public opinion answers on these questions put is basically still at square one.

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alexwcovington Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 01:42 AM
Response to Original message
13. I don't know
Not that I'm an expert on either movement... but I would peg it somewhere in the late 50s/early 60s. There could be movement...

Kennedy got elected in that type of climate, you know.
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_Jumper_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 01:49 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Nixon and JFK were both pro-civil rights
Believe it or not Nixon was a "lifelong" member of the NAACP.
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Paschall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 05:39 AM
Response to Reply #15
21. Gotta link on that?
Strom Thurmond, who engineered Nixon's "southern strategy," led the record-breaking filibuster against the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

And if I'm not mistaken, several NAACP leaders figured on Nixon's "enemies list" and were put under FBI surveillance.

Are you sure you don't mean Ed Nixon?
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_Jumper_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #21
30. That was in 1968
Edited on Mon Nov-17-03 06:53 PM by _Jumper_
Nixon was a racist but he did support moderate civil rights in 1960.

I searched and have not found anything about him being a member of the NAACP. Apparently I was misinformed.
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Paschall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 04:34 AM
Response to Reply #30
37. What was 1968?
Edited on Tue Nov-18-03 04:49 AM by Paschall
Nixon supported "moderate civil rights" in 1960? You mean when, as Vice President, he was campaigning for the Presidency, or in "supporting" his boss Dwight Eisenhower's totally ineffectual Civil Rights Act of 1960, which Johnson later had to fix with the Voting Rights Act?

I don't think you can come anywhere close to building a case for Nixon as a civil rights supporter. He did, after all, serve on the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was a slap in the face at American civil liberties. And even later, as President, his policy of limiting school busing for desegregation was knocked down by the US Civil Rights Commission, circa 1971. The man never evolved; he did, however, unfortunately survive beyond usefulness.

ON EDIT: Just found this. Of relevance I think; it's a personal webpage, but the numbers are to footnotes, so the info is fully sourced.

<snip> Stepping in to "bring us together" was Richard Nixon, a candidate who believed that blacks were genetically inferior to whites. 26 He seized the Parker Doctrine and featured it as part of his "Southern Strategy," describing his position as being in favor of desegregation, but against integration. 27 A central tenet of his campaign platform was the passage of a constitutional amendment prohibiting busing to alleviate racial segregation. Nixons four Court appointments include the current Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who drafted the anti-busing amendment for Nixon, and, while clerking for Justice Robert Jackson, opined that Plessy v. Fergeson was "right and should be-reaffirmed." 28 </snip>

http://www.geocities.com/ebgold
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 01:46 AM
Response to Original message
14. It's not an important issue to most folks, considering everything going on
Edited on Mon Nov-17-03 01:47 AM by w4rma

DEAN: We have civil unions, which gives equal rights -- doesn't give marriage, but it gives equal rights in terms of insurance, employment rights, inheritance rights, hospital visitation, to every single Vermonter, no matter who they are.

You know, interestingly enough, Dick Cheney took a position in 2000 in the debates that is not very different than mine. He said, this is not a federal issue. I really am inclined to leave this matter to the states, and I think we ought to let states figure out how to give equal rights to everybody in the way that they do it. So I think this is kind of a political issue at the federal level, but the power to decide these things really belongs to the state level.

KING: All right. On your own state level, if it were a referendum, would you vote for gay marriage?

DEAN: If what were -- we don't have a referendum in my state, and we have civil unions, and we deliberate chose civil unions, because we didn't think marriage was necessary in order to give equal rights to all people.

Marriage is a religious institution, the way I see it. And we're not in the business of telling churches who they can and cannot marry. But in terms of civil rights and equal rights under the law for all Americans, that is the state's business, and that's why we started civil unions.

KING: So you would be opposed to a gay marriage?

DEAN: If other states want to do it, that's their business. We didn't choose to do that in our state.

http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0308/04/lkl.00.html
http://www.howarddean.tv/
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 02:04 AM
Response to Original message
18. No, those will not be problematic, Taxes will be
Opposing the war in Iraq is no longer a political liability, and with everything going on now I don't think civil unions for gays is bound to be a high priority issue, except for fundamentalist wackos, and we ain't getting their votes anyway.

Taxes presents another problem. It will be hard for Dean to defend repealing the tax cuts for everybody, because the bottom line (which is what most folks care about) is that the working person will have to pay more in taxes because his or her tax rates will go back up to 2001 levels. At that point people's brains will just shut down. The more defensible and electable position is to simply call for repeal of the tax cuts for the top 2%.
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Paschall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 03:37 AM
Response to Original message
19. Not to throw water on your parade...
...but this statement is kind of over the top: "Sadly, when it comes to equal rights for homosexuals we are at the same stage the battle for civil rights for African-Americans was in the 1940's."

Better go back and check both your gay history and your Black history.

I suspect you must be too young to have been an adult in the late 1960s-70s.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 05:10 AM
Response to Original message
20. The Republican Platform, 2004
"Okay, WE will starve you and send you to war - but THEY want to allow gay marriage!"

Sounds like their nightmare scenario, and they don't even know it yet.

This issue will be obvious pandering to distract from things people really care about.

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CWebster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 07:11 AM
Response to Original message
24. Leave it to another rabid Clark fanatic
What was Wesley's position on the issue again?
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_Jumper_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. Read post #9
Thanks in advance.
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WeirdSceneGoldmine Donating Member (206 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
27. He signed it without public fanfare
That should get him off the hook with the thugs trying to use it against him. No footage, no problem!
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Scott Lee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
32. If Dean would have caved, in fear of America's bigotry,
I would have dropped my support for him in a New York second.

Kudos, Howard Dean, for sticking up for what America is REALLY supposed to be about. Yet another way that Dean is a leader, not a statist.


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onebigbadwulf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
33. Wrong
the same people who oppose Gay-unions are the same people who oppose abortion.

It won't change a thing.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
34. In the 1940's African Americans could not vote...
so I see a difference already :)
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foreigncorrespondent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 07:03 PM
Response to Original message
35. How do you come to that conclusion?
A seem to remember earlier this year poll results indicating that the majority of the country were behind civil unions, but not same sex marriages.

I would include a link if I could, but I never bookmarked the article. I am sure someone else around here may remember it and have it bookmarked.

So how do you draw your conclusion?
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_Jumper_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-03 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. I exagerrated
Perhaps the 1950's are more similar to our stage.

I saw a Gallup poll earlier this year where the country was split 49-49 on that issue. Read the link Bleacher posted in post#7. Things are far worse than we think, but we will win the battle in a decade or so. Young people agree with us on this issue.
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