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I'm all for gay marriage; and I have questions about civil unions...

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Montauk6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:18 AM
Original message
I'm all for gay marriage; and I have questions about civil unions...
I was perusing this thread, http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

And I started thinking about the whole sanctity-of-marriage deal. I have some questions.

1. Lou's on trial for murder. He is "civilly unionized" to Brent. (I have no idea what the participial phrase for civil unions would even be, which, in and of itself, one reason, albeit minor, to gay marriage... THEY'RE MARRIED for gawd's sakes!) Can Brent be called by the prosecution to testify against Lou?

2. Arndis is from Greenland. She's in New York on a visa that's about to expire (or however those things work). Her best friend and roommate Katie was born in South Dakota, grew up in Michigan, and has lived in Manhattan for about 14 years. Katie suggests that she and Arndis--they're totally platonic, btw--enter a civil union. Does Arndis become an American citizen?

3. Jeremy and Tyrone have been in a civil union for several years. They want kids. They contract with Louise to serve as a surrogate mom, using Tyrone's sperm. The child, Ariel, is born, all papers are signed, etc. Jeremy, as second parent, adopts (or however that normally works out) the girl. A couple of years go by, Tyrone dies in a fatal auto accident. Jeremy goes on, now a single parent; the worst part is missing Tyrone, but Ariel's sunny, loving disposition helps him through the rough spots. Out of the blue, Louise comes back and demands custody of her daughter. Who prevails?

3. Ingrid and Lana have been in a civil union in San Francisco for 3 years. Lana's company transfers her to Atlanta; Ingrid, of course, moves with her. Is their union recognized there?

Obviously, these questions are geared to the idea that civil unions=marriage, and I'm skeptical as to whether that's the case.
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:23 AM
Response to Original message
1. Good Questions
1) Yes, to my knowledge he can be called to testify against him.

2) No, but even if they were opposite sex, just getting married wouldn't make Arndis an American Citizen. They'd have to live together for a number of years, prove they're living together and sharing a life in the U.S. simply to get and maintain a Green Card for Arndis which wouldn't be an automatic thing. If they just sign a civil union contract and aren't living together and don't stay together for a number of years, it ain't gonna happen regardless of whether they're same sex or not.

3) If it's all signed adoption then I don't think legally they can take Ariel away from Jeremy as he's the legal parent, but I guess it'd depend on how 'moral' the judge is. Legally though I think he'd be ok, just don't leave a blue area.

4) I don't know about the laws in Georgia, but if they don't recognize civil unions then it depends on her company. If her company has an office in San Francisco then most likely it recognizes civil unions company wide, but if it doesn't, then they're out of luck.
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Montauk6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. But would Katie and Arndis even get that far with INS?
I mean, they would pass the scrutiny test (remember, they're roommates) hands-down. But would INS say up front, "Civil union is not a marriage, buh-BYE."?
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. You know you're right, it's federal
I'm wrong. The state, would recoginze their civil union as long as they were living together most likely and wouldn't question it too much, but the INS is federal and it wouldn't pass the test.

Arndis better either start cross-dressing, or putting on her Parka.
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Siyahamba Donating Member (890 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Possibly
That would only happen if civil unions were recognized at the federal level, and at the federal level they had all the rights that marriage had (unlike the Maryland "civil unions" which are just a few rights.) Of course, they would be subjected to the same scrutiny and waiting period that heterosexual married couples are now - and there's nothing to stop opposite sex platonic friends from trying to do the same right now.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:30 AM
Response to Original message
2. You're right to be skeptical. Short answer: in all cases, they're fucked
And even if the state WANTS to recognize their rights, there are "christian" organizations who will interject themselves in the court case claiming that honoring those arrangements somehow violates the rights of Xians.

They do it every day.

A gay American citizen wants their foreign-born spouse or partner to be granted citizenship, a "christian" group sues to stop them.

They even sue to keep universities from VOLUNTARILY granting benefits to the same-sex partners of their employees!

Imagine THAT!

A University says, "We WANT to offer same-sex partner health benefits," and a "chrisitan" group TAKES THEM TO COURT to try and make them stop doing it!

I'm glad you're continuing to educate yourself.

Check out these sites:

http://www.EqualMarriage.org

http://www.thetaskforce.org/theissues/issue.cfm?issueID...


http://www.hrc.org/Template.cfm?Section=Center&Template...

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fshlr Donating Member (5 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:51 AM
Response to Original message
3. civil union
I believe we should have "civil unions" for all people who want to get married and all civil unions should be the same. "Render unto Caesar..." If the couple also wish to go to some church, mosque, synagogue etc. for a ceremony in the context of their religious beliefs - fine. This is the way that a number of "Catholic" countries handle marriage and it is more in line with our Constitution than empowering ministers, priests and rabbis to act as agents of the state to perform a ceremony with religious roots but civil consequences.
I don't like the current move to a "civil union" compromise because it awards second-class status to "good" gays (couples who want to behave like Mr. and Mrs. Straight America) and so by implication criticizes those who don't. The behavior of consenting adults should not be a "civil" (government) issue. The government must treat all citizens equally.
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Montauk6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. THAT'S the big thing: the second-class citizenship
Think about it: I and ANY WOMAN can go get hitched anywhere. WE DON'T EVEN HAVE TO LOVE, LIKE OR EVEN KNOW EACH OTHER. After the "ceremony," we have FULL marital rights and all the benefits thereafter. We don't even have to LIVE together or communicate afterwards.

Not that that scenario would happen BUT IT'S ALLOWED under this system. Meanwhile, two guys who have been inseparably devoted to each other for 50 years still can't get a break. That's effed up!
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Siyahamba Donating Member (890 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Exactly
If conservatives were concerned about the sanctity of marriage, they would push for stricter divorce laws and more rigid requirements for heterosexual couples to get married in the first place. "Sanctity of marriage" is just a creative phrase to hide behind to accomplish their main objective: gay bashing.
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MadAsHellNewYorker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. Great post! and welcome to DU!
You cannot create two institutions that confirm benefits to citizens. it is all or none. Its either Marriage for everyone or Civil Unions for everyone. The US needs to choose and it can't pick and chose. When someone says "Marriage is religious" how does it then confer 1,138 federal benefits? CAUSE IT ISN'T RELIGIOUS. Its a damn civil contract and to exclude two non blood related of age consenting adults is basically segregation.
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Rufus T. Firefly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-05 02:25 AM
Response to Original message
10. And what about federal income tax?
The feds don't recognize same-sex marriages (or unions) so filing as married is out.

I think that could be successfully challenged in court under the "equal protection" clause, though. And without a constitutional amendment, the right wouldn't be able to get around that.
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