Amused. And slightly worried I’ll have nightmares.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
On November 7, 2006, Wisconsin residents will be given the chance to vote on a proposed amendment to the United States constitution. The constitutional ban states:
“Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state.”
There are two parts to this ban. The first part focuses on the issue of same-sex marriages, and will refuse to recoginize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples. Not only is this against our freedom of choice, it also takes away the equal rights that homosexuals, like heteorosexuals and every other person on Earth, is born with (or should be born with). Our civil rights will be stripped.
Now this isn’t the first time a minority’s rights for marriage have been questioned. In 1964, a different, but very similar, constitutional ban was voted on in Wisconsin. This issue was for banning the marriages between black people and white people. It was an intense time before the results were made public: the final count was too close for comfort, but, thankfully, it failed with a 48 to 52 count.
In that same year, the Civil Rights Act was inacted to prohibit discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, gender, or national origin. Later, in 1965, President Johnson issues Executive Order 11246, which enforces affirmative action for the first time. The ban on same-sex marriages is taking that Civil Rights Act and throwing it away. Our rights to marry who we love will no longer exist. I have heard several arguments as to why this ban is a good thing. I would like to address them here.
First, I have heard that same-sex marriages are wrong because the BIBLE says so. Now before we go any further, let me point out that THE CHURCH AND STATE ARE SUPPOSE TO BE SEPERATED FOR A REASON! Religious reasons should have nothing to do with this ban at all, and yet this is the basis for the amendment. So the bible may say a few things against homosexual relationships, but it also says you’re not allowed to wear clothes made of two different fabrics. And that if you work on Sabbath you should be stoned to death and that cutting your hair is against the will of God. And many of the stories that mention homosexual relationships at all, are looked down upon because those individuals have done something other than love someone of the same gender (should we really get into the gang rape of Sodom? This passage is often refered to as an example of homosexuality being punishable by God, but it’s really about abuse and not the sex itself).
Not everyone believes in Christianity or Cathlocism, and to use religions as a reason for homosexuals to not get married is against the amendment that gives everyone the freedom of religion and for religion.
Another argument I have heard, is that a homosexual couple cannot raise a family. Which to me is just bull. Who says? I know many gay couples who have raised wonderful children, and tons upon tons of straight couples who children are utter demons. I can’t even consider this a real reason because it’s far too reaching for me to even consider.
Another popular excuse is that it is simply not natural. And all I can really ask to that, What is natural? Is it natural to take medication for a headache? Is natural for a woman to get a breast reduction? Is it natural that human beings are killing each other in war? You answer me what you think is natural. For me, Love is natural in all forms.
The only benefit to this ban, as pointed out to last night, is that it will continue to segregate people (and is only beneficial to the people who are for segregation), and it will pull in more conservative votes. But in doing so, it will deny over a 1000 rights to couples who can no longer be safe under the legal protection of a marriage certificate.
Now, if you’re still completely against same-sex marriages, I will discuss the second part of the proposed ban:
“A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state.”
This has nothing to do with same-sex marriages. This part of the ban has to do with everyone. This statement referrs to civil unions and domestic relationships. If a man and a woman are living together, they are able to file for a domestic relationship, which gives them many rights while not having to go through marriage yet. A domestic relationship and a civil union, when recognized, allows partners to be under the same health care or insurance and gives them more protection than just living together would.
Take this recognition away and things can get scary. There is a difference between domestic violence and battery. Domestic Violence (for example, if a boyfriend hits his girlfriend and they have a recognized domestic relationship) is given harsher punishments. An automatic restraining order is enforced and the abuser has a much better chance of jailtime, and, in some places, the abuser must pay support for medical costs or property damage to the abusee. Many courts also make the abuser attend counseling, relinquish all firearms, and attend a treatment program. Battery, on the other hand, is a crime and can include harsh punishments to the abuser, but the abusee will not receive the support and benefits as she would in a domestic violence case. Without the recognition of a civil union or domestic relationship, there will no longer be such a thing as domestic violence.
This has already been seen in states like Ohio where court judges ruled against a domestic violence case saying that the ban did not recognize the straight couples’ relationship.
If you’re against the first part of this amendment, take a look at this second. It’s banning the unions of straight couples as well. Who does this benefit? In that matter, who is hurting if they are recognized?
Equal rights are beginning to change. Whether negatively or positively, it’s up to you. On November 7, you make the decision. Vote No. Spread the world. Educate people. Many don’t know what this issue is about, and they certainly don’t know about the reprocutions of voting for a ban against equal rights. Help the world spread the word on Voting No.
In an attempt to help spread the word, I’ve made a few buttons you can use to post in your journal, on your userinfo, on your website or your blog, anywhere! Please use them wherever you want and link back to Fair Wisconsin and let the world know that you intend to Vote No.
Take whichever one you want and how many you want. It doesn’t matter. Just get the word out there. We won’t take YES for an answer!
For more information on this topic, please visit Fair Wisconsin and learn more. If you’re not from Wisconsin, post this anyway. You may have friends on your friendslist who are from this state. Everyone, regardless of where you are from, should pass this one. For everyone. Hell, if you want, just copy and paste this entry at your will (as long as you make mention of where you got it) and put it where you want.
Thanks for putting up with another one of my good causes. This is important to me. It’s important to my girlfriend. It’s important to my friends and to every single person this will effect.
Pass it on.