On One Hand

November 9, 2006

Referendum I

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 5:03 pm
Tags:

All my friends are lamenting the fact that Referendum I, a ballot initiative that would legalize same-sex civil unions in Colorado, failed to pass on Tuesday. No one seems to be recognizing the fact that in this moderate to conservative state, home of Focus on the Family and the capitol of the Religious Right in Colorado Springs, the bill only lost 47-53, which is an incredible validation.

While conservatives decry “activist judges” who rule that same-sex couples have the right to legal recognition allegedly “against the will of the people,” a popular vote for civil unions debunks every argument Conservatives can possibly have. Referendum I is the first thing I know of that puts the issue up for popular vote, and it came this close to winning.

Does anyone know if there are movments to put up the same issue in progressive states like Oregon, Washington, California, New York, or any Democratic state where, given Referendum Is near-success in Colorado, the initiative would likely win?

Also of note is that Referendum I failed by almost exactly the margain that Amendment 43, which bans same-sex marriage in Colorado, won. That means that in Arizona, where a same-sex marriage initiative failed, something like Referendum I could have won. Arizona is another fairly conservative state, a little more libertarian than Colorado but of similar politics, so this could mean that other moderate states like New Hampshire, New Mexico, and maybe even Alaska would support something like Referendum I. So, once again, does anyone know of plans to get something on the ballot in these states, and, if not, does anyone want to send a letter to their local HRC?

What I don’t get is this: same-sex civil union isn’t “marriage,” it’s a contract. I don’t need legislative or voter approval if I want to sign a contract agreeing to pay for my car over a period of six months, so why do I need legislative or voter approval for a contract promising to share domestic responsibility? Isn’t anything that I, as an individual, put my signature on, legally binding? Why don’t private gay-rights groups in every state hire lawyers to develop private contracts that gay couples can sign establishing as close to a domestic partnership as is possible? They could be mass-produced and basic contracts offering inheritance benefits and shared economic responsibility for the household, and when they’re signed they’re legally binding, the same way a check is legally binding. Maybe nothing binds a hospital to offer visitation rights or a state to cooperate with custody arrangements, but some of the legal issues could be codified and the practice of this contracting would make a powerful statement.

Advertisements

12 Comments »

  1. What I don’t get is this: same-sex civil union isn’t “marriage,” it’s a contract. I don’t need legislative or voter approval if I want to sign a contract agreeing to pay for my car over a period of six months, so why do I need legislative or voter approval for a contract promising to share domestic responsibility? Isn’t anything that I, as an individual, put my signature on, legally binding?

    Libertarians stand up for the freedom of contracts between consenting adults from majoritarianism. ;-p

    South Dakota was only 52-48! Exit polls suggest that folks want marriage to be man-woman, but are all for gays getting all the rights and privileges.

    How’s the weather out there nowadays? It was 70 and sunny today yay

    Comment by jdhenchman — November 10, 2006 @ 1:10 am | Reply

  2. it could be worse

    In my state (TN)it was 80% against gay marriage, 20% for. Approx. 300,000 people voted for gay marriage, about 2 million voted against. The ironic thing is that gay marriage is already illegal here. It was only on the ballot because it gets the right wing nut jobs out to vote. What really makes me crazy is that guess where most people go to vote in my state: CHURCH
    Sometimes it feels so hopeless. we have to take heart in the fact that 5 years ago it would have been a unanimous vote against us. The religious oligarchy in the bible belt is slowly loosing it’s grip. In a few years a et the feeling i had when i drove down Broadway and saw the LGBT kids onew generation of people will come into power that weren’t born with the prejudices that their parents couldn’t shed . Then we will see the wind of change really blow hard. I just hope I’m here to see it.

    Comment by moxxus — November 10, 2006 @ 2:26 am | Reply

  3. What you said in your very last sentence, Matt, is exactly the problem with such contract arrangements. They are non-binding on anybody and any institution that matters — in almost all aspects of relationships, they accomplish nothing without the force of state or federal law to back them up. It would be a statement, yes, but a legally meaningless one.

    Maybe inheritance contracts could be held legally binding, but they would certainly have to survive a court fight first — it’s not automatic at all. Furthermore, you can forget about doing that in Virginia, what with their new constitutional amendment from the other day.

    Comment by larrysphatpage — November 10, 2006 @ 4:21 am | Reply

    • Well I haven’t read the text of the Virginia amendment but based on what I know if it, it’s markedly unconstitutional, and will probably be struck down much more easily than other gay marriage bans from other states.

      Comment by ononehand — November 10, 2006 @ 6:47 pm | Reply

  4. Couples who have the resources for lawyers do have such contracts. I don’t know why they couldn’t be mass produced.

    Comment by 477150n — November 10, 2006 @ 7:16 am | Reply

  5. hello

    Matt. It is Isis. are we both LJ junkies?

    Comment by swtfxofaddrm — November 12, 2006 @ 9:30 pm | Reply

    • Re: hello

      YES! Add me!

      Comment by Anonymous — November 12, 2006 @ 9:41 pm | Reply

    • Re: hello

      I mean, YES! Add me!

      Comment by ononehand — November 12, 2006 @ 9:42 pm | Reply

      • Re: hello

        added!

        Comment by swtfxofaddrm — November 12, 2006 @ 9:51 pm

      • Re: hello

        Sweeeet! By the way, how did you find me?

        Comment by ononehand — November 12, 2006 @ 9:55 pm

      • Re: hello

        facebook. there is a link.

        Comment by swtfxofaddrm — November 12, 2006 @ 10:06 pm

      • Re: hello

        Ohhhh. That makes so much sense.

        Comment by ononehand — November 13, 2006 @ 10:11 am


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: