Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Andrew Sullivan grasping at straws

This is a response to an Andrew Sullivan blog post .

Quote :

"The choice was either civil marriage or civil unions with all the state-accorded rights and benefits of civil marriage. Now I have long argued that civil unions are no substitute for civil marriage – but am I prepared to say that everyone who disagrees with me is motivated by the kind of rank bigotry that Sterling represents? Of course not. That was the position of the Human Rights Campaign for many years, after all. They may be tools, opportunists, resource-hoggers and credit-grabbers, but they’re not bigots."
A few corrections are in order :
  1. there have never been any civil unions in California. There are domestic partnerships. Please be historically accurate.
  2. California registered domestic partnerships (RDP) didn't actually offer all the state-accorded rights and benefits of civil marriage. There are a few differences, most significantly, the requirement that both partners must reside together at the same address in order to enter into a domestic partnership.
    Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_partnership_in_California#Differences_from_marriage
    This caused some to be excluded from CA RDP, notably prisoners, which could still enter into a civil marriage.This may sound like a small difference, but it is actually significant in light of this case :
    This common residency requirement for RDPs existed back in 2008 at the time of the Proposition 8 campaign, but has apparently been lifted since
  3. CA RDP did not enjoy much recognition outside of California, especially not in other countries, whereas CA same-sex marriages did. Most significantly, those who entered into a CA RDP never got any federal recognition. The 18,000 same-sex couples who married in California got federal recognition in retrospect in light of the Windsor case . While that may not be a state-accorded right, but it is definitely one very important benefit of marriage that CA RDPs lack.
  4. Therefore, the actual choice that was on the ballot in CA's 2008 Proposition 8 was :
    Keep both the superior CA civil marriage and the inferior CA registered domestic partnerships
    for same-sex couples in California.
    Eliminate the existing right to a CA civil marriage, and keep only the inferior CA RDP as an option for same-sex couples in California.
  5. Whatever you may think of HRC, they never advocated voting for Prop 8 and eliminating the rights to a civil marriage from same-sex marriage in California.  HRC actually gave $2,057,981 to "No on 8". It is simply a lie to interpret HRC's past positions as supporting Proposition 8. In reality, HRC never advocated the elimination of rights to a same-sex civil marriage for anyone, in any state, at any time. 
  6. In my opinion, anyone who donated to "Yes on 8" and thus contributed to successfully taking away civil rights was, indeed, an anti-gay bigot, unless proven otherwise.

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