Monday, November 14, 2005

Gay Marriage Compromise?

As the preparatory groundwork begins for next years elections, gay activists are making noise yet again about how unfair it is that they are not allowed to be legally married in the United States.

As I expect that most of the readers of this site are on the left hand side of the political spectrum, I thought I would share my slightly more conservative views of the issue, and see if some agreement can be worked out on how to handle this issue.

Frankly, I do not support gay marriage as a right. For me, this is not about denying gays the same rights that straight people enjoy, I fully support that notion. My problem is with the label of marriage attached to this. In my mind a marriage is a religious bond in which two people affirm their love and/or commitment for/to each other in the eyes of their God (be it Judeo-Christian, Islam, or what have you)

As much as many liberals want to remove any shred of Christianity from the government, I’d like to remove government from the church. My solution is fairly simple. Stop issuing marriage licenses and make them all civil unions. This way the rights of the gays are not infringed upon and marriage (in the religious sense) has been protected.

I will add one caveat to this. In any law allowing gays the right to “marry” (I’m not clever enough to come up with a new term, and civil unions is fucking lame), an exemption should exist that any church refusing to perform the wedding ceremony may not be prosecuted for discriminatory practices. It is not for the state to interpret the Bible, Koran, etc for the church. This should be left to the church to decide for itself.

So, am I insane, or does this seem like a reasonable compromise between conservatives and liberals? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.


BigNewsDay said...

No, your not insane. I think that sounds like a smart solution to the problem. Here in Texas, they just passed proposition 2 that bans gay marriage. The funny thing is that gay marriage was already illegal. So what did Prop 2 accomplish? It basiically bans unmarried partners the right to benefits including benefits provided by the employer of one of the individuals. This isn't just for gay partners, but also for straight partners that are not legally married. I hope it is a matter of time before the courts throw this law out.

Lefty Metalhead said...

Obviously, the inclusion of prop. 2 in the Texas elections was a political maneuver to get conservatives out to vote. It's pretty smart on the part of conservatives, but I wonder how long they can ride these coat tails. I also hope that law will be overturned, but not without a cry of judicial activism by the right.

You make some great points regarding legality of unions. I agree with your position. While I think the government has no right to refuse gay "marriage". However, I also don't think it has the right to force churches to marry gay couples. Therefore, the "civil union" idea is the most practical at this time.

The word "marriage" has always been associated with religious practice. Therefore, it should be up to each church/mosque/synagogue to decide whether they find gay unions appropriate. Here I agree with you Osgiliath.

Unfortunately, the extreme conservatives don't want gay unions even outside of the church. They find it to be detrimental to society, which I think is a load of bullshit. I think you're on to something when you say that the government should no longer issue marriage licenses. Just "unite" couples legally, and let them marry at their religious place of worship if they wish and if they can. The church should have nothing to do with civil unions.

Gay civil unions, in my opinion, are necessary for the welfare of many of those people. As BigNewsDay said, benefits held by married couples should also be available to gay couples. The church doesn't provide these benefits, the government does. Therefore, your suggestion for separating church and state (as originally planned) becomes stronger.

As I said before, the problem rests in the hands of ultra-conservatives who feel that homosexuality is an inherent sin, detrimental to society, and worthy of nothing. Then again, they don't speak for the majority of Americans. Unfortunately for religious gays, they won't be able to marry in their church any time soon. They should realize that religion isn't always good, and proceed to move on with their lives. If a church closes its doors to gays, so be it. Have some dignity and move on.

Osgiliath said...


I didn't follow the Texas elections closely, but I thought that the only changes were that civil unions were outlawed (gay marriages remain so) and that this would be written into the Texas Constitution? I hadn't heard anything about hetero relationships being affected, do you have some links handy?


I agree that the "extreme conservatives" don't even like the idea of what I've proposed, however, I would challenge that "extrme liberals" would go up in flames over it as well. I can think of one definate reason off the top of my head.

1) Why should churches be exempt from this, by preventing gays from marrying in said church, isn't that tantamount to discrimination?

Lefty Metalhead said...

Definitely. The extreme leftists would belly-ache over this too. However, the mainstream ideologues on both sides would probably agree. I mean, such a law would only affect a small percentage of the population-gays.

BigNewsDay said...

Here is something that was e-mailed to me last Tuesday regarding Proposition 2 in Tezas. When I have more time, I will perform a little research virefy this information.

"Today, Tuesday, is the final day to vote in the Texas Constitutional Amendment Elections.

If you have not already voted, please you do whatever you need to do today to make time to go vote and join us in voting against Proposition 2.

Proposition 2 effects every aspect of both gay and hetero-living-together couples -- their ability to inherit their home and property if one of them were to die, the ability to visit each other in the hospital if one were sick, and the ability to have medical powers of attorney.

Same-sex marriage is illegal in Texas today and will continue to be illegal in Texas for a long time into the future, regardless of the outcome of Prop 2. If Prop 2 is defeated nothing changes in Texas as it is today. Texas still won't recognize gay marriages. But if it passes, everything changes for their ability to protect themselves, their property and their home. Some will lose their health insurance, and their life insurance company can deny them as a beneficiary. All medical directives and wills they've spent thousands of dollars drafting can be voided.

There are other implications. Common-law marriages between men and women will no longer be legal and some argue that the Amendment is so sloppily worded that it makes all marriage in Texas illegal (read it for yourself at )

If you vote FOR Prop 2, you are doing nothing to "protect" "traditional marriage", but you are voting to take away others rights to protect themselves.

Make voting against Prop 2 the most important thing you do today...for everyone in Texas.

Please take a look at the Editorial written by Fort Worth Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger, Lutheran Bishop Kevin Kanouse, and Rev. Fritz Ritsch of St. Stephen Presbyterian in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Also First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth's Dr. Tim Bruster's column in this week's United Methodist Reporter:

Lastly, EVERY daily newspaper in Texas has editorialized AGAINST Prop 2, including the conservative Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle and even the Waco Tribune Herald:


The Dallas Morning News: AGAINST PROP 2

The real impact of Proposition 2 will be to throw into question the legality of other sorts of contracts affecting gay Texans, many of them widely supported by society as a whole.

It is for this reason that we recommend a "no" vote on Proposition 2. ...

We doubt most Texans want to make it more difficult for gays to visit loved ones in the hospital or the like. These and other private contracts are already largely accepted by society – and even considered good for business. Thirty-eight of the Fortune 50 companies offer benefits to same-sex couples. Four of North Texas' largest private employers added domestic partner benefits last year.

Proponents say Proposition 2 is about protecting marriage and promoting family values. That may be, at least in their minds, but the unavoidable fact is that this amendment would make it significantly more difficult for gays and heteros living together to protect the health and well-being of their loved ones.

Why on earth deny to these men and women, not special privileges, but ordinary human decencies?

We recommend a "no" vote.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: AGAINST PROP 2

Proposition 2 is an ugly amendment. At its core is discrimination and an unfounded fear that gay people who are committed to long-term relationships in some way threaten the institution of traditional marriage.

Texas voters need to defeat it on Nov. 8.

The Star-Telegram recommends a no vote on Proposition 2.

Houston Chronicle: AGAINST PROP 2

"It lacks any purpose other than to enshrine bigotry in the Texas Constitution."

Austin American-Statesman: AGAINST PROP 2

A ban on gay marriage would do nothing — nothing at all — to protect or enhance traditional marriage. We urge Texans to vote against Proposition 2, the proposed amendment, because its true purpose is to discriminate against gay Texans. ...

In short, there's no pressing legal reason to pass Proposition 2. In fact, its passage would be a step backward for Texas.

Abilene Reporter-News: AGAINST PROP 2

Corpus Christi Caller-Times: AGAINST PROP 2

El Paso Times: AGAINST PROP 2

San Antonio Express-News: AGAINST PROP 2

Waco Tribune Herald: AGAINST PROP 2

More Editorial Endorsements at"

Tee said...

Hails metal heads and it's nice to see some "troo" metal blogs on the net. Keep up the good work and metal horns \m/
I am for gay marriage not being staight myself.. I do believe that Church and state should be seperate and gays couples should have the right to not only marry, but share benefits, and legally consolodate resources.
I would gleefully take the civil union ideal, but marriage is the ultimate goal.With the issue of gay rights, marriages don't have to be performed in churches. Marriages are performed by people whom have that athority as it not always the church.
I, as a metal head, I have always felt anger towards a society that does not not seperate church from state, as many black and death metal bands have anti religious imagery. I don't undertand why this blog supports the churchs decision on banning gay marriages.
Although I do belive that anyone should have the right to peacefully practice thier relgion.

Lefty Metalhead said...

Hello Tee,

Thanks for commenting on our blog. You say you don't understand our position on gay marriage in church. Let me be clear; ideally, I would love for gays to be able to marry at their place of worship. However, the separation of church and state disqualifies the government from forcing churches to marry gay couples. While I understand that many gay people are religious, I would suggest that any faith which closes its doors on you for your sexual preference, isn't worthy of your participation. Like you said, anyone with authority can marry people, and it doesn't have to be in a church. Therefore, the church shouldn't have to be involved. Remember, the term "civil union" is just a religious extremist-friendly term that means marriage. Hell, if I was a priest or minister, I would gladly marry a gay couple.

I understand your frustration. Social conservatives promote the idea of the "family", consistently claiming that it is crucial to America's well-being. But when a gay couple desires to have such a family, they deny that right (in technical terms). I hope you understand my position better. I don't think gays will be marrying in churches anytime soon, but a compromise must be made to make some progress for them.

BigNewsDay said...

Well stated Lefty! Welcome top the blog Tee. A marriage is only legal if it is certified by the state in which the marriage is to take place. Whether or not this marriage happens in a church, shouldn't be the issue. I do believe that forcing a church to perform a marriage that they do not agree with, would be wrong and a violation of the rights of that church. Please, don't get me wrong. I support the cause of gay marraige much more than I support the church , but I agree with Lefty that the separation of church and state would prohibit state intervention in the matter.

Osgiliath said...


Thanks for the links, I'll definately give them a look.


Thanks for the comment.

Hopefully I can more fully explain my thoughts on this. While I have no issue with the rights of gays to marry, I don’t feel that the state should be in the marriage business at all. My personal view is that while it is OK for gays to “marry”, you are not going to get middle America on board with this as long as this is defined as a religious ceremony. What I’m ultimately proposing is that the Government get out of the marriage business altogether (gays and straight) and instead of issuing a marriage license to issue a civil union license to couples wishing to gain government benefits from said union. Once the state has completed it’s business the couple may choose to have the religious portion of the ceremony, the actual marriage if you will.

The marriage portion of this would be strictly a religious matter at that point and as far as I am concerned out of the states purview. The main goal (as I understand it) of the gay community would be to guarantee equal protection under the law for same sex couples that straights enjoy. This would include health insurance, child support, alimony, living will rights of the significant other, etc. These needs would be met by moving all government options from marriage to a civil union.

Hopefully, this sheds some light on my thoughts for this. Please let me know if this sounds reasonable, or if you have another idea.

BigNewsDay said...


Thank you! I agree with you on your ideas regarding this matter. I strongly believe that most Americans, Dems & Reps, want some of the same basic things for our country, but people refuse to work with each other to achieve a common goal because the powers that be on both sides simply refuse to try and get along. The Republicans tend to press for extremist legislation to distance themselves form the Democrats, and vice versa. The only way our government will ever become effective is to ride D.C. of those with extremist ideology, and elect those that are willing to seek a common ground

BlackLabelAxe said...

What's up metalheads, I saw your posts on Blabbermouth, and you seem like intellegent folks, so I'll stop by and comment on this one:

The US Constitution doesn't guarantee any marriage rights, therefore it is a state's rights issue. Let the states determine what they want and get the federal goverment out of our lives.

Personally, I think gay marriage is ridiculous and should not be taken seriously by anybody (I'll explain that later). I also don't give a shit what the government thinks about my (future) hetrosexual marriage. There shouldn't be any tax benefits to any marriage, because we should all pay the same thing in taxes, and it has nothing to do with how single you are or how much money you make (FAIR TAX- READ ABOUT IT!!!). Civil unions are better than what we have now, but it still should not matter at all what the government approves or doesn't approve. Marriage is a religeous bond, which makes nobody fit to judge another person's marriage. This was never a problem until we had to start reporting information like this to IRS.

Gay marriage is ridiculous: It's not a matter of preference ("I like beef, you like tofu"), a man marrying a man is like a person who's hungry trying to eat a shovel. A shovel is as good as a meal as a man makes a lover to another man. That is my opinion, I will not impose it on others, I cast my ballot by chasing (female) tail.

BigNewsDay said...

I appreciate your comment BlackLabelAxe. I personally don't understand gay relationships, but to each his own. I don't believe that it's the government's job, state or federal, to determine how anyone lives their lives. As far as the fair tax act, I think this would be a step in the wrong direction. It would only give more power to the corporations than they already have (which is far too much.)

BlackLabelAxe said...

The FairTax gives power to corporations? That's impossible, what it really does is empower consumers. Corporations don't pay taxes anyways, they either hack that revenue from stockholder's profits (taking money away from private citizens), or they pass the tax along and build it into the price of their products (again, taking money away from private citizens). It's also the only way you're ever going to be able to raise enough money to solve the Social Security dilemma. Besides that, it's the only program that truly eliminates the tax burden on the poor.

The FairTax also makes it one step easier to get your Civil Unions proposal passed. Under the FairTax, the IRS is abolished, therefore the government doesn't need to know how much money your earn or who you're married to, just as it's written in the US Constitution. There'll never be another government audit (except for corporations who collect the tax, overseen by the Treasury Department), no death taxes, capital gains tax, income tax, or April 15th headaches.

Power to the corporations? The feds will have 10 times the agents to investigate corporations for corruption, since they won't be harassing private citizens anymore.

Hardcore Republicans don't like the FairTax, neither do Democrats, because they make a living manipulating the current code for votes and campaign contributions. In fact, the only people who don't support it are tax lobbyist, politians, and those under the influence of politicians or tax lobbyists. This is about freedom, it's about the Constitution (read what Alexander Hamilton, the biggest liberal of the fathers, had to say about the taxing of income in the "Federalist Papers"), and it's about taking control of your own future.

BlackLabelAxe said...

Quickly, one this about your anti-corporation stance in general:

Corporations are not inherently evil, so long as they are in competition with each other. Once they estabilish a monopoly, or strike deals with each other to act as a cartel, then they can do very evil things. Corporations employ people like you and me, and produce high-quality products that are exported all around the world.

Think about it: Chain grocery stores are corporations, and they compete vigorously with one another, driving prices lower for us while striving for quality as if their lives depend on it, and they do. Corporations compete, and we win. Jobs are created, and people are fed. Capitalism rules.

Oil corporations, however, have a monopoly on the business. They are partners with OPEC, they establish their own supply and therefore price by discussing with each other, regardless of actual market value, and we have to pay what they say we pay. This is a cartel, or most evil collaberation of corporatios that extort outrageous amounts of money from consumers. If we could get our own government off their payrolls and actually break up the bullshit monopoly, we MIGHT be able to trade oil on the free market. Ready for something disturbing? The free market price of oil WOULD be around $6 per barrell, as opposed to the $50-$60-$70 price that the cartel currently charges.

My point is this: The only role the government should have in free trade is to make sure that cartels do not form in order to abuse consumers. This is why we have anti-trust laws. So long as corporations compete with one another, captialism wins, and you and I get great products and services for great prices.

Now, if we could just get our politicians to do their jobs and quit ignoring the oil cartel, we'd be much better off. Those oil-rich motherfuckers and the politicians (red and blue, people) who cover for them are stealing BILLIONS from us every year, but that is a different story...

BigNewsDay said...

The Fair Tax Act does little to protect jobs in America from going overseas. I've heard it argued that the Fair Tax Act would make opening shop in the U.S. more attractive, but I am more in favor of a tax plan that would reward corporations for creating jobs in America as well as conducting business in an ethical and responsible manner. A tax plan that would reward companies for protecting our environment and building strong communities. And on the other hand, I believe we need a tax plan that would punish corporations for off-shoring jobs, behaving unethically, and for polluting our environment. The reason why these corporations aren't currently paying their fair share in taxes now is because of loop holes that need to be closed. I do understand the point about the corporations eventually passing the savings down to the consumer, like they currently pass their tax burden, but under a more responsible plan, the corporations that behave responsibly will gain the upper hand, and the others will eventually go under.

BigNewsDay said...

But I do agree with you about the oil cartels.

BlackLabelAxe said...

bignewsday, as well read as you are, you've got a few things mixed up about the Fair Tax. The truth of domestic worker protection is quite the absolute opposite:

The Fair Tax makes our economy the best place on earth to do business. You can close loopholes in the current system, but until America becomes the best place to do business, outsourcing will always be a problem. The reason we outsource now is because our payroll tax and social security and medicare taxes that employers must pay are putting an unfair burden on companies that hire domestic workers. Instead of dealing with IRS bullshit, they move to India where the tax system is much easier on employers. Under the Fair Tax, no employers pay any payroll taxes, social securty or medicare taxes. You can hire an employee, produce your goods, then export them overseas for sale without paying a dime in taxes. This makes buying American goods cheaper than buying their own goods in every country on earth. Imagine Chinese-made prices with American-made quality. Only the Fair Tax can do it. Since there are no taxes on capital, foreigners will invest in America with NO TAX PENALTY. They can build factories, and set up manufacturing right here in America, with highly skilled labor, free of taxes.

The best part is, nobody pays any taxes on money that sits in banks and collects interest, so the $14 trillion that the world's wealthiest people have invested in Switzerland, the Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands will all be brought home and deposited at Bank of America, Wachovia, Chase, etc., creating enourmous wealth and slashing interest rates for consumers. If they buy a yacht, they pay taxes on that. If they Buy jewelry, they pay taxes. Hire an American worker to run his business, PAY NO TAX!

Every economist in the free world agrees that the Fair Tax will boost our economy by approximately 10% in the first year alone. High-tech manufacturing jobs will increase rapidly as corporations learn to invest in our great country. No other country on earth would be able to compete with us, and the value of the dollar would soar.

It seems radical, but that's how we did business in this country until the income tax laws were passed early last century. One other country has done it in their history, England, back in the 1700's. The result was the fastest growing economy in the history of that nation. The only thing that slowed down that progress was when parliament passed the income tax law.

I understand if you're skeptical, I was too. Read Alexander Hamilton's "Federalist Papers", as they relate to taxes. It was written in the 1700's, but it is the best argument in favor of the Fair Tax that could have ever been written. The Fair Tax is basically designed exactly as the US Constitution provided, and it's what helped us grow our economy so vigorously up until politicians got greedy and slapped an income tax on us. It's time to take the power back! This is our economy, we must demand that WE be in control, not some lobbyists.

BigNewsDay said...

I don't believe that taxes are the main reasons companies are off-shoring our jobs. It has more to do with minimum wage laws, environmental protection, and laber standards here in America. I've read alot about the Fair Tax Act, but it fails to answer some of these basic questions.

BlackLabelAxe said...

Labor standards, environmental protection, and minimum wage laws are not tax-related issues, and if you write them into the tax code, you're exponentially expanding and ever-growing sea of bullshit for lobbyists and politicians to manipulate. I'll show you now how those issues could be resolved without any government control at all:

the consumer boycott:

You like Starbucks because they have great coffee, but you also like the recycled material they use in their paper products. When consumers find out about the ill tactics of a corporation, they choose to spend their money elsewhere, and you cast the most important ballot of all time: the wallet-ballet. Money talks, laws constrict the free market.

Minimum wage laws can follow the same route. If you don't like your job, get a new one. Minimum wage laws actually encourage outsourcing probably more than any other. Corporations don't appreciate the government telling them who they can hire (affirmative action) and what they have to pay them, so they move if it gets bad enough. A job is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Do baseball players deserve the money they make? Obviously so, if George Steinbrenner keeps writing those gigantic checks. Who are you to say otherwise? The government has no right to tell a business how to run its business. I have never heard of or seen a job that pays minimum wage. Every illegal immigrant on every jobsite I've ever been on makes AT LEAST almost twice the minimum wage, and they can't hire enough of them. To support minimum wage is to support government control of the free market.

I got a bit off target, but the point is that environmental standards, labor standards, and minimum wage are certainly important issues, but they have nothing to do with the tax system. If you try to write that into tax law, you will open the door for millions of dollars of lobbying, bribes, and overall treachery. We can debate those seperate issues later, because they certainly matter, but you cannot patch an already broken system by writing more patches into it, especially patches that include unrelated legislation. The system has failed, and we deserve to pull the foot off the throat of the economy. We deserve freedom, and we must demand it.

You can't bribe corporations into respecting the environment with tax laws, they will find a way around it, or they'll move to China or India. There's 60,400 pages of smoke and mirrors in the IRS's tax code, leaving plenty of room for manipulation, and there's dozens of countries with no laws that just don't care about anything that would love for an American company to move if tax laws made it uneconomical to stay in America.

Educated consumers will restrict the government, and bless their own lives with fruitful jobs, a clean environment, and a burgeoning foreign trade surplus.

BigNewsDay said...

Dude, I see where you're coming from, but the Fair Tax Act does nothing but give the corporations more power than they already have. Corporations ARE responsible for destroying our environment, off-shoring jobs, and basically destroying the economy of the United States with a lot of help from the neocons. Before we alter the current tax structure, we need to address those issues. In my opinion, the fair tax act is just another way to keep the lower class low, the upper class up, and make the middle class carry the country. Without any form of taxes on corporations, we might as well bend over now and start lubing before it's too late.

BlackLabelAxe said...

Repeat after me:

"Corporations do NOT pay taxes".

"Corporate tax" is perhaps the most cruel phrase that has ever been used in promoting class warfare. Lower class, and less-educated people see corporations as the "bad guys", holding gigantic stashes of money while plotting to destroy everything in some comic-book quality evil scheme. If you tax corporations, or make them pay payroll taxes, you are kicking American jobs right out the door. These corporations that employ so many of us will move their asses overseas where they don't have to put up with all that IRS and government bullshit.

You cannot protect the environment with tax law. You cannot prevent offshoring of jobs with tax law. You cannot protect labor standards with tax law. All that you can do with tax law is raise money for the government.

You can protect the environment if you make people want to. Show them why we should care, and it will be done. Writing more tax laws is just going to make corporations use the slickest accounting procedures of all time to get out of it, or they'll just move to India where they don't give a fuck about the environment. You cannot make people care, even if you write it into law.

The less faith you have in capitalism, the more government control you're asking for. If you think the government does a good job at maintaining the economy, just look at Soviet Russia. Capitalism is and always will be the law of the land, government just gets in the way. The Fair Tax is the closest thing to real capitalism that we've had in over 80 years.

I agree that we must make steps to protect our environment, but this has absolutely nothing to do with taxes. You cannot use the IRS to blackmail corporations into compliance with bogus evironmental laws that cripple manufacturers while not promoting any realistic, scientific standards for improvement.

By writing unrelated items into tax code (environment, labor standards, etc.), you are using the IRS to blackmail the people. Do you support government-sponsored blackmail?

Let's find a way to make some real progress towards these issues, not give the government more leverage to blackmail us. The Fair Tax gives everyone more freedom, and severely limits the government's ability to interfere with our right to earn a living.

BlackLabelAxe said...

"Without any form of taxes on corporations, we might as well bend over now and start lubing before it's too late. "

Q: What do you think corporations would do with all the money they WOULDN'T pay in taxes?

A: They'd try to make even more money.

To make more money, they have to sell more product. To do this, they have to hire more salesmen to sell the product, build more factories to make the product, buy more raw materials, hire more truckers to carry the product. That's how jobs get created. Notice we have some middle class jobs, some lower class jobs, and some higher class jobs, all being created at the same time. God I love capitalism.

Besides, corporate taxes are paid 100% by us. Either they get passed down to us as consumers, or they take a bite out of the profits that make up our 401k's and retirement plans. Either way, the tax burden once again ends up on our backs. You cannot tax corporations without hurting individuals. Most people don't even think about this, which is why the "corporate tax" myth is so frequently used in class warfare.

I agree that many of the neocons are in bed with large corporations, and they get ridiculous legislation passed in order to help that company out. It's not just the neocons that are doing it, but they are certainly infamous for it. The tax code today is so complex that it allows for such treachery. I demand that we replace it with one that cannot be manipulated by ANYONE. We deserve that as Americans.