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Has equality been won?

May 21, 2013

To the editor: In light of Governor Dayton signing the bill legalizing gay marriage, it’s clear that equality has been won....

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(95)

Really

Jun-06-13 5:42 AM

I personally support same sex marriage. Couldn't care less if we had polygamist marriages between equivalents. The problem we have had in this country and still do(Warren Jeffs) with polygamist marriages is that they use religion to control and dominate woman. To diminish their will, control their sexuality and reproductive systems under the guise of God. Those relationships a poison.

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Really

Jun-06-13 5:34 AM

I love how all these conservatives "cherish" the definition of marriage, just don't change the definition. Problem is the definition never meet the reality. Marriage, the most broken contract in the history of mankind need not be restricted by the government. If you want to restrict it in your church, go ahead.

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Really

Jun-06-13 5:28 AM

Alex=idealistic, sheltered, hasn't lived long enough to know, little kid.

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Merritt

May-31-13 5:01 PM

What about the ambidextrous?

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56two58

May-31-13 9:16 AM

I agree with you on both comments. However, the question was - a SSM marriage doesn't affect hetro couples. The tax burden will be shifted, so it does have an impact. I didn't say it is fair - but I am saying it has an impact. This doesn't mean I am against making that shift - it simply means I am unwilling to make that shift without acknowledging it and making sure plans are in place to account for it.

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Vaughn

May-30-13 4:36 PM

56two58 - Thanks.

For taxes, if you think of heterosexuals as "right-handers" and homosexuals as "left-handers", you might see why I disagree with the tax argument against SSM. That argument says it is OK to give right-handers tax breaks, but too expensive to extend those to left-handers. That doesn't strike me as fair.

Hopefully, we both agree that no one particular religion should be privileged in the making of laws. I have read that a fear when JFK was elected president was that all kinds of new laws would be passed that favored Roman Catholicism. That didn't happen, but I agree with Merritt that separation of church and state should be maintained. As he points out, the question of whether the current separation is sufficient needs answers.

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56two58

May-30-13 1:29 PM

Vaughn - good, civilized commentary as well.

In regards to your question of impact, from a practical standpoint - all taxpayers are impacted by SSM - as a new population will receive the marriage tax break. That will shift a tax burden (or deficit) somewhere. So, SSM does impact others.

From a religious standpoint, marriage is a Sacrament that is supposed to be held with high regard. I can understand that for some, allowing SSM would negatively impact that Sacrament. For those folks, it would be like calling yourself an Attorney without going to Law School or passing the Bar Exam.

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56two58

May-30-13 1:23 PM

Merritt - some of the best conversation I have seen on this topic, period! I carry a lot in common with your comments. My frustration is that for voicing my opinion, I was put in a box as a bigot and religious right-wing nut. That ended the civilized debate and I, like many others withdrew.

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Vaughn

May-30-13 12:32 PM

Yes, I can see your point that your vote against the amendment was not a vote for legalizing SSM. I also agree that clarity of message needs improvement, particularly regarding government actions and intentions. I don't, however, have any suggestions for how that improvement might happen.

Thank-you for helping me to understand your viewpoint and for the civil, respectful discussion.

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Merritt

May-30-13 12:09 PM

I do not fully understand the definition of marriage according to our state or understand how that definition translates to our laws. The clarity issue is with the state. Why do married people get preferential tax treatment. In some situations, you would think the state is the one applying the church's definition of marriage to the law. Maybe it is the state that doesn't understand the separation of church and state?

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Merritt

May-30-13 12:04 PM

Vaugh, I disagree on the vote and this is what has me distressed. I didn't vote "YES" because I didn't want to ammend the constitution to say we couldn't legalize SSM. To imply my vote against ammending the constitution was a vote for legalized SSM is an incorrect assumption. I believe I was purposely deceived. There needed to be more clarity in the purpose of marriage to the state and the reasoning for the application of marriage to our laws before I could support SSM. I can and will support SSM, but am not a fan at all about how this all went down. If you want to know why conservatives are skeptical of the government, just look at this. We'll all probably end up agreeing on SSM, but we simply want clarity and to voice our opinions. I agree with the seperation of church and state. I know my church's definition and the meaning of marriage to my church.

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Vaughn

May-30-13 11:10 AM

Merritt - I do remember voting on this last November. I voted against the constitutional marriage amendment and against those who put it on the ballot. I am OK with the legislature interpreting that majority vote as implicit approval of legalizing SSM. - I've tried to show that, given current understanding of human biology, we ARE applying the law equally. - I'm sorry you have been called names. I hope you do not think I was a participant in that. If so, I apologize; that was not my intention. - The SSM bill was amended prior to passage to protect churches that abstain from performing SSM ceremonies from legal penalties. I think that is supportive and respectful of people's religious beliefs.

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commonman

May-29-13 8:57 PM

seperation of church and state is a huge issue... until it comes to marriage. Then the church expects the state to enforce the church's beliefs. Sorry, but even a born and bread catholic with a conscience can't go along with this. I stand against the catholic church on this issue,

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rangeral

May-29-13 3:35 PM

If two people each work 40 hours per week, with one working at a fast food place and the other as an accountant, their pay will not be equal. Makes no difference if there is a gender, racial or any other kind of situation. Of course, as a dedicated socialist, hartman will disagree.

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Merritt

May-29-13 3:22 PM

If I work 40 hours a week doing the exact same job with the exact same performance a woman does for 20 hours a week, I should make twice as much as her and things would be perfectly equal.

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Merritt

May-29-13 3:19 PM

I think you just proved my point about equality. It is a word that can be so distorted.

Hartman, if the variables are all equal, then the result should be equal. I agree. The problem with you analysis is that you say nothing about the number of hours worked or the tpye of work completed. Just like with marriage, you are only interested in the equality of outcomes without factoring in variables.

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hartman75

May-29-13 2:57 PM

Marriage equality has been won Merritt. You should be celebrating, not fretting! Instead, focus your angst on the fact women are paid less for the same work men perform, especially since it's been determined that Mothers are now top earners in 40% of households. For married couples the median family income is $80,000 compared to a median family income of $23,000 for single mothers.

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Merritt

May-29-13 2:20 PM

What concerns me is how this was done. There was no vote. I was told a vote against ammending the state constitution was not a vote to legalize SSM. I was told that this was about equality, yet we don't apply the law equally. I was told if I disagreed that SSM and traditional marriage were the exact same that I was a bigot, homophobe, uneducated, and scared of change. The thing that concerns me is the undermining of people's religious beliefs. Until you provide me with a peer-reviewed article that proves that God does not exist, I think believers should have the same right to vote on law or defining a word as anyone else. I'm not a religious person, but I really do believe in equality and don't just use it when it fits my agenda.

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Vaughn

May-29-13 12:35 PM

Merritt - I understand your concerns. What I don't understand is WHY you are concerned. More specifically, how is your life going to be negatively affected by SSM? If Minnesota DOES add polygamy as legal in the future, how would THAT negatively impact your life? I am sensing you are in distress over SSM and am trying to understand why.

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commonman

May-28-13 7:45 PM

I'm not a huge backer of gay marriage, but I view it as inevitable and I can't say it's something worth a whole lot of our time debating given all the other issues we must deal with. If Swede likes to make it a point to get votes,that shows what his main interest is.

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rangeral

May-28-13 6:25 PM

None of the states approving gay marriage held a public vote. In all cases it was legislatures controlled by Democrats.

If it is such a great idea, why not let the public vote on it?

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Merritt

May-28-13 6:05 PM

What would your assumption be for why government is involved? If we don't know what marriage means to the government, why are people fight so hard for it? I know my church's definition. The only reason I care from a government's perspective is for all of the laws it impacts.

In my opinion, all you have done is explain that homosexuality is not a disease. I totally agree with that. You have not successfully convinced me that polygamists should be denied the same rights that we've extended to SSM. In some cases we talk biological reasoning to support marriage, in others we state it is just a legal contract with the government. The issue would much less complicated if we knew the government's purpose and understood why they apply certain laws to marriage. I feel like they keep it confusing on purpose. My issue is not with homosexuality, it is with our government and clarity.

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Vaughn

May-28-13 5:24 PM

"To my initial point: We need to understand why government acknowledges marriage in the first place. What purpose does it serve." I agree, but do not know why there are so many laws focused on "marriage". All I can say, repeatedly now, is that preventing a minority of the population from accessing those laws based on the minority's biology is discriminatory. I have also laid out a (hopefully) convincing case that denying polygamy and incestuous marriage is not discriminatory because there is no good evidence that polygamy is biological and there is good evidence that incest is a pathology (yes, a disease).

"My concern is that the government chose to treat married people differently because they wanted to encourage reproduction and the family structure." With this, I disagree. Were this true, than all marriages that will NEVER be able to produce children (I listed several examples) should be illegal. That is not the case.

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Merritt

May-28-13 1:16 PM

My concern is that the government chose to treat married people differently because they wanted to encourage reproduction and the family structure. The tax benefits in place were to motivate married couples to procreate and to stay together to raise children. I don't really understand what other purpose you would give for recognizing marriage and treating it differently. With SSM, this doesn't make sense. So either you allow any two people to get this treatment or no one should get this treatment. If you want to call it something different (like a civil union) for brothers, relatives, polygamists, I don't care, but they need the same rights. After all, in the eyes of the government, this is simply a contractual agreement. As I said before, perhaps the solution is for the government to get out of the business of marriage and have everyone deal in civil unions. Leave marriage to the church.

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Merritt

May-28-13 12:53 PM

I could care less what the Republican party wants to do, and I am not saying that people shouldn't be able to fulfill their biological needs in any manner that they wish. My problem comes with changing the definitions of words. To my initial point: We need to understand why government acknowledges marriage in the first place. What purpose does it serve. Our government treats married people differently than single people in the tax code. Can we answer why that is? If you can tell us their purpose for recognizing marriage, I will tell you where I stand. When it comes to transfer of property (marriage), I think anyone should be able to do what they please. If it is about the family structure and reproduction, I cannot support SSM. If it is about biological needs, the marriage contract is irrelevant. If it is about spousal benefits, it should available to everyone equally (incest, polygamy). When you change a definition, you change everything.

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