Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Utah gives gays the finger…again

So this isn’t going to surprise anyone, but Utah just shot down the first of a six part Common Ground initiatives.

To sum this up for you lucky non utahns, the Common Ground Initiative is in full regard to statements the church said after all the bad press with the passing of prop 8 and the rights of gay couples.

The LDS Church declared it is not “anti-gay” and “does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights.” Elder L. Whitney Clayton even stated the LDS Church does not oppose “civil unions or domestic partnerships.”

So in response to these statements, Equality Utah launched its Common Ground Initiative, designed to address each of the issues mentioned by the LDS Church.

Talk about foot in mouth for the church right?

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They’re not really asking for much and a lot of it would support non married heterosexual couples as well. Just spousal health care benefits to cover partners. Adding sexual orientation and gender to the job antidiscrimitory amendments as well as another to cover sexual orientation and gender in housing so landlords can’t evict people just because they’re gay. Removing some barriers of inheritance and insurance for wrongful deaths of all unmarried couples and creating a domestic partnership registry.

I don’t see how anyone can think these are bad things, but I'm pretty sure that's my godless homo loving nature coming in to play.

The most controversial part of the initiative is one to repeal the portion of Amendment 3 (Anti gay marriage amendment) which states “no other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as marriage or be given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect.” It will not change Utah’s current definition of marriage, which is one man and one woman, but will allow a domestic registry involving inheritance, housing, and insurance. They are trying to show that a registry is nowhere near the legal equivalent of marriage, but there is no way it is going to pass.

Here is an article about the first part of the initiative to go to the Utah legislation:
The first in a package of six controversial bills dealing with gay and lesbian rights was voted down Tuesday afternoon in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The wrongful-death amendment, SB32, which was sponsored by Sen. Scott McCoy, D-Salt Lake, would have amended state law to allow anyone in "a mutually supportive and dependent relationship" to sue for wrongful-death damages — including same-sex couples. The bill, which had been previously approved during interim hearings, only received support during voting from McCoy and his fellow Salt Lake Democrat, Ross Romero.

Senators voting against the bill were primarily concerned that this would lead lawmakers down a path toward legalizing gay marriage, which the state banned with a constitutional amendment in 2004. That concern was echoed by testimony from opponents.

Gayle Ruzicka, head of the Eagle Forum, said that passage of Amendment 3 by Utah voters meant that no domestic relationship could be given the same legal status as marriage.

"I believe that this bill today does exactly that," Ruzicka said. "This bill treats same-sex partners as spouses."

After the vote, McCoy said it was frustrating that members of the committee were so paralyzed by fear that they were forced to express a complete lack of compassion for people in society who are affected by the death of a loved one or a partner.

"None of the opponents who came and testified against the bill really had anything to say about the bill," McCoy said. "They kept trying to make it about marriage, and it's simply not. It's specifically not."

The bill's defeat does not bode well for the other bills that are being pushed by Equality Utah as the Common Ground Initiative, although McCoy said the other bills will still be pushed this session. In the days following the passage of California's same-sex marriage ban, Equality Utah officials said they used statements from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to create the bills of the Common Ground Initiative. The package is not about marriage, Equality Utah has said, but rather about basic protections for the state's lesbian, gay and transgender community.
Will Carlson, manager of public policy for Equality Utah, said he was surprised this one did so poorly in committee. Still, he said the proposal would not go away, even if it means waiting until next year.

"We brought this two years ago; we brought this last year; we'll bring it next near," he said.

The widely anticipated committee meeting was packed, with an overflow crowd. Five witnesses from each side of the debate were allowed to testify, and the committee's consideration of the bill lasted almost 90 minutes.

Wow. I feel so warm and fuzzy that they spent a whole 90 minutes concerning themselves with the rights of whole group of people.

It’s always sad when the “slippery slope” argument is used because it means they are denying rights on the potential of future laws.

Did you catch that? They aren’t going to give the lesbian, gay, or transgender comminuty ANY rights, because down the line they might start getting above their station and demand EQUAL rights.

Obviously that doesn’t make any sense and is completely wrong, but what can you expect from politicians and legislators?

The sad thing is Salt Lake County is the liberal part of Utah.

2 comments:

  1. There's a liberal part of Utah? :) I also adore the "slippery slope" argument. But, hey, first the gays, then them damn box turtles are gonna want THEIR rights to wed. Crazay.

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  2. hahaha...damn them box turtles for ruining it for everyone!
    *shakes fist in menacing manner*

    :)

    ReplyDelete

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