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The Sound of Ideas

What’s Next For Same-Sex Marriage?

Posted Friday, November 14, 2008

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Gay couples married in Connecticut for the first time this week while gays in California protested a new ban on same-sex unions. How divided is the country on “gay marriage?” Same-sex marriages were banned in 3 states last week, California, Arizona and Florida and in Arkansas, voters banned adoptions by all unmarried couples. Meanwhile here in Cleveland, some city council members plan to push a non-binding domestic partner registry which could open the door to civil unions. Will any of the rest of Ohio follow? What’s ahead for gay rights, Friday morning at 9 on The Sound of Ideas®.

Tags

Government/Politics, Other, Community/Human Interest, Ethics/Religion

Guests

David Miller, Vice President for Public Policy, Citizens for Community Values
Patrick Shepherd, Board Member, National Stonewall Democrats
Andrew Koppelman, Professor of Law, Northwestern University, and author, Same Sex, Different States: When Same-Sex Marriages Cross State Lines

Additional Information

Bans in 3 States on Gay Marriage, By Jesse McKinley and Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times
Cleveland City Council Considers Registry for Domestic Partners, By Henry J. Gomez and Gabriel Baird, The Plain Dealer
This United States map indicates which states have banned same-sex marriage by statute and/or constitutional amendment. Provided by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Show Response
When I was a child blacks had separate but equal. Today in California, gays can have civil unions that are separate but equal to marriage. Why is one legal and the other illegal?

State laws should be changed so that all marriages are civil unions. Anyone who wishes to marry whether straight or gay would have a civil marriage that confers ALL of the state sponsored rights of marriage now – insurance, pensions, taxes etc.
Anyone who wishes to have a religious marriage could have one in the institution of their choice. No religious institution would be compelled to sanction a union they didn’t want to, nor would the religious views of a few be able to block the rights of others.
It is time for the U.S. to accord equal rights to all persons regardless of whom they love.

Paula, Cleveland Heights (in the straight but not narrow majority)

Why not have civil unions for everyone, straight or gay? Then 'marriage' could be left up to specific churches, etc. In France, if you want a religious ceremony you have to have two: one civil and the other religious. A marriage in a church is not legal and a union at a courthouse is not religious. Separation of church and state, what a novel idea.
Nikki (straight, married, three children)

Mr. Miller indicates that he is supporting the tradition of family. Should we not have a law that heterosexual couples who do no want children a refusal of that right to marry. Certainly, such a union would not promote traditional values and harmful in explaining that to children.
John in Ohio City

Opponents of gay marriage always base their views on the sanctity of marriage, but that is really a very new construct. Marriage has changed and evolved throughout the centuries. The form of marriage that has been approved by more societies than any other over the years has been polygamy. It is the family form most often mentioned in the first five books of the bible. And for most of history, the main motivation for marriage was getting in-laws and managing property, not love. It is also worth noting that the percentage of born-again Christians in this country that have divorced is 35 percent, which is just about identical to the percentage of atheists and agnostics who've divorced.
Wendy
Bath, Ohio

I've heard that statistically, when gay people are allowed to marry, they have a lower divorce rate than heterosexuals. It seems to me that including this group of people, would therefore strengthen the "institution" of marriage. Great show BTW...
Jennifer, Cleveland Hts (I'm straight and married)

Your on-air guest is heavily implying children are the reason for not having gay marriage. My question is does that invalidate my marriage to my wife of 8 years? We have no children, and right now don't plan on having any. Thank you.
Jim, Middleburg Hts.

If these people really wanted to protect marriage, all we need to do is eliminate divorce!
Scott

I had a series of experiences that moved me from being uncomfortable with two-mom or two-dad households.
First, comparing how a lesbian woman and a heterosexual woman interacted with my children, and preferring the care provided by the lesbian woman.
Next was spending a weekend in a two-mom household, where the feeling of love was more encompassing than in any other household I have been in.
Third, I have numerous friends, relatives and acquaintances who are gay or lesbian.same
Love and respect are the most important factors in a family and a child's life -- and our community and nation. I support same-sex marriage fully!

Pam, Shaker Heights

Regarding the vote in Arkansas deciding who is allowed to adopt a child; The statement I heard was, paraphrasing, that "people were willing to put children, who badly need homes, need to be adopted, in danger, or to at least jeopardize their safety, all for the sake of 'making a statement against homosexuality.' " While this is not the exact wording, it is what I took from the comment.
What struck me is that the speaker referred to it as "making a statement" against homosexuality. I propose that most who would vote against letting a homosexual couple adopt a child are doing so because they believe that letting a child live with a same-sex couple would be damaging in and of itself to the child. I don't think it falls into the "making a statement" category. It falls into, rather, the absolute morality category, and this is where the two sides differ. Both sides want to protect the child, they just disagree strongly on how to do it.

Erin, Cleveland Heights

While full equality for every person is desirable, personally I don't really care about a piece of paper or title. I care about having the equal benefits of marriage, afforded to married couples. For example, my partner of 14 years could not visit me in a hospital if they choose not to allow him in, or make a major medical decisions. If he passed on, I would not be afforded rights to shared possessions without added legal work and documentation, basic things married couples are given automatically in our society. Separate religious ceremonies are fine... but aren't we supposed to have separation of church and state? I often do not see it that way, despite what is said.
It is never right for one group of people to be afforded legal benefits over other groups.
My partner and I had our own private ceremony with friends in a park, where we exchanged our own vows. That is good enough for us -- but we would very much appreciate equal legal rights, and wherever we may be in this united country of ours. I do not feel it will come soon. It may come one day, as marriage rights for blacks did a few decades ago.

Arron, Euclid

What is so sacred about an institution that ends in divorce roughly 50% of the time?
Ryan, Edgewood, KY

Why don't the anti-gay marriage advocates fight as strenuously against divorce. Divorce is rampant and certainly allows one to think that the institution of marriage is a temporary convenience.
Thomas

What threat? Keep asking the question. Protect marriage from what threat? He won't answer because he has no answer.
Sustaining member,
John

This is a bit tongue-in-cheek but... Weddings are one of the most expensive and flamboyant celebrations we have. I'm guessing allowing gays to marry would give a nice boost to many industries that profit from expensive marriages.
Tate

Ancient Greece was the most pro homosexual/homosexual friendly culture I can think of. Yet marriage between men and men did not exist.Marriage acroos culture and religion is not and was not unusual throughout human history- gay marriage is.
I believe civil unions are sufficient for any state that is secular. Let marriage remain within the realm of spiritual institution.


If marriage if when entered into is by public promise "until death do us part" shouldn't we do a federal constitution ammendment to OUTLAW Divorce?
Roger

If the opposition to gay marriage is on religious grounds, and we are supposed to be a secular state without state endorsement or enforcement of any given religion, then why is government in the marriage business to start with? Why not a civil institution for everyone, gay or straight? After getting a civil union license any couple can go to their church and get married or not as they choose. Churches, as private institutions, can decide who they will conduct private marriage ceremonies for and who they will not. The interests of the State end with the civil union license.
Jim in Westlake

I am a straight, mother of two in a traditional marriage and I am so tired of people with certain religious or political agendas claiming that they speak for me. I believe gays and lesbians are entitled to all the joy, headaches, tax issues and divorce consequences that straight people are. Despite the rhetoric of the ministers and politicians, I know that gay marriage does not demean my marriage and those that do are selfish and insecure.
Its time for straight people to stand up and speak our mind on this issue. We shouldn't let others demean our friends in our name. This isn't a gay issue, its a human issue.

Elizzabeth

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