Why Marriage Equality Matters
A case from Missouri provides an excellent example of why it matters that states forbid people who love each other from being married.
From Missouri, a story about why marriage equality is important:
LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — A Lee’s Summit man is angry that hospital personnel ordered him off hospital property and police arrested him after he refused to leave the bedside of his sick partner.
Roger Gorley went to visit his partner, Allen, at Research Medical Center, 2316 E. Meyer Blvd., Tuesday afternoon.
He says when he got there, a member of Allen’s family asked him to leave.
When Gorley refused, he says hospital security forcibly removed him from the property and put him in handcuffs.
“I was not recognized as being the husband, I wasn’t recognized as being the partner,” Gorley said.
While not legally recognized as a couple in Missouri, Gorley says he and his partner Allen have been in a civil union for nearly five years, and make medical decisions for each other.
He says the nurse refused to verify they also share joint Power of Attorney.
“She didn’t even bother to go look it up to check into it,” Gorley said. “He’s been at the psychiatric unit part several times.”
According to an arrest report from Kansas City, Mo., police, a security supervisor at Research Medical Center was contacted by Emergency Room personnel after Gorley refused to leave the room of his partner. The hospital said they did not want to have any visitors to Allen’s room.
Gorley was told to leave the room by nurses and security, but refused, the police report said.
“After several verbal attempts to get [Gorley] to leave the room, he continually refused and began to cause a disturbance,” the report said. “[He] began to cause a disturbance by physically resisting security officers as they escorted him out of the patient’s room.”
Research Medical Center says it can’t talk specifically about this case, but in a statement said:
We believe involving the family is an important part of the patient care process. And, the patient`s needs are always our first priority. When anyone becomes disruptive to providing the necessary patient care, we involve our security team to help calm the situation and to protect our patients and staff. If the situation continues to escalate, we have no choice but to request police assistance.
The headline to the story linked above indicates that Gorley to has now been given permission to visit his partner. Nonetheless, I think it’s rather obvious that this story is a rather stark indication of why civil unions and even private contracts like a Power Of Attorney aren’t sufficient to make up for the rights that spouses are granted by the state to married couples. If Missouri recognized same-sex marriage and Allen and Gorley were married, then this event likely would never have happened and Allen’s family, who I can only assume have some kind of problem with his relationship with Gorley, would not have been able to do anything to stop Gorley from being with his husband in the midst of this medical crisis.
It’s also worth noting that Gorley and Allen’s civil union had no legal recognition at all in Missouri as the state does not even recognize such an institution. While I don’t know their personal history, I can only assume that the civil union in question was registered in one of the nine states that currently recognize civil union rights. Theoretically, in those states, Gorley would have the same rights in this type of situation that a married man does, although it’s worth noting that there have been reports in the past of people in civil unions having similar problems in a hospital situation even in states that recognize civil unions. What this highlights is the problems created by Section Two of the Defense of Marriage Act which permits states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, which is a departure from how opposite-sex marriages are treated in that, in most cases, a marriage performed in one state will be recognized as valid in any other state in the union. With same-sex marriage, a couple that is validly married under the laws of, say, New York will find that its marriage is not considered valid at all under the laws of, to pick just one example, Virginia. Let’s say that this couple goes on a vacation to Virginia and one of the spouses is seriously injured and hospitalized, the hospital would be under no legal obligation to recognize the rights of the uninjured spouse, although some institutions have adopted policies that permit them to do so without regard to the actual law. Add into the equation a family that is hostile to the gay spouse, and you have a pretty fair approximation of what happened in this case.
Gorley was apparently arrested because he became upset and disruptive, it’s understandable that the hospital called the police under those circumstances. At the same time, though, I have to say that it’s somewhat understandable that someone became upset because they were being denied access to a loved one who was in a medical emergency. No doubt, the hostility from the family played a role in his reaction as well. His actions may not be excusable, but I’d submit that they are understandable, and if Missouri treated people equally it’s highly likely the incident never would have happened.
Love the Orwellian doublespeak here: why did you physically remove him? Because he was causing a disturbance. Why was he causing a disturbance? Because we were physically removing him.
Um, maybe there wouldn’t have been an disturbance if he hadn’t dragged a man from his sick husband’s bedside.
Exactly my point. If I were the prosecutor, I’d decline to prosecute this. It’s likely only a misdemeanor, but it’s still not worth it.
Or, as is the case with one gay couple I know who both live in New Jersey and work in Manhattan, they’re not married when they leave home in the morning, but married while in New York during the workday. Then, after they get home at night, they’re single again.
I am just pleased that this story is getting the sort of press it is getting, and that the hospital – and the State of Missouri – have some egg on their face over it
Need to fix something here:
Correct me if I’m wrong Doug, but doesn’t the fact that Mr Gorley was given PoA, and therefore the ability to make medical decisions for the patient, legally trump even the entire “loved one” thing?
I mean the entire debate should have ended there. The fact that the hospital ignored that power — or rather refused to check if Gorley had the power — is a big issue.
Here in the VA/DC/MD area, we have a similar situation. Maryland and DC both now recognize same-sex marriage. Virginia does not. It is not uncommon for people who live in Maryland’s DC suburbs to work in Virginia, which effectively means that someone can wake up in the morning and be legally married, drive to work and not be married, and then drive home and suddenly be married again.
it’s a legal farce
It should be, but outside of marriage I have heard many stories of people who have PoA’s run into trouble with some hospitals. Sometimes, the hospital takes the position that they only recognize a PoA that is completed on one of their own forms, which is kind of an absurd position to take when the person being treated is unconscious in a hospital bed or in surgery. When that happens, people often have to engage in the expensive, and time consuming, process of finding an attorney and at least threatening legal action. Obviously, that’s not a viable strategy if a medical emergency occurs at night, on a weekend, or over a holiday.
I dunno…I’d excuse him. I’d also would excuse him if he rolled his partner out of that place, screaming at nurses, swinging stuff, calling them animals. It would be like that scene from Jacob’s Ladder where Louie rescues Jake from the pit of hell hospital.
Like Thoreau said, “Unjust laws exist. Shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?”
Yeah, that one.
If only there were some way to put people into the legislature and governorship there who would pass humane laws.
But no, that’s not a possibility is it?
But of course, let’s remember that Doug’s pal, Bob McDonnell, helped write the Republican platform, which thinks these woefully inadequate civil unions are too good for gay people.
No regrets, right Doug? Of course not.
Someday we’ll look back and be amused by how f’ed up Republicans are during this era…on this and a dozen other issues where they are on the wrong side of logic/science/humanity.
Too bad they insist on making people like Gorly pay the price for their ignorance.
I suppose it doesn’t matter…as long as they can buy 30 round clips for $8. Now that’s a right worth fighting for!!!
If gay marriage is SOOO important… maybe we should vote for politicans that support gay marriage and gay rights, rather than politicians who vociferously oppose gay marriage and gay rights??
Maybe guys, we are seeing Doug evolve on this.At least I hope so.
We’ll see what happens when Doug’s hopefully sincere position in favor of gay marriage gets put to the test in Virginia’s gubernatorial election this year.
DOMA passed with overwhelming Democratic support
You have no idea who I vote for, or even if I vote in a given election. That is my business and not yours.
FAMILY VALUES = 1
ATHEISTS = 0
This is actually an issue that goes beyond the gay marriage issue. Courts routinely ignore the law when it conflicts with “family values”. For example, try leaving a large amount of money to someone who isn’t an immediate family member or an official charity and see what happens when your family challenges the will.
But with more support among Republicans than Democrats. You know that. 79 Democrats went on record as opposing it, only a single Republican did the same.
Democratic Senators voted for the bill 32 to 14 (with Pryor of Arkansas absent), and Democratic Representatives voted for it 118 to 65, with 15 not participating. All Republicans in both houses voted for the bill with the sole exception of the one openly gay Republican congressman, Rep. Steve Gunderson of Wisconsin.
That was what, twenty years ago? And today, the trend is quite clear: Democrats are in favor of marriage quality, Republicans are staunchly against it. How many Republicans can you name who actually voted in favor of marriage equality? (So you can’t count guys like Rob Portman)
Why do you keep saying that?
You voted for Bob McDonnell, with “no regrets”. You voted for Gary Johnson, who was a Republican, until he lost the Republican Presidential primary. We know this, because you said so.
We aren’t making things up, we are looking squarely at the evidence. These are the policies you support with your votes. If you are embarrassed by then, start voting for people with better policies.
Just for the record, I’m not going to respond to your posts on this issue anymore. Who I vote for, if I vote at all, is my business alone. Indeed, outside of saying here at OTB that I was voting for Gary Johnson, I have rarely discussed my voting choices. Because they are nobody’s business.
@Doug Mataconis: Actually, Doug, I’d also add that you are not a single-issue voter and you will vote for the candidate who best represents your positions on the issues you care about.
Isn’t there a legal truism that “tough cases make bad law?” This is a hell of a tough case.
The hospital should have honored the PoA, and should be made to pay for ignoring it. The gentlemen in question apparently did all they could, and properly, and the hospital chose to put their own rulings above those preparations.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
There’s no question the hospital screwed up here. As I noted above, I’ve run into stories similar to this outside of the whole same-sex marriage context. It’s kind of frustrating, because as an attorney I prepare documents like this for clients and tell them that it will be sufficient to cover what they are concerned about. Under the law, of course, it is. Hospital bureaucracy, however, can be a pain in the ass and, as I noted above, it’s kind of hard to do anything about it when you’re talking about a medical emergency that happens at 3am on Saturday morning.
This is a blog about politics. Of course you are free to decline to state your voting choices, but It seems a bit odd.
But you write for a political blog! Why would you write about policies, and then get all pouty when someone asks you what policies you choose to support with your votes? It’s hypocritical and childish.
So fine, ignore me. Stonetools made the same point. Are you going to ignore him too?
Obviously this is the wrong crowd for that sort of stuff. But try these on for size:
In any event, if we’re planning to engage in politics by siren song and micro demographic then we might as well chug the Hemlock and be done with it. Or go back in time to the late-1700’s and set up a different system.
Not every travesty has a remedy. Not every grievance can be addressed. Not every injustice rectified. It’s an imperfect world. Free money and candy won’t ever fall from the clear blue skies into the utopian wading pools.
Governments can’t be run by emotion. And people in a pluralistic federal republic always retain the abilty to vote with their feet.
That’s a nice sentiment. Is your position still that gays should have equal rights when millions of conservatives that despise them say they can, and no sooner?
This kind of thing happens all the time. It’s happened to people I know, right here in the bay area. I shudder to think about what gays & lesbians have to put up with in red states.
The headscratching part about this is that if Gorley has a PoA, why is the hospital deliberately taking on the personal liability exposure that would result if something bad happened to Allen after they had ejected him from the hospital and started taking direction from someone who wasn’t authorized to make any decisions for Allen? I’m betting malpractice attorneys would be lining up to take that case on.
One word. Bureaucracy.
I write about politics because I enjoy doing so. That’s all.
This article is obfuscating the real issue here. It doesn’t matter if the people are married or not. The author is making a pathetic (which is a favorite tactic of liberals) to hijack this situation to make people think his way. This answer IS NOT about legalizing same sex marriage, it is about having a better way that EVERYONE can designate a legal actor in their behalf. A PERSON should be able to designate another PERSON as someone to act on their behalf and be by their side if they are incapacitated at any time without having to pay exorbitant legal fees for that privilege. And medical facilities need to have access to that information (a registry?) at all times. It should be automatic for spouses but with the ability for an individual to modify that to whomever they please without messy legal intervention. There have been legal situations in the past that prove that it’s not always in the patient’s best interest for the spouse to be given the right. Let’s look at the real issue here and not HIJACK this situation for your personal preference.
@anjin-san: Is your position still that gays should have equal rights when millions of conservatives that despise them say they can, and no sooner?
Not that I owe you any particular explanation, and not that I trust you to actually understand and grasp it honestly, but my position is not that different from yours — I’m just swayed by pragmatism and don’t make it the be-all and end-all of my existence.
When same-sex marriage has been introduced in a non-democratic fashion (such as judicial fiat, as in California), the opponents have rallied and fought like hell to overturn it in any way they can. See California, where supporters of gay marriage are, essentially, trying to declare a Constitutional amendment as unconstitutional — a legal absurdity.
When same-sex marriage has been introduced in some democratic fashion (vote, referendum, or other measure) where the people can, in some way, express their opinions and take action (even indirectly), the opponents are nowhere near as ferocious in overturning it. There are efforts to undo it, but with nowhere near the vehemence as in the above cases.
I support gay marriage, but with two caveats: I support the democratic process more, and I want it passed in a way that will actually last. I’m not interested in pyrrhic victories or moral victories; I want this won and settled.
You seem more interested in winning your moral victories than actually achieving a lasting win. You seem to want the fight more than the cause.
I find that distasteful.
@Doug Mataconis: As I’ve noted before, Doug, part of the problem is you spend a significant majority of your postings on bashing Republicans and conservatives, and it seems the only time you speak out against Democrats is when you’re called out on why you don’t support liberals. And even then, you don’t really go into specifics.
It’s almost Pavlovian at times.
Again, read Doug’s post carefully. As far as I can tell, he’s miffed that the PoA was essentially nullified by the nurse. Look at how much he complains about the inconstancy, which would be solved just as easily by taking away all those partner rights as universally granting them.
People who care about how these policies affect real people can write in such a way to get that across. Do you read this, or anything that Doug writes about gay marriage, and think “Yeah, Doug sincerely cares about the pain that current policies needlessly inflict on innocent people”?
The people who see that gay marriage undermines gender roles, those guys are sincere in their opposition. I just don’t see that Doug actually cares. And don’t we all figure that his future votes will not contradict that hypothesis?
Apparently you don’t understand the role courts play in our democracy. One of the they things they do is strike down unconstitutional laws. Let’s look at this from a different angle. Are you saying you oppose the Brown v. Board of Education ruling and consider it to be “non-democratic”? How about Loving v. Virginia? Are you saying that blacks and whites who marry should go to prison? The State of Virginia did, until “judicial fiat” put a stop to it.
Please show something I have ever written here that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that the gay marriage issue is “the be-all and end-all of my existence”
Your comments are so dimwitted that I don’t think I’ll respond to any comment you make about any subject at any time in the future.
That you have little to no understanding of other human beings surprises no one.
@anjin-san: You’re certainly doing a wonderful job of refuting my observation that, to me, you are majorly obsessed with this issue — and even more with being perceived as the great moral crusader who challenges all those who are less holier than thou art.
As I said, I am a pragmatist on the matter. You seem to want to fight this purely on ideological grounds. I have no use for fundamentalists and extremists of any bent, and that seems to include you.
I like the methodology of a certain TV charlatan — “how’s that working out for you?” As I noted, when same-sex marriage is passed democratically, it tends to stick. When it’s imposed, it doesn’t. I’m not talking about those other cases, I’m talking about this specific issue. You only bring up Loving and Brown because it boosts your ego and makes you feel like some grand crusader on the side of Justice, not because it advances the issue.
You care far more about winning and being seen as on the correct side than you do about the issue itself. Because if you cared more about the issue and less about yourself, you’d support winning the issue in a way that will best assure a lasting victory. You need this fight to continue so you can keep beating those you don’t like, and to hell with the gays who will have their ability to marry their partners constantly in sway.
@swbarnes2: Doug seems to be a pretty decent guy. I don’t always agree with his positions but that doesn’t make him “bad”. He, like so many of us, doesn’t care for either party but does care about liberties.
Good enough for me.
@Jenos Idanian #13: “where supporters of gay marriage are, essentially, trying to declare a Constitutional amendment as unconstitutional — a legal absurdity. ”
The plaintiffs claim that an amendment to the state constitution violates the federal constitution, which is why the case is being considered by the supreme court of the US, not the California supreme court.
Yes, such an absurdity… to a moron.
Doug seems to be a pretty decent guy. I don’t always agree with his positions but that doesn’t make him “bad”.
Well yes, but you are an idiot, and no one takes anything you say seriously.
Actually, I am passionate about it because I have gays/lesbians in my life that I care deeply about, and I have seen how the bigotry of marriage inequity has caused them to suffer needlessly. Also, while I do remember the civil rights battles of the 60’s, I was too young to take part in it. Now I’m not – so yes, I am taking a stand against injustice in our society.
My ego is just fine already, thanks – though it’s obvious why you would not understand how a healthy ego works.
The courts are a critical component of our democracy. The founding fathers put them there as a co-equal branch of our government for a reason. Are you trying out for the moron olympics?
Well, Brown v. Board of Education took place long before you were born, and the victory it represents still stands. So what exactly are you babbling about?
Bottom line is American citizens who are gay/lesbian are not waiting until the conservatives who despise them say it is OK for them to enjoy their full constitutional right to equal protection. We are going to go ahead and do it now.
Oh, and Jenos – your punking out on my questions of the legitimacy of major court rulings in earlier civil rights struggles is noted. It’s cool – you are, after all, a punk. You are just being true to your nature.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
I know this wasn’t directed toward me, but I feel compelled to respond.
I support marriage equality because I believe that human beings deserve to be treated equally and that the gender of the person that someone falls in love with is completely irrelevant.
I had to put up with a different but kind of similar issue a few years back. My parents had recently divorced and I was the new POA of my father. The hospital kept calling my mother who wanted nothing to do with the situation and disregarded my wishes, until is was so overwhelmingly obvious she wasn’t going to show up and take control. As much as I’d love to use this as a Red States hate gays issue, I personally (and likely wrongly) believe it is a hospitals are assholes to everyone issue. I live in a state where gays can legally marry and we hear about this from time to time, it is an issue of healthcare professionals honestly not caring.
As for Doug, I may not agree with all of his positions or his voting record but I shall defend to the death his right to say it/cast it. And I feel the same way about everyone else here unfortunately up to and including Jenos and Tsar. This sums it up perfectly http://www.theonion.com/articles/aclu-defends-nazis-right-to-burn-down-aclu-headqua,1648/
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Not really. Take Glenn Greenwald. He lives in the Rio de Janeiro with David, his “namorido”* for some years and probably now his official husband. He is the breadwinner of the home, and his job requires that he travels to the United States. But since the Brazilian Courts(Not the Brazilian Congress) says that the State cannot discriminate against gays when recognizing concubinage and civil partnerships, David is officially Glenn´s civil partner when they are in Brazil. They can visit each other on the hospital, Glenn does not have to worry about visas and if Glenn´s dies David is going to get his portion on Glenn´s estate.
I´m not saying that Brazil is a perfect country for homosexuals. But Brazilian Judges ignored the “Democratic process”, and that´s why Glenn can live a normal love life in Rio de Janeiro, but not on New York nor in Washington DC.
*- Namorido is a Portuguese slang, meaning a boyfriend that in fact is a husband.
Loving v. Virginia, which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage, took place 46 years ago. My own marriage, which happens to be interracial, was legal when it took place 14 years ago. It’s legal today. It will be legal tomorrow, ten years from now, and so on.
Can you please explain to the other kids how the courts can’t produce a “lasting victory” in the matter of marriage rights?
Or, you could flee the thread, like you usually do after you have humiliated yourself yet again. Tomorrow you can pretend that it never happened.
I like being married. I’m glad that nearly 50 years ago, a lot of people told the bigots that they were not going to let them diminish freedom in America to satisfy their own hatreds. They turned to the courts, and the courts carried out the function the founding fathers intended them to. Thanks to a group of people who stood up and said “enough of this shit” decades ago, I get to be married to the person I choose to be with. It’s a favor I am happy to return.
So junior, tell me again how I am only in this for my ego.
We are in the midst of a historic energy boom. Meanwhile, oil companies are quietly starting to lobby to be allowed to export crude oil.
“Energy independence” in the context the oil companies use it, is a marketing gimmick they are using in an effort to get a blank check. Their goal is to make money, not to make America energy independent.
Only question is, are you a dupe, or a tool?
This is the Rob Portman thread again, in microcosm.
I support gay marriage, yet I’m not ideologically pure enough to be accepted as an ally. Because I don’t support gay marriage by any means necessary, I’m not to be accepted as a potential ally, but must be attacked and driven off by those whose motives are purer and dedication to the cause is sufficiently fanatic enough.
Which is pretty much what I expected.
That Portman thread was a perfect glimpse into the Regular Gang of Idiots around here. You were all competing to see who could say the most hateful things about Portman — michael reynolds, Moosebreath, legion, C. Clavin, Rusty Shackleford, swbarnes2 — until a couple of more rational people — especially Septimius and Rob in CT — actually brought them to their senses.
Again, an illustration: the debates here put forth by so many are not about winning on the issue; it’s more about winning and, more importantly, beating the right people.
Congrats, you’ve once again rallied the troops to thump on me once again… on a topic where I fundamentally agree with you.
Just what is it you were trying to achieve again?
@Doug Mataconis: Doug, if you really want to make your regular baiters squirm a bit, may I suggest you post an article on the Kermit Gosnell case? That one is enjoying a virtual news blackout…
Unfortunately Tony, here in the MO? We call that a between meals snack.
Ever notice how those who espouse “family values” seem to hold denying others the value of family above all else?
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Maybe you should try learning the correct lessons from it instead of the “right” lessons? Naaaahhhhhh…. That would require thinking.
What I’m wondering is, if the hospital has this much leeway in deciding whether to accept a PoA or accept that someone is/is not a spouse, does that mean that even in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage a Catholic hospital could refuse rights to a same-sex spouse because they don’t recognize them as married?
I mean, if religious conscience allows them to deny women medical care (morning after pills, abortion when the mother’s life is in danger like that case in AZ), then can’t they make the same ‘religious conscience’ claim to deny a same-sex spouse visitation, etc?
No you dimwit…this sort of thing happens all the time…that’s why it’s called inequality…and why people are fighting for their rights.
You don’t have to be stupid to be a Republican…but if you are stupid…chances are good you are a Republican.
So I can only guess you do not support the American Revolution…which resorted to the only means left open…in other words “any means necessary”…in order to secure our rights.
So in your pea-brain theere is only one method of securing equal rights?
Why are you so f’ing stupid?
And why do you hate America so much????
@Jenos Idanian #13: Jenos, remember that interracial marriages were disapproved by a majority of Americans a long time after Loving vs. Virginia.
Human rights are human rights, not subject to thumbs-up-or-thumbs-down by talk-radio-show listeners.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
That´s not our objection. Our objection is that the Courts should have a role curbing excesses made either by the public or by elected representatives. Specially when these excesses are related with Civil Rights.
I´m even satisfied with a Civil Union framework that grants basic civil rights to same sex couples(To me, it´s more a matter of civil rights than of equality – not that a marriage would be a bad thing), but that should not be decided by some yahoos in Iowa or whatever.
The Catholic Church thinks religious freedom is when they can force their beliefs on others but nobody else can force foreign beliefs upon them. As to how the Supremes will see it? Good question, someday they are going to have to get off the fence.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Well, that’s appreciated, but you should understand why those of us who support marriage equality (that’s what they’re calling it these days) with no caveats would consider you to be more of an adversary than an ally.
First of all, if you “support” gay marriage only if it passes in referendum, then you don’t really support gay marriage. Rather, you’re a thermometer, taking temperatures.
If you truly support gay marriage, a court ruling would suffice. We wouldn’t need this “Well, let’s take it to the voters.” No, let’s not. We’re not talking about raising taxes or building a new courthouse. We’re talking about equality under the law. You know who you ask about that? The courts. You know who you don’t ask? Voters.
Secondly, you want this won and settled? Then this is what you need to do….support gay marriage with no reservations. If you have reservations, you should go find a gay wedding, wait for the minister to get to the “forever hold your peace” part and voice your objections then. That’s freedom. That’s democracy.
Whatever you do, do not align yourself with a movement that seeks to use the power of the law to enforce their particular interpretation of their favorite translated book.
@Jenos Idanian #13: “I support gay marriage, yet I’m not ideologically pure enough to be accepted as an ally”
In other words, “this issue is too boring to troll about, let’s just all pay attention to meeeeeeee!!!”
Seems to have worked this time, JayTea. Nicely played. Now that you’ve discovered you can get people to validate your existence without taking the most morally loathesome position imaginable, perhaps you’ll even change some of the opinions you pretend to hold.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
For those not familiar with the story, I suggest Conor Friedersdorf’s summary in the Atlantic
The lack of coverage of this trial is problematic — though I expect that its about to become front page news.
That said, while the story offers a LOT of gruesome details to get squimish over, I’m not sure the lessons that it teaches are the ones Jenos is most interested in. Generally speaking, the story is of the same category as drunk people with illegal weapons shoot someone — i.e. the person in question was breaking existing laws eight ways to Sunday.
As far as burying the lead, one key thing that Conor (and other sources note) notes is what happens when regulating organizations don’t do their job or are prevented from doing their job. The story is a terrible example of, among other things, why businesses should never be trusted to regulate themselves (and also why the market cannot be trusted to regulate).
Another article worth reading on the topic is http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-michelman/kermit-gosnell-abortion_b_2924348.html
The money graf:
This has nothing to do with SSM or Power of Attorney rights. The hospital would have done the same thing if this guy was straight and he refused to leave his wife’s hospital room. Hospitals are allowed to make people leave if they believe someone is impeding medical care. For once, I’d like to see a real example of a real hospital with a real policy of denying visitation to same sex partners.
According to another report from the same source, the story isn’t quite that cut and dry. See the hospital’s response:
Basically, the family didn’t want Gorley there. And he ended up getting into a fight with his partner’s brother.
For the record, given that he was the patient’s spouse and had the power of attorney, he should have been well within his rights to be able to eject the family from the patient’s room.
@eightoften: “This answer IS NOT about legalizing same sex marriage, it is about having a better way that EVERYONE can designate a legal actor in their behalf.”
That ‘better way’ would be ‘marriage’. It is automatically recognized that a spouse has access to a loved one in the hospital. There is no law you can quote or legal document you can sign to get presumptive access on the property of a corporation. That’s what marriage does. A health directive will give you authority to make health decisions, but you’ll have to phone your decisions in if the hospital won’t admit you.
@James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):
If I could upvote your comment a hundred times, I would. Well stated.
Do you really not understand the equal protection issue? Maybe you and Jenos should have lunch. You could both order a clue, then you would each have one.
My family has personal experience with a hospital ignoring a health directive when it suited them. I think it’s safe to say that it is a fairly common practice.
Ditto. In our case it was ignoring a DNR that led to a week in the ICU that ultimately led to the same conclusion (and more suffering for the person in question along the way).
@ matt bernius
My grandfather was resuscitated after his second stroke despite having a DNR clearly stated in his AHCD. He lived another six months in misery. Not a good end for a kind, decent, and hardworking man who never harmed anyone.
But, his care was very expensive, so someone made out on the deal. This is when I figured out that our health care system in regards to senior citizens is more about keeping people alive to drain them financially than about alleviating suffering and promoting human dignity.
@Septimius: Right, because it is isn’t written down in a policy manual somewhere, it never happens.
(Do you feel that? That’s a gravity well being created by the World’s Longest Eyeroll.)
Update from earlier this morning: http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2013/04/12/1857741/what-actually-happened-to-that-same-sex-couple-in-the-missouri-hospital/
@ Gromitt Gunn
Several gay couples I know have had problems with hospitals, health care decisions, and interference from spouses families when a partner has serious health issues. Nothing as egregious as the KC story, but people who are under enough stress dealing with health issues are further burdened by discrimination, even here in the bay area.
Statement from the hospital:
This guy was thrown out because he (and the brother) caused a disturbance. It had nothing to do with SSM.
@Septimius: If you think an opposite-sex spouse would have been treated the same way, you’re entirely out of touch with reality. Period.
@anjin-san: My ex-partner was hospitalized twice when we were together, and we were fortunate both times that the hospital staff was very relaxed. We didn’t know what to expect going in either time, since it was a Baptist health system in San Antonio, but once Alex indicated that he wanted me to be his decisionmaker, they respected that completely.
What I find more alarming than the scene described at the hospital (which is plenty alarming), is the scene described at the home – the brother and sister essentially used the police as an instrument to kidnap their sibling, and the police were more than happy to allow themselves to be used in that manner.
Ah, so the hospital says they are the good guys, and that’s the end of the story, case closed?
You don’t get out much do you?
That statement was written by the hospitals legal staff, with input from it’s PR staff. It’s purpose is to serve the hospital’s legal and public relations needs, not to inform the public about what really happend.
Grow up and get a clue. The world needs adults.
Surely, you can’t be that dense….
Forget what happened at the hospital. If this couple were legally recognized, this dude would have never made it to the hospital, or at least not this one.
So take your “See…it’s not that bad” stuff elsewhere.
1. Note that the *gay* husband was arrested as opposed to the straight brother.
More importantly #2
2a. Doug’s initial point is that this demonstrates how important recognition of Gay Marriage in all states is. If this had occurred in a state where Gay Marriages were recognized, then he would have had legal the power to immediately remove the brother from the room — thus preventing the fight from happening.
Twist it however you like, if Gorley was afforded the same rights as a heterosexual couple, this would not have happened.
Don’t get buried in the semantics of a specific case…the fact that people like Septimius want to obscure is that gays are not afforded equal rights in this country and people like Septimius want it to stay that way.
So, this hospital, which has had a policy acknowledging same sex visitation rights for years, decided, in this instance, to throw this poor guy out simply because they hate gay people. And, the police, who also hate gay people, decided to arrest him even though he had done absolutely nothing wrong. Got it.
Again you are obfuscating the issue. Gorley was not *just* a visitor. He was *essentially* a spouse (and would have been recognized as one in a number of states) AND *had* the power of attorney (which the hospital, by all accounts, should have had on record).
That meant Gorley had (a) every right to be there, (b) was entitled to make his partner’s health decisions, and (c) have the brother and any other family member ejected from the room.
However, the Hospital took the position that Gorley was *just* another visitor, and that the brother, and not the patient’s civil partner with PoA, was empowered to make health decisions and be in the room.
Again, if Gorley has been recognized as the spouse from the start, then the altercation would never have happened. Or if the hospital had checked to see if Gorley had PoA, and followed his directions, then the altercation would have stopped.
But you keep wanting to conveniently ignore all of that. Now, granted, the fact is that his marriage status was not recognized because of the state he was in.
And that was Doug’s point from the beginning. But that’s something you refuse to acknowledge.
You comments show that either you are not arguing in good faith, or you are not very sophisticated in the ways of the world. Actually, it’s probably a combination of the two.
Which probably goes right out the window when an immediate family member asserts his/her legal rights. A policy does not carry the force of law. A policy can have built in exemptions, or senior management/executives may have the authority to make exemptions.
Bottom line? Gays & lesbian couples are denied the legal protections that hetro married couples take for granted. If I am in a similar situation, all I have to do is adjust my tone of voice and say “this is my wife we are talking about”, and everyone will back off in a hurry.
Not probably, does.
The only people who have a *legal* right to visit patients are immediate family members, people with Power of Attorney, government officers, and people who have been granted visitation rights via a court.
And, if a patient isn’t conscious or able to competently speak for themselves, then immediate family are able to make medical decisions.
Beyond the issue of PoA, when it comes to relatives, the closer an immediate family member is, the more control they have. Hence the legally recognized spouse is granted a higher level of say than members of the family of origin.
So given that their marriage is not recognized in Missouri, (ignoring the PoA) the estranged brother and other members of the family of origin remains in control. The civil partner is for all intents and purposes a “stranger” to his partner in the eyes of the law, and has no legal right to visit with his husband.
Bottom line. If you’re looking for a poster boy for the horrors that same sex partners face when dealing with hospital visitation, look somewhere else. This guy’s not it. He got into a screaming match with his partner’s brother in the Emergency Room. That’s the reason he was thrown out of the hospital.
Being a conservative and therefore by definition stupid, I do not understand the equality argument. All I have able to gather on this subject is that if I am a man and love a woman, then I can marry her, but if I am a man and love a man, I cannot marry him, and this is an example of inequality. And by not being allowed to marry, I am deprived of certain benefits that married people have. Is this it, or am I missing something?
Why should government even care whether two people love each other, whether two people want to have sex, and whether two people want to live together? Why does government issues licenses for this? Why does the government require that the two parties be of the opposite sex? Why are there only two parties? Why did government invent marriage licenses anyway?
Is there any rational reason for any of this? Why did government decide to arbitrarily decide to create benefits for opposite-sex couples with marriage licenses? Was it an arbitrary action? Is there some benefit in it for government?
Ok, here is my admittedly stupid take on the issue. Government was too lazy to invent marriage as it should have been invented, so it just took the age-old cultural definition of marriage as it had existed for thousands of years. Government perhaps figured that to create new citizens it took a male and a female and this male and female could raise their biological offspring and rear them to be good, well-behaved and productive citizens. Government foolishly thought that this arrange was a benefit to government and to society and deserved to be encouraged by providing material benefits.
And, government being what it is, it decided to license it.
You mean the age-old definition where women are little more than indentured servants? The one where marriage is primarily about acquiring in-laws, jockeying for political and economic advantage, and building the family labor force? That age-old definition?
I am 54, hetero, and have never been married…although I have co-habitated for longer than most of my friends have been legally married.
Frankly, the entire instituion of marriage seems ridiculous to me.
But if we are going to have marriage…then it should not be a vehicle for discrimination.
Right…he got into a screaming match because his rights were being ignored in favor of the brother who knew nothing about the guys condition. The guy with rights was not granted them and the guy with no rights was given them.
Again…this type of thing happens a lot. That’s why so many people are fighting so hard for equality.
But hey…you’re a bigot…you don’t like teh gays…we get it.
Bullshit on all counts…
Let me break this down for you one more time…
1. Gorley wasn’t “thrown out of the hospital,” he was (forcefully) arrested, taken to jail, and made to post bail. … Why?
2. Because he got into a fight with his *civil partner’s brother* — a person who does not have legal power of attorney over the patient. If Gorley’s martial status or his Power of Attorney had been recognized, it would have been the brother who was removed.
So far your argument boils down to Gorley should have acted like a good second class citizen, tucked his tail between his legs, and let his partner’s estranged family make all the medical decisions despite having explicit legal authorization giving him, Gorley, control in a hospitalization situation.
3. At least according to the account of Gorley’s daughter (which needs to be corroborated), said brother, along with the patient’s sister, were the ones who — with the help of paramedics and police — had the patient taken to the hospital without informing Gorley — who again, is both partner and power of attorney.
If this proves to be true, this is a blatantly illegal action and could not happen to a heterosexual married couple without a court order.
So contra your easy brushing aside of the facts, the complete story, if true, is an excellent example of “the horrors that same sex partners face when dealing with hospital visitation.”
Still missing the point……
That screaming match would have never occurred if this marriage was recognized and, more importantly, respected.
@Septimius: There is a reason why Gorley was raising a ruckus, and it is relevant, and you’re ignoring it.
There would have been no ruckus if they were an opposite-sex married couple, because Gorley would have immediately been given primary agency. There would have been no question whatsoever who was going to leave, and it would not have been Gorley. Whatever conflict occurred would have resulted in the patient’s brother being escorted out, and Gorley being allowed to stay. All it would have taken is “this is my wife” and that’s it.
And that’s why this is about same-sex marriage and the rights of same-sex partners.
And, again, if Gorley’s daughter’s account is correct, then part of the reason for the ruckus was that the patient’s brother had used the police to have the patient involuntarily brought to the ER without informing Gorley.
Again, that needs to be confirmed. But if it is true, I think it really sheds new light on the situation and the overall lack of rights that gay couples — even those who have entered into civil unions and given each other PoA — have under the current system.
To be clear, you’re not by definition “stupid” because you are a conservative. But that doesn’t prevent your argument from being “stupid” — which it is for a variety of reasons, which include, but are not limited to:
1. An anacronistic understanding of “marriage”
2. Conflating procreation with “marriage” (and therefore ignoring all of the heterosexual married couples who by choice do not have children).
3. Ignoring the fact that marriage as contract law dealing with inheritance is a centuries old practice (as far back as Shakespeare’s day children produced out of wedlock had not inheritance rights).
4. Ignoring the fact that marriage, as a legal institution has evolved over the generations
But feel free to go on believe that we think your argument is stupid because you self identify as conservative. But understand that you’re playing into the entire victimization thing that Rush tells you is a “lib’s bread and butter.” It’s terrible to become the thing you hate, isn’t it?
In his heart, Doug is obviously a very bad person as evidenced by his hat. I will no longer respond to any of his comments until he puts on an Orioles hat.
@J-Dub: I think you misspelled “Nationals.”
To be clear on a final point… There is no question that Gorley could have handled the situation with a cooler head.
But anyone with a smidgen of empathy — or who has dealt with the hospitalization of a loved one, let alone a spouse — should be able to understand why he was so upset.
Gorley was faced with an unexpected hospitalization of his spouse. Said hospitalization was done without his knowning, by his spouse’s estranged family. In fact, the only reason he knew was because his daughter was there when police and paramedics took the spouse away.
Straight or gay, someone faced with those circumstances would be going into the ER more than a little hot.
Add to that upon arrival, Gorley finds that his legal status as the prime medical decision maker is being ignored (despite the fact that his hospital should have had that on record).
Then add to that the fact that he’s being verbally assaulted and asked to leave by the same estranged relative who had his spouse hospitalized.
And remember that following the directive to leave, means that his partner’s estranged will be the one who will be calling the immediate shot’s when it comes to his partner’s health care.
I’ve had to help my wife through a number of hospitalizations that required me fighting for her care givers. And she and I have had to face ICU doctors who treated us like killers because we were trying to honor her father’s DNR orders. That was difficult enough.
I cannot imagine what I would have done if I was for any reason prevented from being there to help her because someone wasn’t willing to check the paperwork or believe were were married because we have different last names.
Both of you idiots misspelled “Tigers.” Who, by the way, seem to have the Yankees’ goat in playoff situations.
@Franklin: It’s not beyond the realm of possibility we’ll have a Tigers/Nationals World Series this year. I don’t know who I’d root for–I grew up near Detroit but now live near D. C. and like both teams!
Out of curiousity, Septimius, if Terry Schiavo’s husband and one of her parents had gotten into a screaming match at her hospital bed, which party should have been ejected?
@matt bernius: There is no indication in any of the reports I have read that the hospital staff ignored Gorley’s rights or gave the brother the power to make medical decisions instead of Gorley. There’s no evidence that the brother had made any medical decisions for the patient. It isn’t even clear that the patient was sufficiently incapacitated that another person needed to make medical decisions on his behalf (although that may be the case if you believe ThinkProgress). There’s no indication that the hospital was denying visitation to anyone other than immediate family. In fact, Gorley went to the hospital and made it into the patient’s room. They didn’t deny him access. I’ll grant that the brother is probably an asshole and provoked the confrontation when Gorley arrived at the hospital. What most likely happened was that Gorley arrived at the hospital, got into an argument with the brother, and the nurse ordered everyone to leave the room. When Gorley refused, security was called. When he scuffled with security, they called the cops and he was arrested. Again, this has nothing to do with SSM or PoA. The hospital has every right to toss someone who creates a disturbance in the Emergency Room, regardless of marital status or power of attorney.
Matt, regarding the points you made. If marriage can mean a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, then traditional marriage is anachronistic. But it seems like a circular argument to me.
I do not intend to conflate procreation and marriage. Traditional marriage is the correct biological form for procreation. That is not to say every marriage must produce children. It is self-evident that marriage is not needed for that.
I do not address the concept of children born in and out of wedlock, and inheritance being traditionally for those with legal sanction (either civil or church).
I do not think that marriage has fundamentally changed over the years. If marriage is merely what the law says it is at some particular time and place, then yes, marriage has evolved.
Just a little sarcasm to head off potential name callers. I am not a Rush Limbaugh listener. And mere because I disagree with someone does not mean I hate them. Perhaps that is not what you meant. Be relieved though, if you were referring to victimhood.
So Septimius…you are just going to ignore all the information available…in order to make your bigoted stand?
@Andre Kenji: That´s not our objection. Our objection is that the Courts should have a role curbing excesses made either by the public or by elected representatives. Specially when these excesses are related with Civil Rights.
I’m afraid you’re missing my point. I don’t disagree with you on principle; my objection is, I repeat, entirely pragmatic. I’m not saying that it’s improper for the courts to get involved; I’m saying that it’s ill-advised, for reasons I’ve already stated.
As I have said, where gay marriage has been passed democratically, it’s pretty much accepted. Where it’s imposed by a court, the resistance is far more intense.
I support following the path of least resistance and achieving the goal in a way that is far more likely to settle the matter more quickly. The only major fights going on about the issue are in the states where the courts acted. In states where the legislature acted, or a referendum was held, and it passed, it’s considered a done deal.
The only reason to push for a court intervention is because you’re spoiling for a fight. And you’re spoiling for it to the point where you are willing to risk your cause. Especially since the approach I back has a far better track record at succeeding.
@Jay Tea’s credulous dupe puppet Jenos Idanian #13:
The only reason to push for a court intervention is because you’re spoiling for a fight.
Bullshit. The reason to go to court is because an unconstitutional law was passed that should be overturned. At that point, the fight was already picked. Your position is not that people pushing for equality shouldn’t pick a fight, but that they shouldn’t fight back. “Hey, if your state passed a discriminatory law, just shut up and take it. Going to court is a provocation.” F*ck that. The discriminatory laws are the provocation.
We’re not living with inequality one day longer than we have to just because you think judges are icky. The judicial branch is coequal so it counterbalance the unjust tendencies of the majority, and rightly so. You on the other hand celebrate injustice if the majority supports it, at least when it comes to restricting the rights of gays and other groups you couldn’t care less about.
@mantis: You might want to review the whole story before you start frothing your incoherent blatherings.
The gay marriage issue got rolling in CA back in 2004, when San Francisco’s mayor, Gavin Newsom, took it upon himself to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples — unilaterally rewriting the existing laws. The courts intervened to point out that the obvious fact — that a mayor in a city doesn’t have the authority to change existing state laws. That started a fight that led to Proposition 8.
Hence my reference to “imposed” cases — Newsom usurped the powers of the state legislature.
And it’s really, really depressing how little faith and trust you have in your fellow citizens. You’re terrified of them deciding if they want to own guns, you’re terrified of letting them vote on gay marriage…
@Septimius: “What most likely happened ”
In other words, this is a scenario you’ve just pulled out of your ass because it supports your prejudices.
@matt bernius: Interesting articles. The first barely mentions Gosnell; the second is totally dishonest. Gosnell prospered for so long NOT because of over-regulation of abortion, but because pro-choice activists fought any kind of regulation or inspection that would have uncovered his practices.
See Ace of Spades for a rebuttal to Michelman’s arguments. And as far as the “it’s only a local crime story,” the same arguments could be applied to the O. J. Simpson case, the Zimmerman/Martin case, the Newtown school shootings, and especially the Jodi Arias case — all of which consistently drew national attention.
And that’s all I’m going to say about the Gosnell case here. As I said, I would find Doug’s take on the matter interesting, and I suspect it would make some of his regular critics squirm.
@Jenos Idanian #13: “And it’s really, really depressing how little faith and trust you have in your fellow citizens. You’re terrified of them deciding if they want to own guns, you’re terrified of letting them vote on gay marriage…”
In this very same message you pointed out that the ctizens of California voted to ban gay marriage, thanks in great part to a huge infusion of money from the Mormon church. So “terror” has nothing to do with it. If we believe that it’s unconstitutional to ban gay marriage and we’ve seen that even the population of a liberal state is willing to vote in favor of such a ban, the courts provide an obvious recourse. “Terror” has nothing to do with anything.
But then, you care so little about this issue you can’t even pretend to be against it. You just want to make sure people are paying attention to you, so you know you’re alive.
@Jenos Idanian #13: Damn… forgot the link to Ace’s commentary.
Let me fix that now.
One can only assume at this point that you’re deliberately discarding relevant information and completely disregarding context in order to cling tenaciously to the scenario your prejudices demand you accept.
How much nonsense can one person peddle on a single thread?
The postion of conservatives, including the noted concern troll Jenos Tea, is that gays and lesbians should accept their status as second class citizens, enjoy the shit sandwich, and stay quiet and humble. Someday, maybe, the people who despise them will give them permission to enjoy the pursuit of happiness.
Sorry Charlie, we are not doing “Please Mr. Republican, can I have the same constitutional rights you do”?? There will always be plenty of bigots that don’t “accept” marriage equality. Hell, fifty plus years after Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of the bus, there are millions of Americans who reject the legitimacy of a black President outright.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
That´s not what happened here in Brazil. And the Evangelical Faction of the Brazilian Congress is horrible.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Doing the right thing isn’t a good enough reason?
And damn right we’re spoiling for a fight. Why aren’t you?
This bothers you? Earlier in this thread you said:
Clearly you feel that states should be able to usurp the powers of the Constitution. Or perhaps you are actually as confused as your statements would lead us to believe.
Here it is conservatives. The supporters of marriage equality are not asking you for your permission. We are demanding the rights of our fellow citizens be respected. This is going to happen. You can delude yourselves if you wish (how is that “Fire Obama” thing working out for you?) you can kick, scream, whine, and play the victim card yet again. But it’s still going to happen. And it’s going to happen sooner, not later.
@James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb): Doing the right thing isn’t a good enough reason?
And damn right we’re spoiling for a fight. Why aren’t you?
‘Cuz the cause is winning in other states without fights. I prefer winning without fighting over winning by fighting.
When you can get the goal without fighting, and faster, then why the eff do you go for the way that gets the most resistance?
I can’t get past the fact that the sibling trumped the spouse. There’s an order of precedence when adults are involved that puts the spouse right at the top, next any kids, then comes the parents and then comes the siblings.
Everyone other than the nurse and the constructive spouse should have been swept out the door.
What’s the compelling reason to deny the couple a de jure marriage?
@wr: Oh, the Prop 8 campaign. Where people who signed petitions or donated money supporting it were targeted for harassment, their businesses boycotted, and in some cases even threatened.
What wonderful tolerance for disagreement that showed. How dare people actually act in a lawful fashion and try to work within the system in accordance with their beliefs.
It seems to me the country is being taken over by a bunch of fundamentalist. We need to fight back, it’s not funny anymore. I am afraid for our people. When will we wake up and see things I believe they have a right to their opinion and their belief’s but we do too.
That’s exactly what the people who are pursuing this through the court system are doing. Yet you call them “un-democratic”
What wonderful tolerance for disagreement you show.
I’m getting a little tired of failed attempts to use reason on Jenos Tea. The OTB People’s Republic crew should meet up in Malibu or some other costal spot for a moron-free lunch some time. I was in Monterey yesterday – 72 degrees and perfect.
@anjin-san: Let me repeat, because obviously you’re too stupid to hear it the first several times I mentioned it:
Same-sex marriage is winning when it’s placed before the American people for their approval. It’s losing when it’s imposed without the consent of the governed.
You aren’t interested in achieving the goal, you’re fixated on winning the fight. You won’t accept a way to win that avoids the fight — even when it’s been shown, again and again, to work better than fighting.
Are you perhaps trying to compensate for some kind of insecurity or shortcoming or something? ‘Cuz I’ve tried the reasonable explanations, and you keep rejecting those.
@anjin-san: I’m getting a little tired of failed attempts to use reason….
Let me know when you start using reason. ‘Cuz I’m feeling more heat and little light.
One more time: gay marriage is advancing a hell of a lot faster when it’s put up for a vote than when it’s fought in courts. Why are you so stuck on stupid that you can’t recognize that?
Please try to pay attention. I quoted the hospital statement before. I’ll do it again.
I choose to believe the hospital. You choose to believe that the hospital ER staff, hospital security, and the KCPD officers are all horrible bigots that colluded to discriminate against this poor, innocent gay couple.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Without fights? It may look like that from the sidelines, but I assure you this fight has been long, hard, and many an eye has been blackened.
Well, I have explained that the US Constitution is the supreme law of the land, that states cannot simply enshrine unconstitutional laws in their own constitutions and call it a day – you don’t appear to understand that.
I’ve explained that courts are a legitimate, democratic avenue for citizens to seek justice, and that the founding fathers put them there for that reason – you don’t appear to understand that.
I’ve explained that Loving v. Virginia proves conclusively that the courts can indeed provide permanent victories for citizens who are deprived of their constitutional rights in the area of marriage – you don’t appear to understand that either.
When presented with arguments that show you don’t know what you are talking about, you simply pretend you did not see them. That’s a fine tactic – if you are nine years old.
I have a colleague who is gay. I think as highly of him as anyone I have ever known, he is just a fantastic human being. His partner died last year after a long illness, they were both heartbroken because they knew that they would never be able to marry, there was not enough time.
I think I am on very solid moral ground as to where my motives lie. And I think everyone here knows what you are really all about.
Of course. Conservatives are not fighting gay marriage, teh gays are picking a fight where none is necessary.
And then, today:
There was no fight in Washington State:
@anjin-san: Oh, you’ve made your MORAL OUTRAGE quite clear. We’re all thoroughly impressed with your purity and sanctity and brilliance. At least I am.
And yet you won’t answer the simple question: How’s that working out for you?
You claim to be using reason, but you keep avoiding one essential point. You keep arguing about the validity of your approach, but that was never my intention. I was challenging its efficacy.
I never said your approach was illegitimate. I said that it was stupid. And I keep citing how another approach has consistently worked better.
So, feel free to argue about how you have every right to push your style of fight. I never challenged it, and quite frankly hearing you say it over and over is incredibly tedious.
But wake me up if you ever bother to address how I’m actually challenging you.
Here, let me put some actual info before you:
Connecticut: passed by legislature and governor, generally accepted.
DC: passed by city council and mayor, generally accepted.
Maine: passed by referendum, generally accepted.
Maryland: passed by legislature and governor, generally accepted.
New Hampshire: passed by legislature and governor, generally accepted.
New York: passed by legislature and governor, generally accepted.
Vermont: passed by legislature and governor, generally accepted.
Washington: passed by legislature and governor, generally accepted.
On the other hand:
California: imposed by court, still fought like hell.
Massachusetts: imposed by court, still being fought over.
Or you could just look for yourself and see how well your tactics are playing out, vs. mine.
You won’t, of course, because you’re more interested in the fight than the cause. You need to win this your way, because you’re so much better than others. Even after being shown, repeatedly, that another way is more effective than yours, you still have to fight it out.
Please give my sympathies to your gay colleague. It’s too bad that your ego is slowing down his victory.
Actually, you said:
‘Cuz the cause is winning in other states without fights.
Please document a state where gay marriage passed without a fight. I will stand by.
Well, we will know more after the supreme court ruling, won’t we? Historically, that is where civil rights issues are really decided. But you don’t want to talk about that, do you?
If they strike down DOMA, it will be the biggest single victory for marriage equality in history. It will be nationwide, and it will change the legal landscape overnight. Nothing is written in stone, but DOMA is obviously unconstitutional, and the court will have a very hard time ducking that fact, even if they want to.
@Jenos Idanian #13: so what do you suggest? That they just sit around and weight for their neighbors to decide to play nicely with them?
Hell, it didn’t work with segregation, it’s not going to work with gay marriage. There are far too many Americans who will blindly insist on their “traditional” view of marriage, notwithstanding that they”re remained AWFULLY silent about divorce and adultery. (Face it–when the face of your so-called morality is Newt Gingrich, you don’t have a leg to stand on.)
If your own marriage is so fragile that the marriage of a same sex couple somewhere in the US is enough to destroy it, then it wasn’t a very strong marriage after all, was it?
Hmm. Blue states. How is gay marriage via the ballot box coming along in Alabama and Arkansas? Or do gay folks down there not count?
I know that this is thread hijacking, but the Kermit Gosnell story should be a warning of what would happen all the time if abortion was made illegal.
This is interesting reading:
Way too many comments for me to wade into existing arguments, but I do have a couple of points.
1. I recognize I am “on the wrong side of history” on this debate and, even as a relatively young person, my own generation and the generations growing up right now have been raised in a society that promotes homosexuality as a normal lifestyle.
2. I recently heard the president of the ACLU speak, and she, like many on the left, equate the battle for what has been coined “marriage equality” or “gay civil rights” with Loving v. Virginia and also the Civil Rights struggle.
I strongly reject this argument. As someone who is in an interracial marriage, I find it rather offensive that the acts are being compared, and the Loving case being used in this way (notwithstanding Ms. Loving’s own stated support for gay marriage). Were I black I would be very offended by the comparison of the long and brutal Civil Rights struggle to this current struggle, which has hardly seen the level of hatred and institutionalized cruelty that blacks were subjected to during that era.
I have no religious compunctions regarding gay marriage. What the vast majority of them want is the sort of protections provided in the article above, and why shouldn’t they have that?
Though I don’t actively oppose gay marriage, and recognize our inexorable movement towards the lifting of prohibitions against such marriages, even as a non-religious person when I really think about the acts that they engage in I feel a deep and instinctual revulsion. I do not consider myself to be “homophobic” (usually a bogus label anyway) and have never treated a gay coworker or friend with anything but the normal respect. My own person disgust should not be controlling in politics. I am also disgusted with the Ku Klux Klan, Westboro Baptist Church, and racist brands of African theology but in MY America all of them, along with homosexuals and interracial couples and everyone else gets the same rights to equal protection and due process and all our other wonderful Constitutional safeguards.
@Jenos Idanian #13: You forgot Iowa….
I think it’s funny that you find the method (legislative versus judicial) to be be the most important part of the debate. It’s certainly not to those involved!
The court cases, once “imposed,” (not “decided” but “imposed?”) would also be generally accepted if your buddies on the right just accepted it instead of having the lawyers file the appeal.
@aFloridian: “Though I don’t actively oppose gay marriage, and recognize our inexorable movement towards the lifting of prohibitions against such marriages, even as a non-religious person when I really think about the acts that they engage in I feel a deep and instinctual revulsion.”
You realize, of course, that many straight couples engage in anal intercourse and that many gay male couples do not. Most couples, of whatever persuasion, enjoy oral sex. And why do you “really think” about what other couples do in bed?
I should add that homosexuality is not a “lifestyle;” it’s a sexual orientation. My heterosexual lifestyle differs only slightly from the homosexual lifestyle of my friends Tom & Fred. When Fred retires, there will be even fewer differences.
@ James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb)
Jenos also conveniently forgot about the many states where legislation preventing or hindering marriage equality has passed.
Sure you are:
@Septimius: “I choose to believe the hospital.”
And then you invented a darling little scenario to fit around their claims. It’s called making stuff up. Please try to learn the difference between reality and fantasy.
@Jenos Idanian #13: “What wonderful tolerance for disagreement that showed.”
If a group of bigots teamed up with an out of state cult to pass a law making it unconstitutional, say, for Jews to marry gentiles and thus to undo my own marriage, you bet your ass I’d boycott their businesses. I have no obligation to give money to people who are trying to make me a second class citizen… even if these are bigots you support. So spare me the phony sympathy. Gays were fighting for their constitutional rights, and your sole concern is for the precious feelings of those who were trying to take them away.
@anjin-san: That sounds great. I’m down here in the desert these days, and contemplating a move even further east… off to a red state for the first time in my life.
@James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb): I think it’s funny that you find the method (legislative versus judicial) to be be the most important part of the debate. It’s certainly not to those involved!
Because, as I’ve said again and again and again, that’s what seems to work best in the long term.
It’s basic human psychology. People are more likely to accept a decision they disagree with if they can feel that they had some input, that their voices were heard, than if they’re told “shut up, your opinion doesn’t matter.” And evne more so when it’s “shut up, you stupid ignorant hater, your opinion doesn’t matter.”
I’m not asking that they be given sympathy; I’m pointing out that it works better.
I’m tired of repeating that. Anyone else who wants to argue the moral or principled or technical case for using the courts can blow it out their asses. At this point, you’re just grandstanding for each other.
One final point: abortion was taken out of the hands of the legislatures by the courts. That was a good 40 years ago. How well did that settle the fights?
All the while running like the wind from Loving v. Virginia.
The actions of Roger Gorley are selfish to the extreme. His complaint is this:
A hospital is a medical clinic, not a legal clinic. It is staffed by physicians, not lawyers. Their duty is to help the medical needs of those who come into their precincts
Has anyone on this thread even brought to mind that there might have been other people there in the Emergency Room at 3 a.m. on a Tuesday morning? Are people, seriously in need of a blood transfusion, to be left to die while the staff go scurrying off so that the they may dig up whether a certain person has a power-of-attorney? And, at 3 a.m. on any day, the place is surely staffed at less than full level, probably less than half level.
It also is called an Emergency Room for a reason: things that happen there can be presumed to be occurring in a state of emergency. Even if Mr. Gorley had the power-of-attorney papers stapled to his shirt, still the staff there need to be able to run the emergency room as they see fit. Evergencies are like that. Things happen by judgment-calls, not by legalisms.
Then, the next day, when there is time to get to any legal matters in the situation, the hospital grants Mr. Gorley a right to see the patient. And so Mr. Gorley wins his point the next day. But no! He didn’t win his point there in the emergency room at three in the morning. How horrible! How intolerable! My word, his feelings were hurt!
And, of course, few on this thread realize that he had security called against him because he directly refused to obey the order by the staff to leave the area, and the staff told all the disputing and shouting parties to leave, apparently. And then he was put in handcuffs and booked into jail for resisting the police officer. It is a simple case of diorderly conduct, pure and simple. If the patient’s brother had refused to leave, or scuffled with a police officer upon refusing to leave, he would have been treated exactly the same.
If there is a shouting match anywhere in a hospital, then the staff there need to be able to deal with it quickly and effectively. Unlike seemingly everyone on this thread, they are concerned that people in hospitals recieve proper medical attention.
@Justinian: And just like Septimius, you ignore every bit of relevant context and make lame and transparent excuses for the inexcusable.
@Jenos Idanian #13: “One final point: abortion was taken out of the hands of the legislatures by the courts. That was a good 40 years ago. How well did that settle the fights? ”
I see… So interracial marriage, which is a direct analogue to gay marriage, has absolutely nothing to do with this, and can never be used as a comparison because that’s just wrong and silly and shut up!!!! But abortion, which has absolutely nothing in common with gay marriage, should be the metric by which we judge how to proceed here.
It’s pretty astonishing just how feeble your self-refuting arguments are… even after all this time.
We have two “friends” of marriage equality with opposite views of how to go about achieving it.
You would think that the logical next step would be that Doug would publicly support and vote for political candidates that support gay rights and marriage equality. In Doug’s case, you would be wrong, because pro-gay rights candidates are generally Democrats and anti-gay rights candidates are generally Republicans. And Doug doesn’t want to vote for Democrats.
Doug avoids this dilemma by saying who he votes for his private business. True, but this is hardly a courageous stand in favor of marriage equality. Indeed, it can be seen as enabling hypocrisy, because Doug can call for marriage equality in public, while voting for anti-marriage equality Republicans in private.
In order to resolve this dilemma, Doug would prefer a courts-based approach-having the Supreme Court repeal DOMA, and eventually, the anti-gay marriage state constitutional provisions-on equal protection grounds. This would spare him the moral obligation to vote for those otherwise distasteful pro-gay rights Democrats and against anti-gay rights Republicans.
The problem with Doug’s courts-only approach is that we don’t know how the Supreme Court will come out on this. You can create likely scenarios for just about any outcome. In the end, a courts-based approach alone can’t get it done. In Doug’s home state of Virginia, it will likely be necessary for Doug to vote for and (heaven forbid) publicly support pro-gay rights Democratic candidates, or else engage in the hypocrisy of voting Republican , while calling for gay rights on his blog.
The courts-based approach is anathema to another friend of gay rights Jenos. Jenos abhors the courts- based approach. His preferred solution is to repeal DOMA through Congressional action, then repeal the anti-gay marriage state constitutional and legal provisions one by one, because such an approach will yield more “secure” victories. In doing so, he skips over such institutional obstacles as
1. the filibuster in Congress, which the Republicans will use to block Democratic efforts to repeal DOMA.
2. Republican opposition in blue and purple states, which makes the process of repealing such laws slow and costly.
3. The political impossibility of repealing such provisions in red states, which condemns gays living in such states to second class status for the foreseeable future.
With such “friends” of gay rights, gays need no enemies.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
While that may be true generally, it’s certainly not true in this case.
Input? What kind of “input” do these people want? Why do they think they have a voice into other people’s personal relationships, people that they don’t even know? It may be rude to say it, and their feelings may get hurt if they hear it, but their opinion really doesn’t matter.
Not sure this is really a very good example. Those people need to get over it too.
In reply ot Mikey, immediately above:
For most people, the particulars of the hospital and Emergency Room are the context. It is, after all, the surrounding area, the place where the actions took place.
It is you who ignore relevant context. Your context is entirely political and in a blogosphere. In the real world, there are real people in hospitals, in need of real medical attention, and who are attended to by real physicians, who try to do the job for which they are really professionally trained. And when someone really commits disorderly conduct in a hospital, he really is forcibly ejected.
It’s called the real world. Some people live in it.
Isn’t the point that Mr. Gorley shouldn’t have to “win arguments?” Isn’t the point rather that if gay marriage was legal, he would have simply been granted access , like a wife would have been?
Its like the earlier civil rights struggle-the ones insisting on their rights are told that they are “agitators” who should be peaceable and respectful.If people whose rights are violated don’t make a scene, though, then their rights are silently denied, and the authorities proclaim that everyone is satisfied with the status quo, and there is no need for change.
@Justinian: The context you’re deliberately ignoring is this:
If the marriage of the two men was considered the same, in legal terms, as that of a man and a woman, this incident would never have happened. Gorley would simply have said, “I am his husband,” and that would have been it. No argument, except perhaps between him and his husband’s brother, and the brother would have been the one dragged out by the cops.
And don’t try to get all sanctimonious on me about what goes on in a hospital, because I spent several years working in one, including a lot of time on the psychiatric unit. I know exactly what goes on. And I think the way this hospital handled this incident is reprehensible.
If I or one of my relatives were lying in an emergency room and a screaming match broke out–I wouldn’t give a rats ass who it was, why they were fighting, or what rights they were standing up for. The other patients have a right to receive care in a peaceful setting. People get the short end of the stick all the time. There is a time, place, and manner to address grievances. If family members to a patient can’t get along they need to take their beef elsewhere and be shown off hospital property until they can behave themselves–period.
I guess all the comparisons to SSM and black human rights are a good thing in a way despite being ridiculous on their face. It shows how far we’ve come to where people are completely divorced from the realities that went on during Jim Crow. Given a choice, I suspect black people would have gladly forgone the right to intermarry with whites in exchange for: economic fairness, tax fairness, fairness in court decisions, right to have killers/rapists prosecuted, etc. Unfortunately history has captured that struggle in terms of bus rides, lunch counters, and school integration as if that was the goal of the movement. Those were nothing but straw men attacked to get down to the real nitty gritty.
At any rate, as foolish as I consider libertarian approaches to be in general… I think they have the right slant here. The government should stop issuing marriage licenses. Marriage has fundamentally changed and shouldn’t be limited to gender–or number for that matter. Anyone historically recognized as having the ability to enter into a contract, should be able to “marry”.
In reply to stonetools:
Not even Martin Luther King would try to perform an act of civil disobedience in an emergency room of a hospital.
“To everything there is a season,” said Ecclesiastes, “a time for every purpose under heaven.” There is also a place.
Hospitals are not the places to “make” or “win” political arguments. Their function of providing urgent, necessary care to patients is too high for them to be diverted from this purpose by becoming venues for civil disobedience.
MLK was told in his time that just about any place, any time, was inappropriate for performing an act of civil disobedience.
Also too , those whose rights are being violated generally don’t get to pick the time and place of violation of rights. The violators do that.
Exactly where would this type of rights violation would have occurred, in your perfect world?
Interesting rewrite of the history of the civil rights movement. In actuality, blacks insisted on ALL the rights they were entitled to as citizens, often by pursuing what the rights deniers agreed were the “wrong tactics”, because they were “too disruptive” and “provocative”. Indeed,according to the “rights deniers”, civil rights advocates never pursue the right tactics in the right way, and are always too “uncompromising” and “impatient”-until they win. Then the “rights deniers” shut up or say that they were always in favor of civil rights- just not in favor of how it was pursued.
Also too, as long as the government is involved in enforcing contract, property, and tax law, they will be involved in marriage, which means forever.
@Pharoah Narim: @Justinian: You guys are funny.
Do they? Where in the Constitution does it say that? The Equal Protection Clause is in the 14th Amendment. Which amendment has the “Peace in Hospitals” clause?
And yes, it’s hilarious that you would deny one codified right in favor of one you just made up this morning.
I mean, if this guy was charged with menacing or battery or assault, you might have a point. But he was charged with disorderly conduct, or in other words, “pissing off a cop.” Big deal.
And listen to Justinian say with utmost confidence that
Hey, I don’t speak for MLK, but if visiting your husband in the hospital is an act of civil disobedience, then, Houston, we have a problem.
Have you guys ever heard the phrase, “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging?” Because you guys should do that.
In reply to Mikey:
The incident that directly led to the escalation to police force is given thus in the lead article:
The lead story gives indication of two, distinct incidents: an altercation between Mr. Gorley and Mr. Allen’s brother, and, later, Mr. Gorley getting into Mr. Allen’s room and then refusing to leave when so ordered by hospital staff.
Things escalated to the use of force under the second incident. Notice that the brother did not disobey hospital staff, but left the area peaceably. Most people are like that. He wasn’t even in the building at the time of the second incident.
If homosexual marriage were legal, even you admit that the altercation with the brother might well have happened regardless. And, with the altercation, came the order for all the disputing parties to leave the hospital. Then, if any one of those parties disobeys the order, sneaks into the patient’s room, and, thereupon being ordered to leave, refuses, and is so recalcitrant that even hospital security cannot handle him, and the police have to be called, then, yes, everything has happened all over again.
But it is not the brother who would be hauled out, because he respected the staff’s order, and would continue to respect the staff’s order whatever was the statutory or constitutional law that forms the surrounding “context” you are so interested in. No, it is Mr. Gorley again; he is the one who does not respect the staff’s order. Such, so far as can be told, is how would play out the “what if” scenario of homosexual marriage becoming legal.
But, as with all “what if” scenarios, nothing can be told with certainty; even getting a “probably” is nearly impossible for most “what-ifs”— another reason to stick with discussing things in the real world rather than in hypothetical ones.
@Justinian: You’re conveniently forgetting the part about how the family showed up at this guy’s front door with the cops and had him dragged off against his will to a hospital he didn’t want to go to, but hey….we get it.
The merits don’t matter to you.
Try this one with the hospital staff and cops tossing you out of the ER because you showed up disconcertingly armed when you tried to visit your suddenly ill wife. Same thing, right?
@James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):
In reply to James Pearce:
You might try the Ninth Amendment:
Incidentally, where in the Constitution do people have a right to go into hospital rooms at 4 in the morning contrary to the orders of hospital staff?
But, again, you are trying to turn the hospital into a legal clinic, not a place where medicine is practiced.
Win. Because of course according to Jenos and JKB, the hospital authorities would then be jackbooted Nazis trying to enact their version of the Third Reich in an American hospital, and Mr. Gorley would be a “martyr” for the constitutional right to carry a gun “for self defense” in a hospital. The “inappropriate conduct” would be the hospital authorities’ denial of the gun owner’s constitutional rights , not Mr. Gorley’s actions, which, while regrettable , would be excused in the light of the circumstances.
@James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):
Likewise, he’s forgetting that if Gorley’s marriage was recognized, he would immediately have been recognized as the health care proxy and been able to request that the brother be made to leave the room.
What Justinian and others continue to do is reduce the case down to the final action. Imagine this same method applied to the use of deadly force in a legitimate case of self defense. By ignoring the context that led up to the event, we are left with one person being arrested for shooting and killing another person. However, if the situation is taken as a whole, it becomes a victim of an attack defending their own life.
To Mikey’s point, it seems most of the people who are trying to say that marriage has no bearing on this situation have very little first hand knowledge of what it’s like to either work in an ER *or* have had the experience of functioning as a health care proxy during a visit to the ER.
Unfortunately I have more than my fair share of experience with the latter. And based on that experience, I can only say that I empathize with what Mr Gorley went through and, placed in his position, suspect I would have had much the same reaction.
Of course, because I’m straight, and legally married to my wife, I would most likely never have been placed in this situation to begin with. And that is the overall point that so many here seem to continually ignore.
@Justinian: The 9th amendment provides for peace in hospitals? Mmmm–kay…..
Wrong. I’m trying to turn the hospital into a place where gay couples retain control of their lives, where their relationships and wishes are respected, and where people who aren’t involved in that relationship don’t get a say.
@James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):
In reply to James Pearce, who wrote:
My original post was about the situation at the hospital. I have not been able to find the souce of the information you quote about Mr. Allen being dragged off against his will. What you say is probably Internet-Findable (it is not the kind of thing people fabricate), but I’ve looked at the lead article and two cited on this thread, and can find nothing about it. Maybe it’s right there and somehow I missed it.
And if, in the leisure of an afternoon, I am not able to determine this, how were the staff at the hospital to determine it at 3 a.m. on a certain Tuesday, and, even if they did know it, what other action would they have come to because of the additional information?
I did, though, find this in my searchings (http://fox4kc.com/2013/04/11/hospital-bad-behavior-sole-reason-man-had-to-leave/):
If this is the kind of incident that advocates of homosexual marriage want to use in favor of their position, they can have it.
Since you took the time to reply, allow me to extend you the same courtesy…
I referenced “victim-hood” because the first thing you wrote was “Being a conservative and therefore by definition stupid.” Tounge-in-cheek or not, this passive-aggressive statement frames you from the start as a victim (of prejudice) and indicates that if anyone of us disagree with your viewpoint, its because we have an irrational bias. The reason I invoked Rush was because this sort of move is pretty common within the Conservative Media Complex. It’s an unfortunate way of cutting off debate.
But suggesting that the what makes a marriage traditional is simply the genders of the two parties involved is to grossly simplify what marriage in order to make your own circular argument.
Comparing the modern institution of male/female marriage to male/female marriage two thousand years ago is anachronistic because the only thing you will find in common is the genders of the two individuals involved.
In the last two thousand years there have been significant cultural, legal, and moral differences (everything from moving away from the bride as property to the end of polygamy to changes in inheritance rights to no fault divorce). By anachronistic, I mean that a totalizing argument like the one you made ignores all of those differences to pretend that marriage really hasn’t changed in two thousand years.
BTW, you should also note that by “traditional marriage” you’re really talking about marriage as it evolved in Western Europe. As soon as we start to cast the net broader, you get to more and more flavors of “marriage.”
What do you mean “correct biological form for procreation”? You don’t need to be married to procreate. And people were procreating long before marriages formed. At best you could say that traditional marriage formed along the lines of biological procreation (i.e. male/female).
So explain to me how saying that “Traditional marriage is the correct biological form for procreation” is NO conflating procreation and marriage.
Further, let me remind you that you wrote this:
Which gets to:
Ahh, but you implicitly did by asking “Why did government get involved in marriages?” And, you suggested that it had something to do with procreation (see above). My point was that people procreated and raised children without any issues (see your point above).
The reason that the government was involved with marriage was for the purposes of inheritance and property issues (including the wife, who in “traditional marriages” was just another piece of property).
The reason why I also brought up property is to remind how long government has been involved in the “marriage business.” This isn’t a new thing. Again, by prior to Shakespeare’s day government had already established laws of inheritance that were completely based on family lines established *through marriage.*
Then clearly you haven’t studied this issue in a historical context. And that’s what many of us find problematic about your arguments. You believe in a certain (limited) set of facts and then ignore anything that challenges them (and resort to believing that we who disagree do so because we think your stupid, rather than we might be basing our position on a broader reading of history).
The thing is, as a civil institution, that’s entirely what marriage has been for the majority of its existence. Hence why talking about government’s long standing role in marriage *is* important. Almost from the start, marriage was as much civil as it was religious. It’s just that initially civil and religious law were more or less intertwined.
If you are a Christian, then you should appreciate that it was Jesus who symbolically separated the two in freeing his followers from Levitical Law. “Render unto Ceaser…” was an acknowledgement that the law of man and the law of God were two separate systems.
There’s no question that there is a parallel form of marriage that is tied to religious faith. But that’s not what’s at question here. The right to marry is the right to enter into a very specific legal form of partnership that has a long cultural history that extend far beyond “the church.”
Playing “ah shucks, why does the government care about marriage in the first place” is choosing to remain willfully ignorant of that history or pretend that one form of marriage (religious) always takes precedent over the other form of marriage (civil). And that is bad theology, bad civics, and bad history.
Here is an account by Roger Gorley’s daugher, and yes, it was internet-findable:
So now you know the whole story. Still feel the same?
@James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):
To be fair, we are all waiting for corroboration of Amanda(?) Gorley’s story. However, it does not seem anywhere outside of the realm of possibility.
Further, if her account is mostly correct, the Allen was judged to not be able to make decisions for himself (hence how he could be taken to the hospital at the command of the police). For Justinian, and others who don’t seem too familiar with hospital/ER procedure, if a patient is judged not able to make decisions then the closest next of kin becomes the health care proxy.
Again, this meant than the estranged brother, who by all accounts had no serious understanding of Allen’s condition, was the one who was making all the healthcare decisions. And, that the person who had been with Allen through all his treatments (not to mention was legally empowered to make those decisions) had no say in what was going on.
Here’s the thing about ER’s — everything is moving fast within them. If the patient is NOT able to relate their medical history to the doctor, then the attending physician has to play archeologist and reconstruct the person’s issues from a quick scan of their medical chart. And, in my experience, that can lead to missing a critical detail or trying to administer a drug that hasn’t worked in the past or having an ER nurse dig around in a patient’s arm to set up an IV despite the fact that the majority of the patient’s veins are shot.
That’s why its so critical to have a partner by your bedside. And if you are that partner, and you are being prevent from doing your job (i.e. watching your partner’s back) by hospital staff that are ignoring your legal authority and an estranged brother-in-law, then it’s not surprising that you would get into a verbal altercation.
While I give you points on honest, I find your overall position pathetic. If I’m reading this right, you oppose gay marriage (and perhaps the idea of homosexuality in general) because peopl doing gay things makes you feel “irrationally icky.”
Frankly, this is about the most selfish and stupid rational possible. I mean, like worse than the Westburo Baptist Church, who, in their slight defense, at least claim to believe that they are trying to save the gay’s from eternal damnation.
Welcome to bigotsville… population: you.
@matt bernius: “That’s why its so critical to have a partner by your bedside. And if you are that partner, and you are being prevent from doing your job (i.e. watching your partner’s back) by hospital staff that are ignoring your legal authority and an estranged brother-in-law, then it’s not surprising that you would get into a verbal altercation.”
What I keep wondering about is the hospital’s statement that the husband was keeping them from doing their job. How did even they know what they should be doing, given that he was the one who knew the situation and who had the legal authority to authorize medical care?
It may well be that the husband acted inappropriately. I might act that way, too, if I were being dragged away from my husband’s side when he was in the hospital. I somehow doubt, however, if it would happen that way with a straight couple.
@If I’m reading this right, you oppose gay marriage (and perhaps the idea of homosexuality in general) because peopl doing gay things makes you feel “irrationally icky.”:
Matt, I appreciate your response, as I know it took you a considerable amount of time. It would have taken me a considerable amount of time at least. I do not have the free time to address all that you wrote. Maybe in time we could come to a meeting of the minds. That is probably a pretty big maybe.
I have done a bit of genealogy and have read a few marriage records from France and Germany. I believe that prior to the French Revolution marriages were not recorded by civil authorities. The church records were the only marriage records. The same was for baptisms/births and deaths.
After 1815 this secularization was extended gradually over all of Germany. At first in Germany the secular authorities just received duplicate copies of the church records, and that was used as the secular record. I cannot say how marriage records were kept in England and the American colonies.
It probably was the case that when government made laws pertaining to inheritance, its basis for marriage was what the church said marriage was. Inheritance was the purview of secular law, and marriage was the purview of the church.
I do not have the capability to undertake a broad reading of the history of marriage. I am just a retired fellow sitting at home in a rural area and tied down by caregiver duties.
I guess I will just say that the essence of marriage has always been male-female. I think that is true. It certainly seems to be true for Western culture. I do not believe you have brought forth facts that contradicts this.
@Justinian: You miss the point (one can only conclude deliberately) again.
If the marriage of Allen and Gorley were of equal legal status as a heterosexual marriage, there would have been NO QUESTION who would leave the room. And, further, there would have been an instant assumption, as Matt B. points out, that Gorley was authorized not only to be present, but to speak on behalf of his husband.
But it is not equal, it is lesser, and if you think things would have gone the same way with a heterosexual couple, you are most dreadfully mistaken.
You are engaging in the most facile rationalizations here in an effort to avoid the screaming 10-foot gorilla in the room.
Thanks for making me re-read @aFloridian’s post. I was in a mood earlier and my response was far harsher than his(?) post probably warranted.
That said, I really struggle with the implications of the following passage:
I don’t see how to read this in any other way than that @aFloridian is saying he opposes (albeit passively) gay marriage as a proposition because he is personally irrationally creeped out by gay sex.
And while I realize that he also stated that he doesn’t feel he is homophobic or deals with homosexuals he knows any differently in day-to-day life, I have to wonder how such an “instinctual” negative reaction to the idea of them as sexual beings might affect those interactions.
But it could also just be I’m in a really crappy mood now and it’s affecting my readings of everything.
Guess we will just change the rules then. A lot of the traditions and institutions of western civilizations are about keeping white male property owners on top, and everyone else down. I see no need to worship the past…
@Herb: Quit being silly, Consideration for others and etiquette needs to be codified by law now to be respected? And you said I’M funny. LoL
Well since my information came directly from scores of people that lived under Jim Crow and marched and bled in the civil rights movement perhaps is not a “rewrite” and pretty close to the truth. History is rarely told from the vantage point of foot soldiers. At any rate, sure, the government enforces contracts–but they don’t have to issue licenses. You only issue licenses for groups you want to control the membership of for whatever reason. Our society no longer wants to control membership to this subset–there is no need for licenses. The only fair, non-discriminatory course of action is to let anyone historically seen as capable of entering into a contract marry in any configuration conducive to their lifestyle.
Then you should probably spend some time reading history books. Romantic love as the basis of marriage is a fairly new event from a historic perspective, but it is more or less pervasive in American society. That all by itself is a huge change in the fundamental nature of marriage.
@ Pharoah Narim
Are you married? If someone was trying to keep you away from your spouse when they were ill and they needed you most, would you give a flaming crap about “etiquette”? I certainly would not. If anyone tried to come between my wife and I, they would have a problem on their hands, and rightfully so. It’s pretty much a cliche – you don’t get between a guy and his wife. Too bad millions of Americans don’t seem to think gays & lesbians deserve consideration, or even their constitutional rights.
Of course, I would never be in this situation.
Even during slavery in plantantion times, marriages among the black slaves were treated as big celebrations by whites and blacks. The chief difference between white and black marriages was the omission of the phrase “until death do us part”. See Roll, Jordan, Roll. The World the Slaves Made by Eugene D. Genovese.
Interjecting a statement that some white institutions were made to keep the white man in power may be true, but I do not see where it applies to marriage.
@aFloridian: “Were I black I would be very offended by the comparison of the long and brutal Civil Rights struggle to this current struggle, which has hardly seen the level of hatred and institutionalized cruelty that blacks were subjected to during that era.”
Just ran across something that may be relevant here: “The barometer of where one is on human rights questions is no longer the black community, it’s the gay community. Because it is the community which is most easily mistreated.” Bayard Rustin (1986)
I did not make a comment about “white” institutions, I made a comment about “traditions and institutions of western civilizations” – the point being that many/most of them were/are designed to maintain the existing power structure, not to achieve some nobel purpose. They are not sacred cows that should be worshipped, and they are not so fine that we dare not alter them.
The institution of marriage should serve us. We should not serve it.
When the reeds you are grasping are this slender, it’s probably time to fold up shop and go home.
I really appreciate you took the time to continue this conversation. It helps me see where you are coming from and what historical facts you’re using to frame your position.
This is entirely correct. Generally speaking, government survey’s and the keeping of governmental population records (including the recording of marriages, births and deaths) was an outgrowth of the enlightenment and marked the beginning of the development of the modern nation. So both were — relatively speaking — modern inventions.
However, Government involvement in the legislation of marriage begins much earlier in Europe. As far back as Greece and the Roman Empire, government were already regulating the form that marriage could take and what it’s implications were.
The History of Marriage section of Wikipedia has a good overview on the interweaving (and divergence) of religious and secular law that went on in multiple locations throughout Europe.
What’s important to note is how political changes (i.e. the Reformation/Counter Reformation, which was as much about politics as it was about religion) brought multiple changes to the concept and execution of marriage by the State. That’s in part my (and others) broader point — marriage has always been altered by the political/social context of its day.
The expansion of the concept to include same sex relationships is, without a doubt, an expansion of the concept — it’s a mistake to think that this is the *first* time that the idea of what a marriage is has been questioned or has changed because of social forces.
But, at that time, the omission of “until death do us part” is a pretty striking example of setting up a parallel form of marriage that destablized slave families while perpetuating the power of [white] slave owners.
Removing that concept from vows took away a moral/social rational for not splitting up a family brought together through marriage. If that clause had been left in there, it would have served as an argument that slaves couples — while still *property of their owners* — should be treated as an indivisible unit, rather than as individual units to be bought and sold.
In this way, if one wanted to, it could be argued that “broken homes” and absent/single parent structures were “hard baked” into the history of black families in America.
[btw: as an aside great reference! Thanks for the citation. These are exactly the sort of conversations/friendly debates I wish could happen more often.]
Matt, I do not see this as setting up a parallel form of marriage. Couples getting married nowadays often write their own marriage vows, and who know what the vows say. I do not believe you will find many who agree that this is setting up a parallel form of marriage.
It seems that your argument is that marriage has changed in some non-essential ways throughout history, so why can it not be changed so that a man can married a man. Is this what you are saying?
Man/woman, man/man/woman and man/woman/woman have the essential quality of marriage. Man/man and woman/woman do not. The essential quality of which I speak is that the relationship does not have to bring in a person not party to the relationship in order to produce off-spring. The relationship has biological completeness for procreation.
You could say that the government has the power to call anything it wants to marriage. That is true, but it would represent a significant expansion of government power. And regardless, it would still not really be marriage.
You could punch me in the face and knock me out cold, and the government could call that murder. But isn’t the essential element of murder the fact that the victim is dead?
Matt, I do not see that this conversation is going anywhere. Just two people disagreeing.
I agree. And think it’s a good time to say to the other “well argued, but I don’t agree.”
Thanks for taking the time to explain the roots of your opinion. While I don’t agree with it, I appreciate where its coming from. And sometimes that’s the best one can ask for. 🙂