Connect with us

Socialism? And Gay Marriage? And Civil Unions? Oh My!



Remember that classic moment when Joe The Plumber first met Barack Obama? It was back in October, just a few days before the final presidential debate, although it seems like years ago. Obama made the mistake of speaking intelligently to then-Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, now, Mr. The Plumber, I guess. Here’s what Obama said,

“It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance at success, too… My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re gonna be better off […] if you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you, and right now everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody and I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

Republicans cried “Socialism!” And despite the fact that Obama’s tax plan would have benefitted Joe, and despite the fact that Obama’s plan wasn’t evenly closely “socialism“, Joe used his mighty wit, and hit for the other team. The rest, as they say, is history.

Just a few weeks on the heels of the now famous New York Times’ Op-Ed by David Blankenhorn and Jonathan Rauch, today, Time Magazine’s Michael Lindenberger reports on another tactic, this time, a lot closer to the essence of socialism, being batted about to solve the issue of gay marriage.

“Two law professors from Pepperdine University issued a call to re-examine the role the government plays in marriage in a paper published March 2 in the San Francisco Chronicle. The authors — one of who voted for and one against Prop 8, which successfully ended gay marriage in California — say the best way out of the intractable legal wars over gay marriage is to take marriage out of the hands of the government altogether.

Instead, give gay and straight couples alike the same license — a certificate confirming them as a family, and call it a “civil union” — anything, really, other than “marriage.” For those for whom the word marriage is important, the next stop after the courthouse could be the church, where they could bless their union with all the religious ceremony they could want. The Church itself would lose nothing of its role in sanctioning the kinds of unions that it finds in keeping with its tenets. And for non-believers or those for whom the word marriage is less important, the civil union license issued by the state would be all they needed to unlock the benefits reserved in most states, and in federal law, for “married” couples.”

It’s an interesting argument, and one that is actually starting to take place, for better or worse, right now in the hotbed of gay marriage. Patt Morrison writes,

“Two college students want to put on the ballot an initiative to change the word ”marriage” to ”civil union” in California’s laws.

Not … so … fast … Robin Tyler is the executive director of Equality Campaign and one of the first to be married in California in that June-to-November 2008 window when gay marriage was legal. Taking away the civil institution of marriage from everyone diminishes everyone, she thinks. But a lot of you called and blogged to disagree. Many of you think it’s a great idea; it delineates a brighter line between church and state. A couple of you in heterosexual relationships even said you refuse to get married because the word is fraught with religious connotations.”

And that is the crux of this argument: Does reducing everyone’s status to make everyone equal, (the “taking from some to make everyone equal” part is a lot closer to the essence of socialism,) solve the problem? If one of us is diminished, aren’t we all? And isn’t that what gay-marriage bans, like Prop 8, do in the first place?

These are the big questions in this issue. We are a nation of laws, with the often opposing tenets of “majority rules” confronting “justice for all” and “all men are created equal”. The question is, how much are we willing to give up to ensure these philosophies that are etched in our DNA are honored?

The answer is, today, most legally-married straight couples probably aren’t willing to give up the term “marriage”. And why should they? They’ve earned it. The problem is, they didn’t have to fight for it. We do. And we’ve earned it too. 

I agree with the idea of keeping the state and religion out of the bedroom. But I don’t agree with the idea of letting the state offer only civil unions and the church, marriage, because the fact is that neither God nor religion created marriage. And because we know that calling it something else diminishes its members. Studies show that children in families headed by gay parents who aren’t legally married are perceived differently. It’s not fair to them, or to their parents. The state can, and does, legislate morality. 

Marriage is an institution created by man. Relegating it to the Church serves only the Church, not man. It’s time to give marriage to all, and it’s time to call it marriage. Let the state marry everyone, and let those who choose to reinforce their religious beliefs are welcome to do so again in whatever house of worship, and in whatever manner, they, and their church, choose. 

The word marriage is being fought for by all sides, and the battle is fierce. With good reason. “Marriage” has meaning. If it were just a word, no one would be fighting for it. I agree with Robin Tyler. Don’t diminish everyone’s rights to appease all sides. This is not a zero-sum game. There’s no need to rob Peter to pay for Paul and Steve’s marriage. That’s the beauty of love, and of marriage. There’s enough of it to go around.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.


Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves Dismisses ‘Real Small, Minor Number’ of Rapes Requiring Abortions



Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) declined to say on Sunday if he would sign a bill removing abortion exceptions for rape because they only represent a “real small, minor number” of cases.

During an interview on Fox News, host Mike Emmanuel asked Reeves if he would remove the abortion exceptions for rape in Mississippi.

Reeves sidestepped the question by insisting that the bill would never make it through the legislature.

“There’s a lot of effort, particularly in Washington and other places mainly by the Democrats, to try to talk only about the real small, minor number of exceptions that may exist,” he complained. “Over 90% of all abortions that are done in America, some 63 million babies aborted since Roe was wrongly decided in 1973, over 90% of those are elective abortions.”

Reeves argued that the “far-left” should not be talking about “all these exceptions and minor numbers.”

Watch the video below from Fox News.


Continue Reading


Trump Hinted Jan. 6 Would Be His ‘Last-Ditch’ Attempt to Overturn the Election Results: Filmmaker Alex Holder



In an interview with the Guardian’s Hugo Lowell, a British documentary maker who was filming behind-the-scenes footage in Donald Trump’s White House on Jan 6th claimed he knew something bad was about to happen before supporters of the former president stormed the Capitol and sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives.

Alex Holder, whose film crew was on hand and filming Trump and his children Don Jr, Eric and Ivanka on Jan 6th, stated there was a feeling among his people that something momentous was about to happen.

According to Lowell, “Holder was there for it all: three sit-down interviews with Trump, including one at the White House, numerous other interviews with Trump’s adult children, private conversations among top aides and advisers before the election, and around the Capitol itself as it got stormed.” adding, “The access to Trump, and listening to him and his inner circle, led him to suspect that the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election would somehow culminate in some event at the Capitol on 6 January.”

Asked about what his feeling was prior to the riot that engulfed the Capitol building, Holder explained, “I wasn’t 100% sure, but it was sort of a feeling, so we prepared for that thing to happen. The reason we thought January 6 was because, in Trump’s mind, the last-ditch effort was to stop the process” of the vote certification by Congress.

RELATED: Man behind J6 documentary needs ‘two armed guards’ due to Trump supporters’ threats: BBC

He elaborated, “That ceremonial process that takes place in Congress on January 6, he felt, was the last time where he could, in his mind, stop the election going to the wrong person, as it were. The rhetoric that was coming out was that the election was rigged, [that] we need to fight.”

According to the Guardian report, Holder has, “testified for about four hours behind closed doors last week about his roughly 100 hours of footage, used for an upcoming documentary titled Unprecedented, and turned over to House investigators the parts demanded in a subpoena compelling his cooperation.”

Lowell added, “Holder said he additionally did a one-to-one interview with then-vice president Mike Pence, including a scene where Pence briefly reviews an email about the 25th amendment – which concerns the removal of a US president – which was privately discussed among senior White House officials in the wake of the Capitol attack.”

You can read more here.

Continue Reading


Meadows Allegedly Behind Possible Attempt at Witness Intimidation of Cassidy Hutchinson: Reports



Cassidy Hutchinson, the former aide and advisor to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, may be the victim of attempted witness intimidation, and the person who may have attempted to intimidate her may be her former boss.

The Guardian on Friday reports “Hutchinson received at least one message tacitly warning her not to cooperate with the House January 6 select committee from an associate of former chief of staff Mark Meadows.”

That message, according to both CNN and The Guardian, was delivered at the direction of Mark Meadows, according to sources both news outlets cite.

READ MORE: Secret Service Agents Confirm Details Hutchinson Shared About Trump Demanding to Be Taken to US Capitol Jan. 6

One of the messages that the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack posted at the end of Hutchinson’s testimony read: “[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.”

According to The Guardian, “The redaction was ‘Meadows,’ the sources said.”

READ MORE: Trump Declares Hutchinson ‘Totally Discredited’ as Former Aide Says Someone in His Orbit Tried to Influence Her Testimony

CNN similarly reports: “One of [the] people who may have been trying to influence Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony did so at the behest of former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, according to multiple sources familiar with information gathered by the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection.”

Citing multiple sources CNN reports “the ‘person’ referred to in the message, which was redacted in the version projected on a screen during the hearing, was Meadows.”

Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi Friday afternoon on MSNBC said there is “no question” that message constitutes “an attempt to intimidate a witness. No question about it,” he stressed.

“When you then add that to the fact that it appears that they provided, her initial attorney to her, Cassidy Hutchinson, you now have a without a doubt, predication to open a federal witness tampering investigation,” Figliuzzi added.

Thursday on Twitter Figliuzzi wrote: “This is witness tampering. Cassidy Hutchinson was the target. They picked the wrong young woman.”

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.