Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Civil Unions for Straight Couples

A long time ago on this blog I wondered out loud why the government is involved at all in marriage. My thought was that marriage is a religious institution and it could just be handled by religious authorities. So if a certain church or synagogue, say, approves of marriage between same-sex couples, they go ahead and marry them. If another church doesn't believe in it, they just won't do it. The atheists could call themselves a religion for this purpose and marry people who don't belong to some other faith. The Rastafarians, Pastafarians, whatever, the Discordians, let them bind people together according to the beliefs of their religion and the government can recognize that.

But lately I've been seeing it the other way -- well, actually there's no contradiction, it's the same thing from the other point of view. I don't know if you watched that Suze Orman video I posted the other day, but a big part of marriage, really, is the financial benefits. So maybe what you really need is a governmental institution that considers couples as a unit regardless of their sex; they apply, pay a fee, maybe notarize some stuff, and they can file their taxes jointly, buy a house together, visit each other in the hospital, all the "official" things that married people do. Then, if you wanted to get married-married, you could still go to a rabbi or a preacher or whatever your religion has and go through whatever ceremony you guys use. If you didn't want to do that, you wouldn't have to.

Gay people want to marry. Well, you fall in love, you want to start a household together and spend the rest of your lives together, there is some kind of sense to it, isn't there! The rest of us do it, and it seems like a pretty good system, I can see why they'd want to be part of it. Over in France they passed a law saying that people can form a civil union, different from marriage mainly in that it is not assigned under a religious mantle. Check out this UPI story about what happened:
PARIS, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Authorities in France say a civil union designed a decade ago for gay couples has become increasingly popular with heterosexual couples.

Heterosexual men and women see the Civil Solidarity Pact as halfway between living together and marriage, The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO) reported Saturday.

The pact originally was understood as a way for homosexual couples to legalize their unions under French law, which prohibits them from marrying.

For every two marriages held now in France, one heterosexual couple chooses the solidarity pact, the Post reported, noting 92 percent of the 140,000 couples choosing to be united by the pact in 2008 were heterosexual.

The pact allows couples to file joint income tax returns, which can lower their annual tax bill significantly, and the unions can be dissolved without costly divorce procedures, said Irene Thery, a professor at France's Higher Institute of Social Sciences. More French couples choosing civil unions

(The original Post story is HERE -- I'm using this one because it's shorter and more to the point.)

One third of ... uh ... marriage-like commitments ... in France are civil unions. The law was designed to help out gay and lesbian couples but a lot of straight people thought it looked pretty good.

I don't know, I just thought it was interesting how this is turning out.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim quoted:

“For every two marriages held now in France, one heterosexual couple chooses the solidarity pact, the Post reported, noting 92 percent of the 140,000 couples choosing to be united by the pact in 2008 were heterosexual.”

92% are heterosexual… It just goes to show you that if you let the gays have civil unions, EVERYONE is going to want one. Men are going to want to unite with women and women are going to want to unit with men. Cats will be sleeping with dogs, and hedgehogs will be making out with porcupines. How can society deal with such a denigration of marriage???!!!

“The pact allows couples to file joint income tax returns, which can lower their annual tax bill significantly, and the unions can be dissolved without costly divorce procedures…”

And here we see how to sell it to the right wing zealots. Just call it a tax cut. They’ll vote for anything if you can call it a tax cut. We should probably call it something like the “Domestic Habitation Tax Cut” so it doesn’t raise their fears about hedgehogs.

Have a nice day,


February 18, 2009 9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of the couples who choose the civil union are probably not couples at all. They're probably friends who joined together to get the financial benefit.

February 18, 2009 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does saying "probabaly" make something true?

February 18, 2009 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it does when TTF says it

February 18, 2009 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


February 18, 2009 11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please. It's a contract that you can get into and out of at will. No love has to be professed before man or God. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that any two people, regardless of whether they're in love or consider themselves a couple, can use it to benefit their friends. There's nothing wrong with that -- I'm just pointing out the reality.

February 18, 2009 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

same with these same sex benefits in Maryland

and there's somehting wrong with it

February 18, 2009 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You freakin yahoos sound like you stepped out of the 1800's. Times are a changin'. Get used to it and move on.

February 18, 2009 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

times are always a-changin'

you just incorrectly assume the direction is infinitely the same

this whole gay pendulum had actually swung a lot further to the TTF side in the late 70s

yesterday's just a memory

but tomorrow is never what it's supposed to be

February 19, 2009 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We played Latin Vocabulary Bingo Today--LVBT

February 19, 2009 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"LAS VEGAS (BP)--Penn Jillette, the verbal half of the magician duo Penn and Teller, and an outspoken atheist, has posted a YouTube video exhorting Christians to share their faith.

Penn and Teller are headliners in Las Vegas, and their shows generally are marked by foul language and shock appeal. Penn Jillette, though, used no coarse language in telling about an audience member who gave him a New Testament.

Jillette was signing autographs after a show last fall when he noticed the man standing over to the side of the crowd.

"And he had been the guy who picks the joke during our psychic comedian section of the show. He had the props from that in his hand because we give those away. He had the joke book and the envelope and paper and stuff," Jillette said in the Dec. 8 YouTube video.

The man walked over to Jillette, complimented him on the show and handed him a Gideons New Testament.

"And he said, 'I wrote in the front of it, and I wanted you to have this. I'm kind of proselytizing,'" Jillette said. "And then he said, 'I'm a businessman. I'm sane. I'm not crazy.' And he looked me right in the eyes.

"It was really wonderful. I believe he knew that I was an atheist. But he was not defensive, and he looked me right in the eyes," Jillette said. "And he was truly complimentary. It didn't seem like empty flattery. He was really kind and nice and sane and looked me in the eyes and talked to me and then gave me this Bible."

Jillette then stated he doesn't respect people who don't proselytize.

"I don't respect that at all. If you believe that there's a heaven and hell and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life or whatever, and you think that it's not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward, and atheists who think that people shouldn't proselytize -- 'Just leave me alone, keep your religion to yourself.'

"How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize?" Jillette asked. "How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? If I believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that a truck was coming at you and you didn't believe it, and that truck was bearing down on you, there's a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that."

February 19, 2009 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great marketing strategy for Penn and Teller!

February 19, 2009 3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this guy's a real leader:

"OTTAWA -President Barack Obama stepped cautiously in his first foreign trip Thursday, refraining from asking Canada to rethink its plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and saying changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement can wait."

at least, he's doing something about the economy, eh?:

"NEW YORK -An important psychological barrier gave way on Wall Street Thursday as the Dow Jones industrials fell to their lowest level in more than six years.

Investors haven't been impressed with two major economic initiatives from the Obama administration this week, an economic stimulus package and a mortgage relief plan."

Of course, we need something to pick us up in hard times and Democrats are always good for a laugh:

"CHICAGO -A group of black ministers who previously supported U.S. Sen. Roland Burris now plan to ask for his resignation,"

Let's see, that's Richardson, Daschle, Geithner, Blagdonivich, Burris, Barney Frank....

It's a comedian's dream!

February 19, 2009 6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the rest of that Baptist Press article barryo cut off:

Jillette reiterated his impression of the man's demeanor.

"This guy was a really good guy. He was polite and honest and sane, and he cared enough about me to proselytize and give me a Bible, which had written in it a little note to me -- not very personal, but just 'Liked your show,' and then listed five phone numbers for him and an e-mail address if I wanted to get in touch," Jillette said.

"Now I know there's no God, and one polite person living his life right doesn't change that. But I'll tell you, he was a very, very, very good man, and that's really important. And with that kind of goodness, it's OK to have that deep of a disagreement. I still think that religion does a lot of bad stuff, but that was a good man who gave me that book. That's all I wanted to say," Jillette said at the end of the short video.

John Mark Simmons, pastor of the Las Vegas-area Highland Hills Baptist Church in Henderson and a member of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, told Baptist Pr that Jillette's video should inspire believers to share their faith even when they think people won't be responsive.

"That episode is a wonderful encouragement for all of us to be salt and light," Simmons said. "If you know anything at all about Penn or his shows, you know he pretty much represents the decayed and dark world we live in, yet someone's obedience got his attention."

Vigilance readers interested in hearing Penn make his full statement, unedited by either the Baptist Press or barryo, will find Penn's five minute video here .

Tell us, barryo, how many of the Democrats on your little list have been convicted of crimes? Zero! However, convicted Republicans who worked with or for the Bush/Cheney Administration include: John Poindexter, Elliot Abrams, Lester Crawford, David Safavian, Scooter Libby, Senator Ted Stevens, Senator Larry Craig, Representative Bob Ney, J. Steven Griles, Italia Federici, Robert Coughlin and counting...

But nobody's laughing. We're crying because of the damage and shame they have brought to America.

February 19, 2009 10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for doubling the space taken up by the Baptist Press piece without adding a thing. You have a talent for taking up more space than you need.

Investors and economists have widely panned Obama's weak and ill-considered plan to "stimulate" the economy. I guess if you're a construction worker, it's great news. If you're looking to have some work done yourself, demand for workers and materials will be exploding costs, so you're a loser. The higher costs will also mean will get less bang for our public buck.

What if you aren't in the construction industry? I guess early morning at 7-11 will also be a bright spot in the economy.

Of course, we'll all be propping up the economy with a wild spending spree we go on with our extra $13 bucks a week.

And all these states will be able to balance their budget this year but what about next year. Will the feds be sending them money next year too? Why don't we just do away with state taxes and have the Feds collect everything? Oh, that's right, well we can just have a judge "interpret" the Constitution.

And how about the damage Obama has already done to our standing in the world community. I'll pull a Bea and post the WHOLE column:

"The Biden prophecy has come to pass. Our wacky veep, momentarily inspired, predicted in October that "it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama." Biden probably had in mind an eve-of-the-apocalypse drama like the Cuban missile crisis. Instead, Obama's challenges have come in smaller bites. Some are deliberate threats to U.S. interests, others mere probes to ascertain whether the new president has any spine.

Preliminary X-rays are not very encouraging.

Consider the long list of brazen Russian provocations:

(a) Pressuring Kyrgyzstan to shut down the U.S. air base in Manas, an absolutely crucial NATO conduit into Afghanistan.

(b) Announcing the formation of a "rapid reaction force" with six former Soviet republics, a regional Russian-led strike force meant to reassert Russian hegemony in the Muslim belt north of Afghanistan.

(c) Planning to establish a Black Sea naval base in Georgia's breakaway province of Abkhazia, conquered by Moscow last summer.

(d) Declaring its intention to deploy offensive Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad if Poland and the Czech Republic go ahead with plans to station an American (anti-Iranian) missile defense system.

President Bush's response to the Kaliningrad deployment -- the threat was issued the day after Obama's election -- was firm. He refused to back down because giving in to Russian threats would leave Poles and Czechs exposed and show the world that, contrary to post-Cold War assumptions, the United States could not be trusted to protect Eastern Europe from Russian bullying.

The Obama response? "Biden Signals U.S. Is Open to Russia Missile Deal," as the New York Times headlined Biden's Feb. 7 Munich speech to a major international gathering. This followed strong messages from the Obama transition team even before the inauguration that Obama was not committed to the missile shield. And just to make sure everyone understood that the Bush policy no longer held, Biden said in Munich that the United States wanted to "press the reset button" on NATO-Russian relations.

Not surprisingly, the Obama wobble elicited a favorable reaction from Russia. (There are conflicting reports that Russia might suspend the Kaliningrad blackmail deployment.) The Kremlin must have been equally impressed that the other provocations -- Abkhazia, Kyrgyzstan, the rapid-reaction force -- elicited barely a peep from Washington.

Iran has been similarly charmed by Obama's overtures. A week after the new president went about sending sweet peace signals via al-Arabiya, Iran launched its first homemade Earth satellite. The message is clear. If you can put a satellite into orbit, you can hit any continent with a missile, North America included.

And for emphasis, after the roundhouse hook, came the poke in the eye. A U.S. women's badminton team had been invited to Iran. Here was a chance for "ping-pong diplomacy" with the accommodating new president, a sporting venture meant to suggest the possibility of warmer relations.

On Feb. 4, Tehran denied the team entry into Iran.

Then, just in case Obama failed to get the message, Iran's parliament speaker rose in Munich to offer his response to Obama's olive branch. Executive summary: Thank you very much. After you acknowledge 60 years of crimes against us, change not just your tone but your policies, and abandon the Zionist criminal entity, we might deign to talk to you.

With a grinning Goliath staggering about sporting a "kick me" sign on his back, even reputed allies joined the fun. Pakistan freed from house arrest A.Q. Khan, the notorious proliferator who sold nuclear technology to North Korea, Libya and Iran. Ten days later, Islamabad capitulated to the Taliban, turning over to its tender mercies the Swat Valley, 100 miles from the capital. Not only will sharia law now reign there, but members of the democratically elected secular party will be hunted as the Pakistani army stands down.

These Pakistani capitulations may account for Obama's hastily announced 17,000-troop increase in Afghanistan even before his various heralded reviews of the mission have been completed. Hasty, unexplained, but at least something. Other than that, a month of pummeling has been met with utter passivity.

I would like to think the supine posture is attributable to a rookie leader otherwise preoccupied (i.e., domestically), leading a foreign policy team as yet unorganized if not disoriented. But when the State Department says that Hugo Chávez's president-for-life referendum, which was preceded by a sham government-controlled campaign featuring the tear-gassing of the opposition, was "for the most part . . . a process that was fully consistent with democratic process," you have to wonder if Month One is not a harbinger of things to come."

Can Barry screw us up?

Yes, he can!

February 20, 2009 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see Charles Krauthammer did the bulk of your thinking for you today.

The reason I posted the other half of Penn's statement is because the half you posted made it appear he had a change of faith. The truth is that he did not. He's still an atheist, still thinks there's no god, and still thinks "religion does a lot of bad stuff."

Why are we having problems with Russia these days? Condi Rice was supposedly an expert on the Soviets. And Bush, way back in June of 2001 told us about his first meeting with Vladimir Putin:

"I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue.

"I was able to get a sense of his soul.

"He's a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country and I appreciate very much the frank dialogue and that's the beginning of a very constructive relationship,"

Maybe Bush thought he and Putin each shared a common view of what they considered to be "the best interests of his country" -- draining its treasury for your friends and supporters.

Bush/Cheney and Condi failed to deal effectively with Bush's "straight forward and trustworthy" Russian leader so now it's up to President Obama to clean up the mess they left.

Bush/Cheney decided to leave Afghanistan before they completed the mission there and left it to Pakistan to hunt down and capture or kill bin Laden, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban, even though portions of Pakistan are sympathetic to all three. And then, leaving those jobs undone and in the hands of our enemies' supporters for completion, Bush/Cheney decided to institute regime change by invading and occuping Iran's neighbor and mortal enemy, Iraq without provocation or cause.

With such feckless and reckless foreign policy missteps by Bush/Cheney, it is no wonder Obama has been left with such a stinking pile to clean up after.

February 20, 2009 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The reason I posted the other half of Penn's statement is because the half you posted made it appear he had a change of faith."

I don't think it appeared that way at all. He simply displayed an understanding of perspective that seems to be missing among the atheists who post here.

"Bush/Cheney decided to institute regime change by invading and occuping Iran's neighbor and mortal enemy, Iraq without provocation or cause."

Without cause? Oh, brother.

Iran was all in favor of the regime change. They'd like us to leave the area now but they had no problem with us taking Saddam out.

"Bush/Cheney decided to leave Afghanistan before they completed the mission there and left it to Pakistan to hunt down and capture or kill bin Laden, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban"

After 9/11, bin Laden vowed to continue the attacks on America. He has launched one attack since.


Because Bush crippled al quaeda and sent it into hiding. Bush defeated al quaeda in Iraq both militarily and politically. They no longer have the sympathy of the Arab "street", mostly because of their actions in Iraq.

We didn't capture bin Laden, which would have been nice but their plans to attack America have been thwarted for seven years and they've lost the propaganda war.

Thank Bush.

Obama has so far followed Bush's lead.

February 20, 2009 12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He has launched one attack since."

This should have said "no" attack.

February 20, 2009 12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama has not been a very good leader so far. He has the demeanor of Jimmy Carter and offers little in the way of encouragement. And the fact is, his stimulus bill is inadequate for its purpose.

Remember the President who deregulated banks?

That's right. Bill Clinton.

Bill agrees with me:

"(Feb. 20) - Former President Bill Clinton has offered his candid opinion on how he thinks the economic crisis could have been avoided and what needs to be done so that the nation can recover.

In an interview with ABC News that aired Friday, Clinton said he was glad that President Obama "shot straight with us" about the economic crisis, but added that Obama should also offer Americans more hope.

"I just would like him to end by saying that he is hopeful and completely convinced we're gonna come through this." Clinton told ABC News' Chris Cuomo.

The former president said that he believes the economic stimulus package was necessary "as a bridge over troubled waters," but added that "I would have proposed even more money."

Clinton blames President George W. Bush in large part for the economic collapse, however.

"I personally believe, based on my experience over the years with the economy, that if we moved aggressively on this home problem a year and a half ago, even a year ago, as much as 90 percent of the current crisis could have been avoided," he said."

News flash, Bill. That's when the Democrats took over the powerful financial services oversight committees and pressured the industry, over Bush objections, to "roll the dice" on sub-prime mortgages.

I think we have another Democratic disaster in the making.

Americans took a chance on an inexperienced politician for President, thinking we're indestructible and everything will work out anyway.

Let's hope they were right.

February 20, 2009 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous" - no one here is surprised that you want the President and the country to fail in efforts to correct the criminal neglect of 8 years of Bush mismanagement. You are practically salivating with glee at the thought. ("I think we have another Democratic disaster in the making.
Americans took a chance on an inexperienced politician for President, thinking we're indestructible and everything will work out anyway.")
You have nothing to offer here except pusillanimous and slavish adherence to discredited Republican policies and practices of the past. American voters have rejected that destructive "what's in it for me" thinking. You are so pathetic!

February 21, 2009 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's when the Democrats took over the powerful financial services oversight committees and pressured the industry, over Bush objections, to "roll the dice" on sub-prime mortgages.

You aren't trying to use some smoke and mirrors here to imply that Democrats can enact legislation without Bush's signature on it are you? The only way they can do that is to override his veto. So tell us barryo, which legislation that allowed banks to "roll the dice" on sub-prime mortgages did Bush veto and the House or Senate override?

According to Wikipedia, Bush has vetoed 12 pieces of legislation and four of them have been overridden (two of those were the same bill, one with a clerical error, one without). Here they are:

November 2, 2007: Vetoed H.R. 1495, Water Resources Development Act of 2007. Overridden by House, 361-54 (277 votes needed). Overridden by Senate, 79-14 (62 needed), and enacted as Pub.L. 110-114 over President's veto

May 21, 2008: Vetoed H.R. 2419, 2007 U.S. Farm Bill.[24][25] Overridden by House, 316-108 (283 votes needed). Overridden by Senate, 82-13 (64 votes needed). Enacted as Pub.L. 110-234 over the President's veto. Due to a clerical error, this act was repealed by Pub.L. 110-246.

18 June 2008: Vetoed H.R. 6421, 2007 U.S. Farm Bill, re-passed by Congress to correct a clerical error in HR 2419.[26] Overridden by House, 317-109 (284 votes required). Overridden by Senate, 80-14 (63 votes needed). Enacted as Pub.L. 110-246 over the President's veto.

July 15, 2008: Vetoed H.R. 6331, Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act.[27] Overridden by House, 383-41 (283 votes required.) Overridden by Senate, 70-26 (64 votes required). Enacted as Pub.L. 110-275 over the President's veto.

So tell us barryo, which one of those four vetoed bills contains the pressure on "the 'roll the dice' on sub-prime mortgages?" If it wasn't one of these, then Bush signed the legislation you find so offensive into law, over his own "objections."

While the Democrats were working in the 110th Congress, the GOP assumed their "just say NO!" objectionist stance, filibustering and forcing cloture votes a record number of times.

Bush crippled al quaeda

You think so? Has Al Qaeda or the Taliban claimed responsibility for bombings at a funeral in Pakistan this week yet? The Taliban claimed it was responsible for these coordinated bombings in Kabul earlier this month. Sorry, barryo but you must be drinking the Kool-Aid again; Al Qaeda and its Taliban hosts do not appear to have been "crippled" by Bush or anyone else, yet.

I agree with Diogenes, You are so pathetic!

February 21, 2009 1:26 PM  

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