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R-74: Issues to consider when voting on same-sex marriage

Letter by Christen F. Kaufman, University Place on Sep. 11, 2012 at 11:51 am with 22 Comments »
September 11, 2012 11:51 am

Be honest; seeing our values codified in law feels like validation of what we already think – that we’re rational, intelligent and ethical. However, smugness vanishes when we consider the messy business of legislating what people are prohibited from doing in their personal lives using rationales that are easily turned against their original proponents.

In the next election, voters will decide if the state can veto your choice of spouse on the basis of gender. Or perhaps it is on the basis of sinfulness. Inability to procreate, maybe? Due to minority status? On the basis that someone else feels threatened by your relationship?

In this era of “don’t tell me what to do” attitudes, I ask others to consider these issues as they vote their consciences on Referendum 74:

• If you are a person of religious faith, would you want to live by another religion’s marital practices?

• Is a marriage valid with or without children?

• For anyone who has been a member of a minority group in the midst of an adversarial dominant culture, do you really want the law of the land to reach into the personal decisions of your family any more than absolutely necessary?

Leave a comment Comments → 22
  1. averageJose says:

    do you really want the law of the land to reach into the personal decisions of your family any more than absolutely necessary?

    Too late… and no, that’s why I oppose Obamacare (among other things).

  2. aJo – it is the GOP that wants to reach into our personal lives, and the GOP led House has proved it by spending more time on right wing social engineering bills than on anything else.

  3. Fibonacci says:


  4. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Reject R-74. Do not allow the institute of marriage to be diluted by the perverted just because they can write big checks to a political party.

    The line in the sand with the expansion of the gay lifestyle needs to be stopped right here in WA State. I do not believe we will be the first state to approve gay marriage by a vote of the people. Normal people in this state are embarrassed enough to say they live here and don’t want to add to that shame by endorsing gay perversion as a legitimate bonding between two people other than between a man and a woman.

    Ever notice that people don’t tell others they are teachers, that is how I feel when people ask me where I live. Don’t make me further ashamed to live here by approving gay marriage. We do not have to be as whacky as the other two left coast states.

  5. aislander says:

    There is NO compelling state interest in changing the definition of marriage.

    Massaging some people’s self esteem is NOT a state interest.

    Reject R-74.

  6. Christen, A very well written persuasive letter. You make excellent points. Americans who value equal rights for all will vote for R-74.

    taxedenoughintacoma: There probably would be a plethora of people who would gladly help you pack and relocate to a town where you are less ashamed. Heck, I’d even chip in a few bucks for the u-hahl. May I suggest Idaho or Wyoming (my apologies to both of these great states)…I believe there are a few small towns where you’d be embraced and perhaps elected mayor. You’d never have to hang your head in shame again.

  7. LeePHilI says:

    “Obamacare” was legislated to keep the insurance industry honest. When will the Cons become adult enough to admit it?

    ::::tosses in $2 towards bus tickets for Taxed:::::

  8. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    I look forward to the liberal comments when you wake up and find out that R-74 was rejected by a large majority of voters.

    There is a reason your gay legislator didn’t want this voted on by the people. They know it stands no chance of passing and will be overwhelmingly rejected by WA State voters. You know, the voters that vote, the reasonable ones.

  9. spotted1 says:

    Face it, this will end up in front of the liberal courts, whichever way it goes, then it will be decided by the court system and not the will of the people.

    I side with Taxed and asian on this one. There is no compelling reason for this law and it is all about who can write the biggest checks. I expect to see this go down in voting. But I also expect to see it in court, pass or fail, very soon after the vote. Because it will become a “I didn’t win here so I will try over here” issue until it passes.

  10. What IS it about the West Coast anyway? Perhaps something was put in the drinking water during the Cold War. We love it here, but you all should probably accept that by many “in the heartland” we are viewed in much the same way Californians are viewed, especially those from SanFrancisco. I hear everything from expressions of sympathy to muffled laughter when I reveal where I’m from. It is what it is.

    Personally,I totally get why folks think we should approve of gay marriage, and I probably would were I not convicted by a higher power that this runs counter to what God intended, and that what God intended is what is best for all of us. But, if you do not share that belief…of course you will be inclined to approve gay marriage.

    It would be nice though if you respected those who look beyond the ways of the world for guidance in such matter. Mutual respect and all that??

  11. jbarelli says:

    For those saying that there is no compelling state interest in changing the definition of civil marriage, I would ask what compelling state interest prevents same-sex couples from marrying?

    State-sanctioned marriage is a civil contract, and to deny competent adults the right to enter into a particular type of civil contract requires a compelling state interest. They state may not deny adults the right to enter into any other form of contract without a compelling interest, but currently does so when it comes to civil marriage.

    I believe that marriage is far more than a contract, but the state has no ability or right to regulate anything beyond the civil contract. The state cannot demand a deeper, spiritual bond between the two people. All that can be regulated is the contract.

    Just as they currently do with other civil marriages, religions and individuals can determine for themselves whether a particular couple is “really married”. R-74 does not and cannot speak to that.

    It speaks only to the civil contract.

    So, what compelling state interest allows the state to determine which competent adults may enter into that contract?

  12. aislander says:

    The ability to marry with the approval of the state has always been conditional and will remain so even if the definition of marriage is changed…

  13. aislander says:

    …at least that’s what the cultural termites say.

    It will NEVER lead to polygamy, or unions of close relatives, or farm animals, or…

  14. LeePHilI says:

    How could gay marriage “lead to” polygamy, marriage between relatives or beastiality, when all three have already been done?

  15. Sozo asks, “what is it about the West Coast anyway?”

    Well sozo, its like a box of cereal…You pick out all the nuts and you still have a bunch of flakes!

    OR…the earth tilted eons ago and every whacked out nut case “fell” into this corner of the globe.

  16. Sozo adds, “I hear everything from expressions of sympathy to muffled laughter when I reveal where I’m from.”

    I’ll agree! I’ve experienced that same thing! I’ve been all over this country, and its almost unanimous. Sooner or later, and too often sooner, when someone finds out where I live, the raised eyebrows and jokes will start, sometimes about our weather, but more often about our screwy social agendas.

  17. I dont know why there is always this steady diet of “gay marriage” stuff anyway. It’s quite doubtful it will ever pass through to a legal sanction, and guaranteed that the majority of Americans will never see it as equal or normal.

    The entire topic is getting rather tired and blase.

  18. sozo and Dale – I grew up in the heartland, in Iowa – a state where gay marriage is legal.

    Having lived in both the SF Bay Area (Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco) and the LA basin as well as having in-laws living up near Redding, I have a clear understanding of the huge differences within California – the state that brought us Nixon and Reagan as well as Jerry Brown and Jerry Garcia.

    It is clear that the most non-Californians have a Beach Boys version of SoCal mixed with Johnny Carson’s running gags about downtown Burbank (and the joke that Dale quoted from Carson) and the myth of San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury district Summer of Love blended with the gay pride parade from the Castro District – not anything at all like the diverse regional differences that make up this very large state. There are actually very large, very conservative sectors of the state (the only counties that voted against Reagan’s presidency were Alameda[Oakland/Berkeley] and San Francisco). The Chrystal Cathedral in Orange County is testament to the large fundamentalist presence. Darrel Issa, likewise, demonstrates that conservative politicians do very well – especially in SoCal.

    But – the reality is that most non-west coast folks don’t think about WA when they think of the West Coast. Much like New Yorkers, the East coast is New York and the West Coast is a strange amalgam of LA/SF (San Franciscans despise LA, Los Angelos think SF is a cute vacation stay).

  19. Dale – “never” is a long time. It wasn’t too long ago that I thought that South Africa would never get rid of apartheid and Nelson Mandela would die in prison….

  20. Beerboy…everything you said about California is quite true. I’ve spent time down there myself.

    And true Washington does tend to disappear under California’s shadow on the nationwide stage…However, once you get past the “oh its so pretty out there”..or..”arent you afraid of those volcanoes and earthquakes?” then the experiences people have had out here start coming out, whether its our shady politics (was surprised once that people in the Carolinas were well versed about

  21. (not sure how that comment “sent” before I finished it!)….

    ..were well versed about our governors strange election habits. Or they get into the traffic stories, or the “Seattle Chill” where many not from here are a bit surprised at our standoffish attitudes, or downright snobbery (I’ve never been able to figure out what people are so snobbish about! haa!)

    Either way it is what it is…BTW…So THAT is where that joke came from? I’ve heard it several times and with a few changes that I cant write here!:D

  22. I confess I generalized about CA based on what I’ve heard about it; haven’t spent much time there at all. I do have a relative who lives in the Bay area though, a thoughtful, actually brilliant young conservative who says he lives in a sea of liberals which is how I feel here in the Puget Sound region, despite knowing there are plenty of great conservatives living and working in this state.

    I think most people, when they hear Washington, think “Seattle” which is clearly perceived as very liberal place.

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