Friday, April 10, 2009

Some Thoughts On Iowa Allowing Gay Marriages

As our governments have assumed more power over the years and the two ruling parties have become more and more polarized, I have been more of an advocate towards balancing them with my vote, i.e. if neither of the parties cater too my constitutional desires, I vote for the party that isn't in the majority. My hope is that when the parties are relatively even, they will cooperate more and create truly bipartisan legislation instead of ramming legislation down our throats. Thanks to a wildly unpopular president, Iowa has been turned into a state wholly controlled by the democratic party in both the executive, legislative and judiciary branches. We are now paying for being that one-sided.

As you have no doubt heard, Iowa became the third state in the nation to allow gay marriages thanks to a very liberal Iowa Supreme court. This in itself doesn't bother me as it affects me very little if at all. In Iowa, if you are married and earn over minimum wage, you are better off tax wise to file your taxes as married but filing as a single. For me had I filed my taxes as married filed jointly, my $200 refund would have been a IOU for the state to the tune of $800. So assuming gay people aren't stupid, probably a reasonable assumption, they are still going to be filing individual state tax returns meaning no more or less taxes are going to be collected by state coffers. So if gay people want to marry, I don't really see it affecting me.

However, what gets me is the state government's blatant disregard for being a body of the people for the people. All it really needed to do was to allow the people to vote on the issue but when the people asked yesterday for the right to just bring it up for a vote, they were told by the House Majority Leader that they were nothing but a mob and no better than those who were pro-slavery. Huh? How wanting to bring to a vote whether to allow marriage rights to a political group makes you for a racist is beyond me. It would be no difference is lefties got their act together and garnered the right to force everyone to cater to them simply because they were different. But because we in Iowa essentially have a government run by one political party, the people are denied the ability to vote on this issue. Our options are to wait for our scheduled constitutional amendment session next year or wait until the 2011 legislative session until it can be brought up according to the rules of order for dealing with such matters. In other words, gay marriage in Iowa is here to stay for awhile.

I personally feel that it is probably here for good. Numerous polls show that the younger generation is largely in favor of allowing gay marriage and so this is mostly a war of attrition at this point. Eventually those of us who think allowing a political group, i.e. gays, the right to marry, i.e. make everyone cater to their political party, is not necessarily a good thing are going to die off to the point where we will be a insignificant minority to absentmindedly be brushed off the arms of the younger generation never to be thought about again, i.e. the battle was lost years ago.

It is a terrible precedent to set and one that is sure to give lots of encouragement to other political groups striving to get their day in the sun.


sage said...

Agh, my post was eaten and not posted!!!

Good thoughts. I have very mixed opinions here, Ed. From a government and constitutional point, I think the govt has a right to protect minorities from being ran over by the majority. In addition, I think the govt should have two concerns with marriage--the safety of those who cannot help themselves (children, abused spouses, etc) and legally overseeing contracts (primarily how do handle a contract break--ie, divorce--in a fair manner for all parties).

I think religious groups have other issues--Personnally, I don't agree with the idea of chuch's sanctioning gay marriage, but I wonder if it is the govt's place to enforce this. From my understanding, in many countries you have a two-tier system. The "legal" marriage occurs at the courthouse, the religious part is completely seperate.

Frank D. Myers said...

I'm really living in the past here, but remember the days of Robert D. Ray, a Republican governor who transcended party lines. But of course those were the days when Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature actually talked to each other and many times came up with workable compromises, each side giving a little with a result somewhere in the middle. Now, it seems, Republicans talk only to Republicans and Democrats, to Democrats, then they gather to yell at each other across the aisle. Wish I knew the solution to that difficulty.

I believe Britain has a two-tier marriage system. Civil unions are required of all, the contractual end of it; religious rites, the sacramental end of it, remaining optional for both churches and contracting parties.

Murf said...

Sage - Don't forget the third tier: LAS VEGAS!

I like John McCain's recent point that just because Obama got 2 Republicans to agree with him doesn't mean that its bipartisan.

I don't know about homosexuality being a political group. That would mean that also being black and a female would be political groups. If so, don't be jealous. One day you poor white men will have your own political group (other than the NRA). :-)

R. Sherman said...

You point to a problem which is ubiquitous. That is, once people get into power, they use it instead of restraining themselves. They may think that they are wise and well-meaning, but a benevolent dictator is still a dictator.


The Real Mother Hen said...

Hhmm... what you mentioned is the downside of one-party system, but the upside is also plenty. Like one-party can get a lot more done in a lesser time. One excellent example: Singapore. It's one-party, the opposition is denied and suppressed. Yet the system is effective, effective, especially in getting stuff done. It depends where you stand on the particular actually. If you are in favor of gay marriage, you would want the State to get it done as quickly as possible, without allowing the right to vote. The political system in America is democratic, everyone likes to have a say, but that also allows too many corruptions (from lobbyists) and too slow in getting things done. I think it was Thomas Friedmen who once said that how he wished the US could be like China, political wise, for one day, practicing only the top-down approach to get all the acts together.

I am, personally, in favor of gay marriage btw. So I gave a shout out to your state legislatives.

Ed Abbey said...

Sage - As a constitutionalist by political view, the power to protect minorities was not one granted to the government by our founding fathers. But then so are many of the powers now assumed by our government. In my opinion, marriage is a three way contract between the marrying parties, the government and the church. But that opens another big can of worms.

Frank D. Myers - Although Ray was before my time, I have heard that about him. I long for the day when we have three viable parties instead of two. Two parties by nature gravitate to the extremes to retain the extremists within the party from creating a new party altogether and betting that the slightly one side of middle followers will go along for the ride. I got tired of going along for the ride some time ago and switched to a middle of the road party but they haven't yet made it to viability status yet.

Murf - I think homosexuality is all about politics otherwise they would have been content to just live their lives as they have been for all these thousands of years (assuming it is genetic which I don't agree with) up until the last twenty or so years. Only in the last couple decades has homosexuality been on the radar and that is only because of their clamor for legal status. Blacks and women are also political groups as well. They are different in my opinion only because I think that all people are created equal and thus should have the right to vote and enjoy liberties (something they didn't have at one time) which are also things that every homosexual person has. Where this particular political group is different is that they are trying to obtain a legal status just because they choose to sleep with a person of the same sex, something that I feel goes against the constitution.

R. Sherman - Well spoken as always!

Mother Hen - See R. Sherman's comment above. Ruling parties/dictators can seem quite nice in the beginning but absolute power corrupts absolutely as the saying goes. Look at Venezuela or Cuba for examples. Look at where Putin is taking Russia as another example. We can't allow ourselves even to allow this to happen while it is still in the good stages during the beginning because when it gets to the harmful latter stages, it is already to late to stop it.

I have at least two readers that are for allowing gay marriages and have stated so on their blogs. I am trying to stay away my personal beliefs about gay marriage and it being right or wrong because I feel they are exactly that, personal beliefs. I don't want to offend either of those two people or yourself as a third with my comments on my personal beliefs. My whole goal was to write a blog post on why I think the political aspect of allowing this to happen is wrong. I hope I have come across this way.

Murf said...

Is it the word "marriage" that you disagree with? It seems that is the sticking point with most people when in fact gays just want what you and the Mrs. have - able to claim the other for health benefits, taxes, etc. In an interesting twist, I remember a coworker complaining about the same sex benefits our employer gives (health, dental, vision) yet she couldn't claim her live-in boyfriend of many years. Our state voted on stopping that but with just a little rewording, I believe they've managed to get around it.

Lastly, I think it's hard to talk about a touchy subject like this without your beliefs coming through unintentionally.

Frank D. Myers said...

It would be a pointless conversation unless personal beliefs were expressed. The goal is to avoid a yelling match. It's OK to try to change someone's mind but not OK start screaming when you can't (not that anyone is remotely near screaming here).

Ed Abbey said...

Murf - I disagree with the state legislativing specifically for a minor group of people. The reason is because it begins a slippery slope effect and the next thing you know the government will be legislating to allow those with live-in boyfriends/girlfriends to enjoy the same benefits gays are trying to get, etc. As for your last point, yes it is hard. I'm sure everyone knows that I am against gay marriages for religious reasons and due to my own moralarity standards but I'm trying not to be in-your-face about it.

Frank D. Myers - Well said!

Ron said...

I think R. Sherman said it well. I don't have much trust or faith in anyone who wants to be in charge so badly. Our gov't seems to have recently granted itself a whole lot of say-so in so many areas. Scary.


R. Sherman said...

Once more into the fray.

As to Murph's thoughts, those problems have to do with laws regulating other things. They have nothing to do with Marriage as an institution. I can treat everyone equally via the tax code or adoption or health care without sanctioning same sex marriage.

In truth it's not about opening marriage up to everybody because of some sort of perceived benefit. Actually, the reverse is true. Marriage creates substantial detrimental legal restraints on one's personal autonomy. Rather, it is about eliminating something. That is, if the category includes everything, it becomes meaningless.