Blog Debate: My Rebuttal to Question 1
It's my turn to refute Owen's response to the first question. Here's my answer and his rebuttal to that. Like Owen, if I had more than 250 words, I'd write a chattier post, but in 250 words this'll be short and to the point.
On Monday I thanked Owen for his participation. Today I want to extend my warm thanks to Jenna for agreeing to moderate and for keeping track of us over on her blog.
Now. Let's roll.
These scare stories are just that: stories.They’re true stories. Organizations that are otherwise neutral regarding gay causes have examined the language, consulted attorneys, and concluded the same thing. Most bans passed two years ago; litigation hasn't run its course. Meanwhile, opponents of gay families keep using bans to file lawsuits.
Even Kentucky, which passed a gay marriage amendment in 2004 with the exact wording of Wisconsin’s proposed amendment, didn’t see any of the negative consequences that the “no” crowd predicted.No public employer there offers partner benefits. The University of Louisville wants them; opponents say they'll sue.
So why is there a second sentence at all? Because lawyers are tricky and the supporters of the amendment are worried about a future legislature just creating marriage for gay folks and calling it something else.Blocking a "future legislature" from granting civil unions already favored by most Wisconsinites hardly amounts to democratic process. It instead lets civil-unions opponents decide, while inexplicably blocking the rest of us from petitioning for anything less than constitutional change.
. . .
Wisconsin may legalize gay marriage at some point in the future, but it should be done legislatively - not judicially. The gay marriage amendment preserves the people’s right to define marriage as they see fit.
“Lawyers are tricky.” Exactly our point. But you can’t use this argument and then cry “scare tactics” when others say the same. Lawyers are even trickier when they have sloppy, open-ended constitutional amendments to play around with.
As the amendment is written, it is narrowly targeted to reinforce something that is already illegal.Now that's hyperbolic. Legislators in Hawaii drafted an actual "narrowly targeted" amendment, one that truly lets the people decide. Theirs reads: “The legislature shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples.”
If the gay marriage amendment fails, expect full legalized gay marriage within three years.Talk about a scare tactic. Two of the more liberal supreme courts in the country just said no to marriage cases, making the case law stronger, and decreasing likelihood that they will succeed in the future. Cases take years to reach Supreme Court decisions. Besides, Wisconsin’s courts are different than those in Massachusetts—our justices are elected not appointed.
Finally, I was interested in Owen’s thoughts on the moral effects of the ban and wish he had shared them.