10/16/2006

Truth about the TN Marriage Amendment

This is a story that should make anyone on the fence on this amendment think twice. For those who are on our side, you should feel as sick and disgusted by this as I do.

Our local paper The Tennessean ran an opinion article by Rev. Jerry Sutton of Two Rivers Baptist Church. This is the same church that hosted the Justice Sunday events and will be hosting Dobson's anti-gay rally tonight (Stand for the Family). Of course, being who Rev. Sutton is his editorial was scathing of our relationships.

Our paper allows comments online to the articles and one gentleman retold a touching story. He's 72 years old and had a partner for 30 years. They had had good relations with their families. However, when his partner died, the partner's family came in and took all of their possessions and took this man to court to get the property they jointly owned. He and his partner had done all of the legal paperwork they could to try to protect themselves and their property. Unfortunately, he spent $300K on legal fees and court costs to try and get their possessions and property back. He won the battle for the property but never got their possessions back. He even had to get a court order just so the police would listen to him.

The story many that oppose us tell is that we can get the legal protections we need through a lawyer and that as long as we do that we don't need to get married. As the story above clearly states, this is a bald-faced lie. I've asked several lawyers this question and all say that we can't have any guarantee no matter how much legal paperwork we do. Marriage is the only sure way we are guaranteed to be recognized as "next of kin" and rightful inheritor of our jointly owned property.

If it was this hard before the amendment, imagine how hard it will be AFTER!

The public has been lied to and duped. The allegations of our opposition are FALSE. These amendments are not just about placing us in a second-class status but a NO CLASS status! They don't leave doors open for civil unions or domestic partnerships, but are intended to block recognition of anything that provides similar benefits and privileges of marriage. That includes legal documents. Do not be fooled!

Fortunately, there is a great grassroots movement started here in TN for support of our relationships. I'm pleased to report that even The Tennessean came out in opposition to the anti-gay amendment. In time, these discriminatory amendments will be undone, just like we've undone discrimination in the past. It'll be a long road until then, but let's do our part to make sure we're on the right side of the street. Vote NO!!!

Cross-posted at Pam's House Blend.

3 Comments:

At 11:52, Blogger Stuffed Animal said...

Callie, I think it's time Gay people and their advocates started mounting their own ballot initiatives. There is a PRESSING need to curtail the targeting of minority group rights, and that might be just the way to do it. Now, I doubt that any amendments to enshrine minority rights in state constitions would pass at first, but time is on our side. We know from national polling that the generation coming up isn't as heterosexist and irrational as this one. All we need to do is to slam home the message that if our rights are in jeopardy, other groups' rights are potentially in jeopardy, too. Who'll be the next target? Muslims? Women? Rap artists? Voters? Instead of putting out fires, we must fight fire with fire! I'm amazed that the strategists at national LesBiGay organizations haven't thought of this already. Who are they supposed to be looking out for, anyway?

 
At 11:23, Blogger John said...

You make a good point, stuffed. It is not hard to get initiative petitions on the ballot (at least here in Massachusetts).

One could easily get enough signatures here to make the aarvak the State insect.

 
At 08:34, Blogger RedStateExile said...

I absolutely agree, SA. That's something I've been saying for a long time and have been terribly frustrated by our major GLBT organizations in not encouraging this more. The time is ripe to be proactive, not reactive.

 

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