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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Separate but not equal: civil unions lack sufficient benefits

    A sad 30th anniversary will take place this Thanksgiving. On November 27, 1978, openly gay politician Harvey Milk was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone in San Francisco’s City Hall, a moment that ignited the debate about gay rights and left many robbed of their spokesperson.

    Milk was a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the first gay man to hold public office in California, that liberal palace of sodomy. His story has been the subject of an Oscar-winning 1984 documentary and a soon-to-be-released biopic directed by Gus Van Sant, starring Sean Penn as Milk and Josh Brolin as fellow Supervisor Dan White, the man who shot both Milk and Moscone.

    Somehow, California voters still managed to vote in support of Proposition 8 this election, which just like Arizona’s Proposition 102 and Florida’s Amendment 2, defined marriage as being between one man and one woman.

    For as many as there are opposed to the gay marriage death blow, more have come out to support it. Arizona’s passed by a yea vs. nay difference of 12, California’s by a very narrow 4.6 and Florida’s by a much wider 24.8.

    The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that Democratic legislators are seeking to invalidate Proposition 8 with the argument that a simple amendment cannot suffice for such a measure, and a reworking of the constitution with the participation of the legislature would be required.

    On the Arizona end, many are to blame, especially Sen. Tim Bee and other Republican senators who put it on the ballot in the first place. Almost $8 million was funneled into getting Proposition 102 to pass – an awful lot of money for good ol’ American hate.

    Democratic Sen. Paula Aboud, who represents District 28, clarified just what the passing of the proposition means in the Tucson Citizen.

    “”What Proposition 102 will do is prohibit same-sex couples and their children from ever having the protections to which they’re rightfully entitled; hospital visitation rights, pension benefits, health insurance coverage and inheritance rights, to name just a few of the 1,000-plus federal benefits heterosexual couples have that are not afforded to the gay community,”” Aboud said.

    The Wildcat, no poor man’s news organization, has also been a forum for students and alumni to discuss the issue via our beloved Mailbag. Advocates of Proposition 102, like Bruce Pixton, an optical sciences graduate student, said that there are just differences between the two genders, and that he didn’t want “”experimentation on something so critical to society and so time-tested as marriage and the family.””

    Matthias Whitney, an optical sciences and engineering senior, stated that Proposition 102 wasn’t “”about homophobia, bigotry or hate. It’s about protecting marriage and religion from radical judges.”” What kind of Kool-Aid are they serving over in that optical sciences building?

    Jonathan Rutherford, a psychology senior, opined that if gay marriage is eventually accepted, then polygamy should be as well. I’m inclined to agree, except that I’d rather not live on planet Wog with my seven wives once I die. Or is that Scientology?

    Another bone that needs picking is this notion that civil unions are somehow enough for couples instead of the legally-binding benefits of marriage. The concept of “”separate but equal”” sounds nice enough, but it’s really just discrimination the way Martha Stewart would say it. In Evan Wolfson’s book, “”Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People’s Right to Marry,”” he makes a good point about the topic when he says, “”Civil unions do not provide the 1,138 federal incidents of marriage, from social security to immigration to tax equity or assure families that their legal relationship will be respected outside their home state.””

    Imagine you’re in a donut shop. In this store, there are gay and straight donuts. The straight donuts are delicious and come in a number of varieties, including glazed, plain cake style, chocolate and with sprinkles. The gay donuts are pretty good, but they lack the pizzazz of the straight ones. Now, who in their right mind would want to settle for something less when you can eat the most delicious donut you’ve ever had? Crusaders like Harvey Milk haven’t been forgotten, and thanks to these propositions, the battle for equality rages on.


    – Matt Wavrin is a media arts senior. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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