A marriage is ...

A marriage is ...

There are 251 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Mar 17, 2009, titled A marriage is .... In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Stacy Creswell, left, her husband John, and their three daughters live in Bucktown.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

Defending Marriage

Evanston, IL

#242 Mar 19, 2009
lulu wrote:
<quoted text>
Let me break it down for you.
What are some of the differences between Civil Unions and Gay Marriage?
Recognition in other states: Even though each state has its own laws around marriage, if someone is married in one state and moves to another, their marriage is legally recognized. For example, Oregon marriage law applies to people 17 and over. In Washington state, the couple must be 18 to wed. However, Washington will recognize the marriage of two 17 year olds from Oregon who move there. This is not the case with Civil Unions. If someone has a Civil Union in Vermont, that union is not recognized in any other state. As a matter of fact, two states, Connecticut and Georgia, have ruled that they do not have to recognize civil unions performed in Vermont, because their states have no such legal category. As gay marriages become legal in other states, this status may change.
Dissolving a Civil Union v. Divorce:
Vermont has no residency requirement for Civil Unions. That means two people from any other state or country can come there and have a civil union ceremony. If the couple breaks up and wishes to dissolve the union, one of them must be a resident of Vermont for one year before the Civil Union can be dissolved in family court. Married couples can divorce in any state they reside, no matter where they were married.
Immigration:
A United States citizen who is married can sponsor his or her non-American spouse for immigration into this country. Those with Civil Unions have no such privilege.
Taxes:
Civil Unions are not recognized by the federal government, so couples would not be able to file joint-tax returns or be eligible for tax breaks or protections the government affords to married couples.
Benefits:
The General Accounting Office in 1997 released a list of 1,049 benefits and protections available to heterosexual married couples. These benefits range from federal benefits, such as survivor benefits through Social Security, sick leave to care for ailing partner, tax breaks, veterans benefits and insurance breaks. They also include things like family discounts, obtaining family insurance through your employer, visiting your spouse in the hospital and making medical decisions if your partner is unable to. Civil Unions protect some of these rights, but not all of them.
But can’t a lawyer set all this up for gay and lesbian couples?
No. A lawyer can set up some things like durable power of attorney, wills and medical power of attorney. There are several problems with this, however.
1. It costs thousands of dollars in legal fees. A simple marriage license, which usually costs under $100 would cover all the same rights and benefits.
2. Any of these can be challenged in court. As a matter of fact, more wills are challenged than not. In the case of wills, legal spouses always have more legal power than any other family member.
3. Marriage laws are universal. If someone’s husband or wife is injured in an accident, all you need to do is show up and say you’re his or her spouse. You will not be questioned. If you show up at the hospital with your legal paperwork, the employees may not know what to do with you. If you simply say, "He's my husband," you will immediately be taken to your spouse's side.
And thank you btw. I think you are sincere. I have no qualms with people who just want to be treated equally. This is the United States of America. I believe there is room for all who plan to ADD to the country, not change its core principles. I think its sad/wrong when people want to redefine Marriage instead of improve the Civil Union.
Chuck

Chicago, IL

#246 Mar 19, 2009
ethan wrote:
<quoted text>
...our constitution and our most basic rights as citizens stem from a pro-Christian background (i.e. the founding of our nation was based on a core belief of Christianity)
You need further study of our founding father's intentions and their belief systems...
lulu

Lansing, MI

#247 Mar 19, 2009
Defending Marriage wrote:
<quoted text>
If legislation was passed where it said a Civil Union is as legally binding as a Marriage, do you think that would be enough?
Well... for starters, I'm not married... If/when I find a man to marry then, yes, I would absolutely be comfortable with a government issued contract called civil union, a union equal to marriage in all respects. We would then receive the sacrament of marriage in the Catholic Church.

I ask you, would it be enough for you to have a government issued contract called civil union and a sacrament called marriage? And if civil union, equal to marriage, isn't a good enough term for you, then how can it be good enough for another couple? Would you be comfortable with your government issued marriage license, be re-issued as a civil union?(assuming you are married)
lulu

Lansing, MI

#248 Mar 19, 2009
Defending Marriage wrote:
<quoted text>
And thank you btw. I think you are sincere. I have no qualms with people who just want to be treated equally. This is the United States of America. I believe there is room for all who plan to ADD to the country, not change its core principles. I think its sad/wrong when people want to redefine Marriage instead of improve the Civil Union.
And thank you too! I do understand what you are saying... I'm not gay but I have some very close friends who are, and the arguments I make are actually their opinions.

I think this back and forth act of California is horrible, my friends are married (two women) in Massachusetts and I can't imagine how devastated they would be if their marriage was unwillingly annulled. I have another set of girlfriends who are engaged and again, I couldn't imagine them forcefully calling off the engagement. To toy with emotions the way CA does is truly cruel.

As for the religious argument, they respect religious opinions, but don't understand why civil unions/marriage aren't just one and the same. Something has to be redefined, either marriage or civil union, and if they are truly equal then what's the point in two different terms. My friends think marriage belongs in a Church and if a Church is willing to marry two gays then so be it, if not, then so be it.

Anyway, my friends are very normal people. They have good jobs, own condos, they have pets, they throw dinner parties, and are compassionate and extremely talented and intelligent. They aren't weird or freaky, they don't make straight women uncomfortable or are obnoxious. They are like any other set of friends I have, and so it deeply saddens me to know in many ways people like them can never truly be connected based on personal bias of some people (not you).
Defending Marriage

Evanston, IL

#249 Mar 19, 2009
lulu wrote:
<quoted text>
Well... for starters, I'm not married... If/when I find a man to marry then, yes, I would absolutely be comfortable with a government issued contract called civil union, a union equal to marriage in all respects. We would then receive the sacrament of marriage in the Catholic Church.
I ask you, would it be enough for you to have a government issued contract called civil union and a sacrament called marriage? And if civil union, equal to marriage, isn't a good enough term for you, then how can it be good enough for another couple? Would you be comfortable with your government issued marriage license, be re-issued as a civil union?(assuming you are married)
I am married, and I am defending what that means to me. I don't think it needs to be changed in order to simply make someone happy or feel better. When you make changes like that - there ought to be a higher purpose for those changes. Gays claim they want rights, and I am interested in them getting their fair treatment. I believe you can be gay and do your own thing, but don't call it what I am doing, because its not. When you do something different - it should have a different name.
Get Real Homophobes

Saskatoon, Canada

#250 Mar 19, 2009
Defending Marriage wrote:
<quoted text>
I am married, and I am defending what that means to me. I don't think it needs to be changed in order to simply make someone happy or feel better. When you make changes like that - there ought to be a higher purpose for those changes. Gays claim they want rights, and I am interested in them getting their fair treatment. I believe you can be gay and do your own thing, but don't call it what I am doing, because its not. When you do something different - it should have a different name.
There is a higher purpose for legalizing same-sex marriage--to include legally those consenting couples that have been prevented from making a life-long committment to the love of their lives and for it to be recognized by their country, government, friends, family and humanity in general. Heterosexuals have already been given that courtesy and have overall abused it. I for one hope that homosexual marriage DOES NOT do what heterosexuals are doing; I hope they can do better and set an example of what a committed, honest, unity looks like--hetersexuals as a whole have been unable to do that.

Marriage is an emotional, spiritual, physical connection between two people, but it also has many practical, legal implications as well--many same-sex couples have been left without the resources or legal rights to resources at the result of a partners' death (and if ill have restrictions on visitation of that partner in hospital setting)--many same-sex couples are not treated as a couple BECAUSE they are not allowed to marry(financially and emotionally). If they have children, either from IV/adoption/previous relationships, they are excempt from resources that nuclear families are given (to name a few).

Legalizing same-sex marriage not a playground game where we need to include everyone so as to not hurt their feelings, this effrects the basic quality of life for many gay and lesbian people and their children.
Defending Marriage

Evanston, IL

#251 Mar 19, 2009
lulu wrote:
<quoted text>
And thank you too! I do understand what you are saying... I'm not gay but I have some very close friends who are, and the arguments I make are actually their opinions.
I think this back and forth act of California is horrible, my friends are married (two women) in Massachusetts and I can't imagine how devastated they would be if their marriage was unwillingly annulled. I have another set of girlfriends who are engaged and again, I couldn't imagine them forcefully calling off the engagement. To toy with emotions the way CA does is truly cruel.
As for the religious argument, they respect religious opinions, but don't understand why civil unions/marriage aren't just one and the same. Something has to be redefined, either marriage or civil union, and if they are truly equal then what's the point in two different terms. My friends think marriage belongs in a Church and if a Church is willing to marry two gays then so be it, if not, then so be it.
Anyway, my friends are very normal people. They have good jobs, own condos, they have pets, they throw dinner parties, and are compassionate and extremely talented and intelligent. They aren't weird or freaky, they don't make straight women uncomfortable or are obnoxious. They are like any other set of friends I have, and so it deeply saddens me to know in many ways people like them can never truly be connected based on personal bias of some people (not you).
Excellent post. I certainly do not like that the law gave them the right and now they want to revoke it. Thats unfair. They should have full rights afforded a Civil Union.

I know a Marriage and a Civil Union are two different things - and they should be by name also. Gay people have to fight for the Civil Union to be upgraded and leave marriage alone. This argument turns those who would support them - against them. Gay people are saying in a sense - everyone is the same and forget how straight people think and feel. Forget their laws, statutes and their GOD. Forget that life comes from a man an a woman. Forget that the children they want to adopt came from a man and woman. This is an argument and thinking that will be met with opposition.

Since: Oct 07

Bellingham

#252 Mar 19, 2009
MandM wrote:
<quoted text>
You mean change what the Creator has subjectively designed marriage to be so that we, as a fallen creation, can determine what we want for it to be?
Even though our govt is already in the process of rejecting God's absolutes, I think that there's still much more debauchery to come. Pray for our nation's morality.
really, you're citing religion and government. Show me one historical country that succeeded and was run by religion? One of the reasons we are such a damn sexy country is that religion doesn't run it. I mean come on! Just look at the "holy land" How much fighting and death is going on over there? Rediculious.

Since: Oct 07

Bellingham

#253 Mar 19, 2009
Defending Marriage wrote:
<quoted text>
I am married, and I am defending what that means to me. I don't think it needs to be changed in order to simply make someone happy or feel better. When you make changes like that - there ought to be a higher purpose for those changes. Gays claim they want rights, and I am interested in them getting their fair treatment. I believe you can be gay and do your own thing, but don't call it what I am doing, because its not. When you do something different - it should have a different name.
yea, call it Gayage. Why not? make it the same as marriage just between two members of the same sex.
Annie Reader

Chicago, IL

#254 Mar 19, 2009
[QUOTE who="daithenI think you should familiarize yourself with our system of government. The courts role is to ensure the laws passed are constitutionally valid. This is exactly the place it should be argued. Again we are discussing civil unions (which the government has given the term marriage to) not the religious ceremony of marriage.[/QUOTE]

I'm quite familiar with our system of government, especially the courts. The courts' role is the interpret the existing law, not to make new law. The legislature is the place where the economic, social and other policy considerations are weighed and debated. A court can decide if, under the language of the Constitution, denying gays the right to marry is prohibited. But in so doing, it would not consider--indeed there would be no evidentiary record of--things like the cost of expanding the definition of marriage, the impact on children, the benefits to society. These are issues for the legislature and the voters to weigh and decide, not the courts. And they are issues that should be addressed in deciding whether to expand the definition of marriage.

“I see stupid people”

Since: Dec 08

Tempe. AZ

#255 Mar 19, 2009
Annie Reader wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm quite familiar with our system of government, especially the courts. The courts' role is the interpret the existing law, not to make new law.
Which they are not and have not done in the past. Prop 22 was ruled unconstitutional by the courts. Nope no new law their rather as you said interpret existing law. Now the fight is against prop 8 and the question the court is being asked is was prop 8 a revision or an amendment. In other words was it legally put up for a popular vote, again interpreting current law not making new law.
Annie Reader wrote:
The legislature is the place where the economic, social and other policy considerations are weighed and debated.
I agree. However the legislature can not make laws that give rights and privileges to one group and denying them to another group. We do not deny rights based on socio-economic impacts.
Annie Reader wrote:
A court can decide if, under the language of the Constitution, denying gays the right to marry is prohibited. But in so doing, it would not consider--indeed there would be no evidentiary record of--things like the cost of expanding the definition of marriage, the impact on children, the benefits to society.
And they shouldn't. Their job is to once again interpret the laws and rule on the constitutionality of the laws.
Annie Reader wrote:
These are issues for the legislature and the voters to weigh and decide, not the courts. And they are issues that should be addressed in deciding whether to expand the definition of marriage.
I disagree. These are issues that should not be put up to a popular vote. The reason is you are denying a right to a whole class of people. Tyranny of the majority is a real effect. I also submit that gay people are not the ones trying to change the definition of marriage. Straight people are trying to change it to deny marriage rights to law abiding tax paying citizens. I dont remember a proposition or law put forth to include gay people in marriage I do however see alot of people trying to deny it to them. A gay couple does not have the right to marry but the guy down the street who has been married 4 times can, the rapist in prison can, the crack whore in the projects with 5 kids whith different fathers who had all children out of wedlock can, now I ask you how is this fair.
begone all ye idiots

River Forest, IL

#256 Mar 19, 2009
Defending Marriage wrote:
<quoted text>
I am married, and I am defending what that means to me. I don't think it needs to be changed in order to simply make someone happy or feel better. When you make changes like that - there ought to be a higher purpose for those changes. Gays claim they want rights, and I am interested in them getting their fair treatment. I believe you can be gay and do your own thing, but don't call it what I am doing, because its not. When you do something different - it should have a different name.
How sad for you that your marriage is so fragile that what a bunch of people whom you don't even know can damage it by doing things that don't have any real effect on you.

You shouldn't be wasting your time in this forum -- you and your wife should be seeing a counselor.
Defending Marriage

Evanston, IL

#257 Mar 20, 2009
daithen wrote:
<quoted text>
Which they are not and have not done in the past. Prop 22 was ruled unconstitutional by the courts. Nope no new law their rather as you said interpret existing law. Now the fight is against prop 8 and the question the court is being asked is was prop 8 a revision or an amendment. In other words was it legally put up for a popular vote, again interpreting current law not making new law.
<quoted text>
I agree. However the legislature can not make laws that give rights and privileges to one group and denying them to another group. We do not deny rights based on socio-economic impacts.
<quoted text>
And they shouldn't. Their job is to once again interpret the laws and rule on the constitutionality of the laws.
<quoted text>
I disagree. These are issues that should not be put up to a popular vote. The reason is you are denying a right to a whole class of people. Tyranny of the majority is a real effect. I also submit that gay people are not the ones trying to change the definition of marriage. Straight people are trying to change it to deny marriage rights to law abiding tax paying citizens. I dont remember a proposition or law put forth to include gay people in marriage I do however see alot of people trying to deny it to them. A gay couple does not have the right to marry but the guy down the street who has been married 4 times can, the rapist in prison can, the crack **** in the projects with 5 kids whith different fathers who had all children out of wedlock can, now I ask you how is this fair.
YES its fair - if they all meet the requirements of marriage; male and female. If gay folks want the same benefits - fight for Civil Union laws. Leave Marriage Alone. As you pointed out its the individuals that ruin a marriage not marriage itself.
Defending Marriage

Evanston, IL

#258 Mar 20, 2009
begone all ye idiots wrote:
<quoted text>
How sad for you that your marriage is so fragile that what a bunch of people whom you don't even know can damage it by doing things that don't have any real effect on you.
You shouldn't be wasting your time in this forum -- you and your wife should be seeing a counselor.
I am in defense of Marriage. You should be in support of civil unions. Marriage is between a man and woman. Its fine the way it is. Seek what you need to make you trully happy and that is the RIGHTS of a civil union. My marriage is going to be fine, my wife and I are happily married. And when I look at her tonight I will cherish it even more - while it is still a special exclusive institution for MEN and WOMEN that GOD created. Thats worth the fight and I am up for it.
Defending Marriage

Evanston, IL

#259 Mar 20, 2009
As long as a marriage is defined as being between a MAN and a WOMAN, why would gays want that? Their union is different - and therefore they require a different solution. Leave the definition of Marriage alone. Leave the church alone. We already have enough problems. Gay people, leave us OUT of your fight. You want our support, give us the respect that we deserve. Recognize that what you want is differen and seek another solution - and we will help you.
Brian

Naperville, IL

#260 Mar 20, 2009
Defending Marriage wrote:
<quoted text>
I am in defense of Marriage. You should be in support of civil unions. Marriage is between a man and woman. Its fine the way it is. Seek what you need to make you trully happy and that is the RIGHTS of a civil union. My marriage is going to be fine, my wife and I are happily married. And when I look at her tonight I will cherish it even more - while it is still a special exclusive institution for MEN and WOMEN that GOD created. Thats worth the fight and I am up for it.
It's interesting that you chose to use the word "exclusive."
Defending Marriage

Evanston, IL

#261 Mar 20, 2009
Get Real Homophobes wrote:
<quoted text>
There is a higher purpose for legalizing same-sex marriage--to include legally those consenting couples that have been prevented from making a life-long committment to the love of their lives and for it to be recognized by their country, government, friends, family and humanity in general. Heterosexuals have already been given that courtesy and have overall abused it. I for one hope that homosexual marriage DOES NOT do what heterosexuals are doing; I hope they can do better and set an example of what a committed, honest, unity looks like--hetersexuals as a whole have been unable to do that.
Marriage is an emotional, spiritual, physical connection between two people, but it also has many practical, legal implications as well--many same-sex couples have been left without the resources or legal rights to resources at the result of a partners' death (and if ill have restrictions on visitation of that partner in hospital setting)--many same-sex couples are not treated as a couple BECAUSE they are not allowed to marry(financially and emotionally). If they have children, either from IV/adoption/previous relationships, they are excempt from resources that nuclear families are given (to name a few).
Legalizing same-sex marriage not a playground game where we need to include everyone so as to not hurt their feelings, this effrects the basic quality of life for many gay and lesbian people and their children.
When I got married, it was not my intention to effect gays in any way shape or form. For people like ME, Marriage is defined by GOD, who is our #1 priority. There is simply no other higher purpose than HIM. Our country got its definition of Marriage from HIM. Before America was thought of, Marriage was defined. And now, that is supposed to no longer be important because Gay people want to change it????

There are some that respect God and the church and simply want rights; them I understand and empathize. I am for healthcare benefits and legal equality and Justice for all. But to those who want to say a gay relationship is the SAME as a straight relationship in the eyes of God and man is wrong. They are seeking to call God a liar and that is where the line must be drawn.

Hate God. Do your own thing. But leave us alone. Is that too much to ask?
Defending Marriage

Evanston, IL

#262 Mar 20, 2009
Brian wrote:
<quoted text>
It's interesting that you chose to use the word "exclusive."
By definition being gay is exclusive also. Just think about it. We are all free to be exactly who we want to be. Marriage is what STRAIGHT folks do. Having children is what STRAIGHT folks do. Thats our thing.
Defending Marriage

Evanston, IL

#263 Mar 20, 2009
Rick69 wrote:
<quoted text>
yea, call it Gayage. Why not? make it the same as marriage just between two members of the same sex.
I am all for it. As long as there is a distinction. And I am all for the JUSTICE of it. I have a problem with two VERY different individuals with the same rights and one wanting to be identified as the other. I am straight - I don't want to be identified as gay, and I am sure they feel the same way. Be your own thing and identify yourselves likewise.

Since: Jul 07

Cincinnati, OH

#264 Mar 20, 2009
Defending Marriage wrote:
<quoted text>
By definition being gay is exclusive also. Just think about it. We are all free to be exactly who we want to be. Marriage is what STRAIGHT folks do. Having children is what STRAIGHT folks do. Thats our thing.
Marriage has only been allowed for straight folks. Gays and lesbians have been having kids for as long as they have existed it's only been assumed that they were all straight.

It's not entirely only for straights. Thinking that way is a result of trying to make gays as invisible as possible. Now that they are out you suddenly want to own things and take credit for all things that you are just going to have to learn to share.

That's a thing that belongs to all.

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