CommunityPam's House Blend

Calif. gives benefits to gay couples, wingnuts fight on

Another wingnut media whore, Randy Thomasson, of Campaign for Children and Families, is continuing to conflate civil marriage and religious marriage in order to further his cause.

The implementation of the Domestic Partners Rights and Responsibility Act in California is great news and a step toward equality for gay couples, but the interesting aspect of this story to me is the Right’s response — they continue to purposely confuse the definition of “marriage”. (AP):

A law taking effect with the new year gives gay couples who register as domestic partners nearly the same responsibilities and benefits as married spouses. Heterosexual elderly couples also are eligible.

Same-sex couples in California for the first time will have access to divorce court for dividing their assets, seeking alimony and securing child support. They also will have automatic parental status over children born during the relationship and responsibility for each other’s debts.

It guarantees domestic partners a say over what happens to their loved one’s remains at death and means they cannot be forced to testify against each other in state courts.

Two groups opposed to marriage rights for gay couples have challenged the law, claiming it violates the intent of a 2000 ballot initiative approved by voters that holds only unions between a man and a woman as valid in the state.

The California Court of Appeal has agreed to hear the case early in the year.

Whether you call it ‘domestic partnerships’ or ‘civil unions,’ homosexual ‘marriage’ by another name is still homosexual ‘marriage,’ and the people of California voted against that,” said Randy Thomasson, executive director of Campaign for California Families, one of the groups that brought the lawsuit.

The fact of the matter is that gay couples would only receive approximately 400 state benefits, compared to over 1000 state and federal rights enjoyed by married couples.

Here are some other quotes by Thomasson about the prospect of new law — he knows that the Right’s only hope is to continue to conflate civil and religious marriage if they are to win the culture war.

“AB 205 utterly rejects the vote of the people of California – 4.6 million white, black, Latino and Asian voters who demanded that the rights, privileges and benefits of marriage be protected for a man and a woman, as it should be. The Democrat politicians who jammed this through have proved they are against marriage and against democracy. They have created gay ‘marriage’ by another name and utterly rejected the vote of the people. This will go to court as an unconstitutional hijacking of the people’s vote to protect marriage with Proposition 22.”

“This arrogant bill barely passed. The Democrat politicians apparently have no problem reversing the people’s vote on marriage, the foundation of family and society….If reversing the people’s vote on marriage doesn’t demonstrate political arrogance, I don’t know what does.”

“I wish they’d be honest and call it gay marriage. If marital rights go to nonmarried couples, then you’ve really thrown mud in the face of marriage as an institution. If [Governor] Gray Davis wants to go for president or vice president, he won’t go for this.”

Thomasson has also called for the head of the Superior Court ruled the law was valid, Loren E. McMaster. McMaster rejected the above argument by saying that there is nothing in the language of the initial proposition that “restrict[s] the grant of rights and benefits to persons who have registered as domestic partners, even if those rights closely parallel the rights enjoyed by married couples.”

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding