Unlike the Reporter’s distinguished clientele, Jay Morris’s response to my civil unions editorial manages to remain calm and address things I’ve actually written. Still, our Harvey Milk fan’s attempts to show I am “disgruntled” and “didn’t really do any research” fall flat:
Unfortunately, Mr. Freiburger apparently has not reviewed what is required in Wisconsin to obtain a “marriage license,” including the facts that: (a) once applied for, the license only has a 6 day waiting period before being effective; and (b) that only one person need reside in Wisconsin for at least 30 days. Thus, the “scant” requirement to obtain Domestic Partnership benefits in Wisconsin far exceeds the requirements to obtain a marriage license and more benefits than provided by the Domestic Partnership laws.
I fail to see the relevance here. I’m not claiming these new civil unions are easier or harder to qualify for than civil marriage; I’m saying exactly what my original point sounded like: it will be easy to scam these civil unions. Dane County Clerk Bob Ohlsen, while not predicting fraud, recently said, “even for those who already get benefits for their partner through their employer, there is a huge advantage to applying to the registry.” You could say that people can scam civil marriage, too, but the reality is that it is much more common for non-romantically-involved people of the same sex to live together than those of opposite sexes. In any event, I sincerely apologize to Mr. Morris for not devoting a larger share of my 600-word limit to a side issue.
Even when debates with liberals aren’t vicious and juvenile, they can carry a distinct air of surrealism—Mr. Morris strangely claims that my comments about “the so-called rights gay couples are allegedly denied” show that I “neglected to review Wisconsin law at all,” since the marriage amendment “includes a ban on any relationship between same-sex couples that is ‘similar to’ marriage.” Perhaps our friend shouldn’t be so quick to cast stones over insufficient research, inasmuch as he apparently didn’t even read the piece he’s rebutting in full—in which I discuss the “2006 Marriage Protection Amendment, which prohibits the state from recognizing ‘a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals.’”
Mr. Morris attempts to prove the amendment threatens gays by quoting Wisconsin’s former (disgraced) Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager. What he doesn’t mention: after the election, the AG was singing a different tune from what she said as a Democrat candidate:
In one of her last official acts, outgoing Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager has declared that Wisconsin’s recently enacted constitutional ban on same-sex marriage does not prohibit public or private employers from providing domestic partner benefits. In a six-page opinion released Wednesday, Lautenschlager also told Madison City Attorney Michael May that the constitutional amendment does not strike down anti-discrimination protections for domestic partners. Lautenschlager wrote that “it can reasonably be inferred” from the language of the amendment “that neither the Legislature nor the people intended to invalidate domestic partnerships when they adopted this provision.”
Also intolerable to our friend is the fact that gay couples seeking to arrange benefits themselves via wills and power of attorney pay much more than the cost of a marriage license. First, I still maintain that, while full replication of everything civil marriage offers may be impossible, gay couples still have access to far more than the gay lobby, such as the lying charlatans of Fair Wisconsin, would have you believe.
Second, I again reiterate my point that many of these benefits “were created to aid couples raising children on just one parent’s income, and are thus irrelevant to gay couples (as well as to dual-income straight couples).” To be completely honest, I think it would be interesting to do a full review of civil marriage in America and reassess every benefit, and see which should be preserved, which should be changed to apply only to single-income couples or couples with children, and which should be done away with entirely. So I hope you’ll excuse me for not feeling guilty for denying gay couples some provisions I don’t necessarily believe straight couples need either.
Third, as I’ve also said time and time again, it’s certainly possible to change laws and streamline processes for achieving these things in amendment-compatible ways. A few years back, Focus on the Family’s Dr. James Dobson endorsed just such a measure in Colorado. I note that Dobson hasn’t received much goodwill from the gay Left for his efforts.
Jay has one last complaint about my “so-called article” (what does that even mean? Guess I spoke too soon about maturity…): “the rule of law is always up for debate – particularly when the law violates other laws, like equal protection clauses of the primary source, The United States Constitution.”
I’m still trying to decide whether or not this is a weak attempt to dodge my point, or if Jay is really this obtuse. His so-called analysis (see how dumb that sounds?) appears to confuse “laws” with the principle of “the rule of law.” The former means any given law on the books, be it a constitutional provision, act of a legislature, or duly-enacted referendum. Of course these are “always up for debate;” I never suggested otherwise. The latter is the principle that the process by which we make and change laws is something to be respected, that we (to quote myself again, since Jay apparently missed it the first time) “cannot pick and choose which of its provisions to enforce and which to violate, no matter what they may personally think about them.” Don’t like a law? Get it repealed. But as an American, living under the protection of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin, you have no moral right to simply ignore what it says. That goes double for those in public office, like Governor Jim Doyle, who swear [PDF link] “to support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Wisconsin, and faithfully to discharge the duties of their respective offices to the best of their ability.”
No matter how much I despise abortion and wish to see it banned, I don’t want such a ban to come via the Supreme Court. Because I respect and value the rule of law.
However draconian limitations on how close to Planned Parenthoods pro-lifers can protest may be, you won’t see me violate them. Because I respect and value the rule of law.
Regardless of what I may think of any given tax—because I think it unjust, excessive, or I disapprove of the purpose for which it is raising funds—I would never dodge it. Because I respect and value the rule of law.
Jay Morris gave it the good old college try, and delivered a response a cut above most of my critics. But as we see, that’s still not saying much.
8 thoughts on “Stupid Things People Say About Conservatives”
While it seems Calvin Freiburg and Jay Morris could make each argument until they both drop from exhaustion, what is clear is that Mr. Freiburg along with much of the right simply do not believe in equality and justice for all; otherwise there would be no argument.
kalebgage… I know that name. Ha. Simply put, a huge part of the problem is that you yourself, do not believe in equality and justice for all. This becomes obvious after reading the blog in question.
This is precisely the kind of empty demagoguery from the Left I’ve been blogging about for the past week. If it’s so clear, make an evidence-based case for it. Don’t come here with your own prejudices about conservatives and then lecture me about not believing in equality and justice.
So Mr. Freiburger…then you support equal rights for the LGBT community?
So Mr. Freiburger…perhaps you can clarify for the rest of the United States. Why exactly then do you and the majority of the right seem to be against equality for LGBT persons?
Of course I support full equal rights for the LBGT community. You want to live together? Hold marriage ceremonies? Consider yourselves married in the eyes of your friends and loved ones? More power to you. I completely support the right of gays to visit one another in the hospital, of employers to offer same-sex benefits if they wish, and of gays to arrange their lives however they see fit through contract laws and such. If the gay Left was really interested in having a national conversation about these benefits, I’m sure both sides of the debate could find common-sense ways to modify and streamline contract law to make making such arrangements easier.
However, there simply is no right to have the government call a relationship that fundamentally is not marriage by the name “marriage.” Marriage isn’t a right, but a contract which any two people of the opposite sex can enter into. Its benefits aren’t entitlements, but terms of the contract offered in exchange for the two participants binding themselves together to create a stable home for their offspring.
As for why I “and the majority of the right seem to be against equality for LGBT persons,” it’s simple: because the gay Left has been consistently demonizing and lying about us for years.
Marriage is a legal contract that whose benefits ARE entitlements. Your argument, Mr. Freiburger, is the one that is flawed. Offspring? Is it news to you that not all couples have children? Is it news to you that divorce is bad for children? I LIVE in Wisconsin. The new domestic partnership bill has very few rights. Count them up and compare them to the rights that married couples have. It is NOT called marriage. So what is your problem with it? It seems to fit what you support. Gay couples can get the same protections by going to a lawyer? For a few items, which can be disputed by families. Why should they have to? Please give us a reasonable argument against same-sex marriage besides the flawed argument that marriage is to protect offspring. No where does the law require that married people produce offspring.
Last, this law was passed by our legislature, not the courts, also what you prefer. I don’t see your points. I see something very simple. A person who does not want to let two people of the same sex get legally married. Just be honest and say it.
Fair enough on the use of the term “entitlement.” My point was that marriage’s full slate of benefits aren’t things that any two people are entitled to as a matter of right; they are things government confers in exchange for a stable man/woman union.
I’m well aware that not every couple has children; in fact, if you’ll re-read what I’ve written, you’ll see that I think it would be interesting & possibly worthwhile to reevaluate what civil marriage offers straight couples, as well. But there’s nothing flawed about the offspring argument — the man/woman union produces children, and it is best for said children if those two parents are bound together by marriage.
None of this presupposes that every couple who marries will have children, simply that they are very, very likely to. Perhaps there would be something to be gained by changing some benefits so they don’t kick in ’till people have kids; perhaps not. But generally, society has found it practical and effective to confer the benefits of marriage upon two people when they’re ready to make the marital commitment to each other, so that when/if they do have children, everything is already in place.
Frankly, referencing divorce seems like a complete non-sequitur to me. What point are you trying to convey?
I understand the benefits set of these unions is substantially different from marriage, but it is unconstitutional because these unions are “substantially similar” to marriage in their essential purpose: formal government recognition of same sex relationships, which was the clear intent behind the amendment. That the law was passed legislatively is meaningless – simple acts of legislature do not have the power to supersede provisions of the constitution.
“Just be honest and say it”? Huh? Sister, if you’ve been reading my stuff and somehow think I’ve been trying to hide the fact that I oppose same-sex marriage…well…