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View Poll Results: What Most Closely Reflects Your Viewpoint?
I fully support same-sex civil equality. 21 56.76%
I oppose same-sex marriage, but I support same-sex civil unions. 4 10.81%
I oppose both same-sex marriage and same-sex civil unions. 12 32.43%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-25-2011, 10:50 PM
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,606 posts, read 77,268,091 times
Reputation: 19071


Inspired by a similar thread on the Alabama forum I thought it would be interesting to post a poll on our own forum to gauge our Commonwealth's receptiveness (or lack thereof) to the idea of legitimizing same-sex relationships and equalizing them to opposite-sex relationships.

New York has recently legalized same-sex marriage and joins Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Washington, DC, and Iowa in doing so. Maryland recognizes same-sex marriages from other states, and it's very likely that same-sex marriage may be legalized there as soon as next year. New Jersey, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, and Rhode Island have legalized same-sex civil unions. Maine briefly legalized same-sex marriage before voters overturned it (the battle is ongoing, as it is in California, too). Now that every state surrounding PA (save for OH and WV) has somehow legitimized same-sex relationships, it is time PA takes a stand on this issue one way or another as well instead of always being so reactionary.

Please keep the ensuing discussion civil. Any "flame wars" will probably result in this thread's closure and/or relocation to the Politics & Other Controversies forum, and I feel as if that would be a travesty. I would, however, appreciate it if the PA moderators---Yac, toobusytoday, Tone509, etc.---could provide this thread with a bit of leeway before any potential closure.

Last edited by SteelCityRising; 07-25-2011 at 10:58 PM.. Reason: Typographical Error. Yes, I'm a moron.
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:19 AM
Location: Pennsylvania
5,725 posts, read 11,664,054 times
Reputation: 9828
Terminology might play a role for some people surrounding this issue. Personally, I have no issue with same-sex marriage, civil unions, or anything else you want to call it. Some people may be uncomfortable with using the term marriage, which has traditionally been between a man and a woman and has (in many cases) a religious element to it. I can understand this discomfort. However, if marriage is relegated to refer to religious ceremonies, then any civil unions (same-sex or male-female) should be categorized the same way - as a civil union not a marriage.

The bottom line for me is that people who are committed to each other should be allowed the benefits of marriage (public recognition, survivor benefits, tax considerations, etc. - all the legal stuff) regardless of sexual orientation. I don't agree with the 'sanctity of marriage' argument against same-sex unions - what happens between other people has no impact on my own marriage. I also disagree with the 'slippery slope' argument that suggests marrying children or animals is the next step. There are plenty of gay couples who have been living as married couples for ages - legalizing it would only validate what is already happening, not necessarily cause a whole new trend.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:40 AM
Location: Downtown Harrisburg
1,434 posts, read 3,908,090 times
Reputation: 1017
I fail to see any legal ground that establishes that a gay couple is somehow inferior to a straight couple.

Therefore, the government should not be able to tell people who they can / can not fall in love with.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:11 AM
Location: Connecticut
1,142 posts, read 2,124,125 times
Reputation: 1349
Sorry to make light of the situation but I think gay couples should be allowed to be as miserable as heterosexual couples. Especially when they split up and are dividing their assets. I should think lawyers that handle divorces should relish the idea as that certainly increases their customer base.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:40 AM
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,634 posts, read 14,863,727 times
Reputation: 15932
I am in favor of marriage equality.

To me, the second word is even more important than the first word: EQUALITY.

Civil unions do not 'do it' for me ... it's like telling people they are allowed to ride on the bus, but they have to sit in the back. Equality means equality.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:43 AM
268 posts, read 372,177 times
Reputation: 107
If you remove the "tax considerations" and other government-related involvements in marriage, everyone would be equal. Basically, getting government out of the marriage business. It's a private, personal ceremony that should be left alone by the government. That is the libertarian point of view. Even if government should for some reason be in the "marriage business," it shouldn't be deciding who receives recognition and benefits. Keep in mind, marriage or civil unions is a state issue. The federal gov't shouldn't be involved in these issues, but the U.S. Supreme Ct. can strike down a state's same-sex marriage ban on certain constitutional grounds (e.g. 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause).

Here's another interesting thing. If you're for equality, you must be in favor of different cultural customs in relation to marriage or civil unions (e.g. polygamy). Don't jump onto the equality bandwagon until you embrace all forms of cultural differences in relations to marriage. Because, if you ban polygamy marriage, you're back to square 1 of government determining who can marry who. You're either for a pervasive big gov't or NOT.

I would also like to point out that you can't solely blame the GOP. There are many social conservative Democrats in PA blocking the path towards "equal matrimony." Use the term "social conservative." There are many types of conservatives including fiscal, neo, and social. Fiscal conservatives may be very socially liberal. So, you can't paint it as a Democrat v. Republican issue or a Conservative v. Liberal. It is a "social conservative" v. "social liberal" issue in Pennsylvania.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:05 AM
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
7,246 posts, read 10,493,980 times
Reputation: 8758
Full marriage support here.

I think the same-sex marriage movement should start to argue their cause on the basis of religious discrimination; that is, by not allowing some religious sects to perform gay marriages, state/federal governments are overtly favoring more conservative religious sects who are vehemently opposed to gay marriage over more liberal religious groups where acknowledging/affirming gay relationships is part of their religious tradition (i.e., Unitarians, Mainline Christian denominations, Reform Jews, etc.). I think that would be far more effective from a constitutional perspective.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:46 AM
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,606 posts, read 77,268,091 times
Reputation: 19071
This morning I read an editorial by Chris Kelly of the Scranton Times-Tribune that offers quite a bit of insight into the subject with some ensuing commentary on both sides of the issue:

Defending Marriage - News - The Times-Tribune
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:44 PM
1,245 posts, read 3,169,406 times
Reputation: 535
I believe two men or two women should be able to get married. I also believe that I should be able to marry as many women as I want or a woman should be able to take as many husbands as she wants.
The government should get out of the private lives of consenting adults.
While they are at it, they should decriminalize drugs. Imagine how much money that would save all levels of government.
The good life, me passing the bong around to all 6 of my smoking hot wives, and not worrying about the police.

* the above view of polygamy is not shared by my one and only wife.
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:56 PM
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,634 posts, read 14,863,727 times
Reputation: 15932
Not more than 5 or 6 blocks from my house are two religious institutions: Saint Francis de Salles Church and Congregation Kol Tzedek. The first one is a Roman Catholic Church and part of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the second one is a Jewish Synagogue affiliated within one of the major branches of American Judaism - Reconstructionist Judaism.

The priest at St. Francis de Salles will not marry same-sex couples, in accordance with Roman Catholic doctrine. The rabbi at Kol Tzedek will marry same-sex couples, as will most synagogues except for the orthodox ones.

By not recognizing the Jewish marriages, but recognizing the Catholic marriages, I am wondering if there is a bias by the government of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for certain religions over other ones?
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