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President Bush Flip-flopping on Gay Rights Issue? 304

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the states-rights-suddenly-matter-again dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a move that has upset some in the GOP, George Bush has suddenly declared his support for civil unions for gay ane lesbian couples. Will such a move help or hurt him this late in the game?"
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President Bush Flip-flopping on Gay Rights Issue?

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  • Will such a move help or hurt him this late in the game?

    Unfortunately it won't hurt him. The Democrats seem to be a bit slow on jumping on all the "flip-flopping" (I hope I never hear that word again after tis election) that the President does and the Republican are too good at redirecting the public's attention when Bush does something stupid.
    • Taking a stance closer towards tolerance should not hurt anyone.

      That said, too bad BOTH candidates are bigots on the whole matter.
      • by BrookHarty (9119) on Friday October 29, 2004 @12:01AM (#10660554) Homepage Journal
        I believe in civil unions, For EVERYONE.

        Marriage is a religous act, and I believe in the seperation of Church and State. Simple solution, make everyone get Civil Union, and leave marriage upto the church.

        Oh wait, that makes too much sense.
        -
        I think gays should get married, as long as both women are HOT!

        • Re:Unfortunately... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by rhakka (224319) on Friday October 29, 2004 @12:05AM (#10660576)
          Marriage as an institution has existed as a legally binding institution for thousands of years. For a very, very long time it was a transfer of ownership of a woman from father to the new husband.

          Yet it's religious? Religions co-opted marriage. Marriage itself is neither inherently religious nor secular at this point. It has been one, the other or both for so long making such a statement is silly.
          • This isn't a flaimbate or anything but why don't gays create their own churches which respect and tolerate gay marriage? I mean really, their are so many denominations as it stands one more couldn't hurt. Why not create their own denomination which recognizes their marriage on religious grounds?
            • Re:Unfortunately... (Score:2, Informative)

              by mintrepublic (821683)
              Unitarian Universalists [uua.org]

              They'll take anyone ^_^
            • why does it have anything at all to do with church? A hell of a lot of people don't get married in religious ceremonies you know.
            • by Bitsy Boffin (110334) on Friday October 29, 2004 @01:44AM (#10660971) Homepage
              That's not the problem. The problem is that if the marriage is not recognized by the government, then it does not give any of the legal and monetary privileges that go with marriage.

              Effectivly the state (government) discriminates between long-term commmitted homosexual couples and long-term commmitted heterosexual couples based only on thier relative gender; last I checked sexual discrimination goes against fundamental issues of human rights.

              Any body (church) can say "yep, you're married, you may now kiss the other person", but if the government won't say "yep, we see you're married, so you get x, y and z privileges" then the value of the marriage is legally naught (even though perhaps religiously significant).

              The solution to the problem is simple, SEPARATE CHURCH AND STATE. The state can recognize a union between any two people (even regardless of wether either person is already unioned with another), giving the privileges presently associated with marriage. The church can recognize a marriage between any two people (or, unlikely, more) but without any connection to the state.

              People can get neither, one, or both, depending on thier wishes; and of course grandfather existing recognized marriages into a state recognized union.

              While we're at it, get rid of any inkling of monetary 'rewards' for unions (marriage), why should people who don't find "that special someone" not be rewarded.

              • The problem is that if the marriage is not recognized by the government, then it does not give any of the legal and monetary privileges that go with marriage.

                And the reason for those laws (that discriminate against homosexual couples) is that homosexual couples will not breed. The system wants growth in the form of more consumers, and babies are consumers.

                • And the reason for those laws (that discriminate against homosexual couples) is that homosexual couples will not breed.

                  Not with each other maybe, but homosexual couples do have children through other means: artificial insemination, surrogacy, adoption etc.

                • So why are hetereosexual marriages allowed in which one or both partners are sterile or past the age of child bearing?
                  • A heterosexual couple who can't breed (infertility of whatever form) is disabled, not disordered. This is sort of like saying that because a human can't see, that he isn't human anymore. The nature of humans is to be able to see, but we do have disabled humans who cannot.

                    A homosexual couple's nature is not to be able to procreate, while a heterosexual couple's nature is to be able to procreate. A homosexual couple who cannot procreate is not abnormal, while a heterosexual couple who cannot procreate is

                • Re:Unfortunately... (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by Danse (1026)

                  And the reason for those laws (that discriminate against homosexual couples) is that homosexual couples will not breed. The system wants growth in the form of more consumers, and babies are consumers.

                  Then they should just give incentives for having kids instead of for marriage. Why give benefits to useless infertile people? Or people that just don't want kids?

                • hmm. Perhaps we should restrict marriage to only couples that have babies then.

                  What if the gay couple adopt?
              • Re:Unfortunately... (Score:3, Interesting)

                by CTachyon (412849)

                While we're at it, get rid of any inkling of monetary 'rewards' for unions (marriage), why should people who don't find "that special someone" not be rewarded.

                Actually, author Jonathan Rauch [indegayforum.org] makes the case in his book that one of the principal reasons that we have marriage -- completely ignoring the "shouting points" of love, children, etc. -- is that a couple making a promise to take care of each other in hard times is a boon for society in general, since it means that support networks like extended fami

                • I guess that's a point, I hadn't considered that before. But I'm not sure that it's valid to say that committed partner relationships lead to a lower cost for the state.

                  For example, may people currently get married either as a result of, or in preparation for, having children. Children generally go to school. Schooling is generally paid, or at least subsidised by the state, and I think I'd be fairly safe to say that it costs more to send a child through the school system, than it does to keep an adult h
              • I am sorry, but I think you are totally off the mark here. The only reason for marriage is so that the human race can continue. Quite a few of the "benefits" of marriage are things that allow a man to provide for his wife and family while allowing the woman to be a primary care giver for the family.
                While I realize that a "stay-at-home Mom" isn't necessarily a politically correct concept these days, it is still the intent of the institution of marriage. Many of our laws concerning marriage were intended
                • by JohnFluxx (413620)
                  "The only reason for marriage is so that the human race can continue."

                  Someone else pointed out that marriage is also for helping each other (for when one person is down, or doesn't have a job, etc), which benefits society.

                  (assuming by continue you are referring to breeding)

                • Re:Unfortunately... (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by geminidomino (614729) *
                  I am sorry, but I think you are totally off the mark here. The only reason for marriage is so that the human race can continue.

                  I call BS. As far too many paternity suits show, marriage is utterly IRRELEVANT to procreation.
            • This isn't a flaimbate or anything but why don't gays create their own churches which respect and tolerate gay marriage? I mean really, their are so many denominations as it stands one more couldn't hurt. Why not create their own denomination which recognizes their marriage on religious grounds?

              Let's see... there's the Metropolitan Community Church [mccchurch.org] (founded in 1968 specifically for gays), the Unitarian Universalist Association [uua.org] (a very liberal Christian sect that officially endorsed same-sex ceremonies bac

            • That's called separate but equal. s/gays/blacks/ and you'll see why not.
          • by neurojab (15737) on Friday October 29, 2004 @12:40AM (#10660729)
            >Marriage itself is neither inherently religious nor secular at this point. It has been one, the other or both for so long making such a statement is silly.

            I'm sure that's true. It's also true that most people that are opposed to "gay marriage" are so opposed for religious reasons. Those that are in favor of the concept of gay marriage (call it a civil union or whatever) are not interested in barging into your local parish and demanding that God recognize their vows, nor are they interested in destroying "family values". The gay community just wants the same legal status as a heterosexual couple when it comes to patient's rights, wills, etc. The fact is that gay couples already have weddings and adopt children, and have done so long before any city or state started giving them marriage licenses. This "gay marriage" debate has nothing to do with that. This is all about the special secular legal status that a married couple gets if they're one male and one female, but no other combination thereof.

            The only way to give them this legal status and still satisfy the religious folks (who are convinced that a homosexual couple getting married somehow affects them in a negative way, but won't share the mechanism) is to seperate the notion of religious marriage from that of secular marriage.

            For once in his life, I agree with president Bush about something. Civil Unions are a good idea. I can't imagine why he was trying to ammend the constitution if that's really what he wants.

            That said, I don't think the notions of two "seperate but equal" legal statuses for the same thing is a good thing either. Let's define "marriage" in the churches and define "civil unions" in the legislature. I'm aware that means scrapping the word "marriage" from the law books, and I think that's a good thing. Perhaps we can clean up the alimony laws while we're at it to get rid of this pre-nup bullshit.

            BTW. I don't speak for the gay community... I'm a heterosexual that believes in equal rights for all.
            • I don't have a problem of getting the state of of marriage, and simply conferring "civil union" status on religious marriages in addition to their own secular process (for convenience).

              However, I don't think that will ever happen, and you're just playing semantics at that point anyway, so I see no real value in it. Either the unions are equal or they are not, and if they are, there is no need to change the name. What religions do is up to religions, and if you're a gay catholic, you still can't make the
              • >you're just playing semantics at that point anyway, so I see no real value in it. Either the unions are equal or they are not, and if they are, there is no need to change the name.

                It definately is a semantic play... but remember that semantics is the core of politics. The words you use to talk about something influence how you think about it. If a word has certain connotations that are inappropriate given the usage, it's appropriate to look for a new word. In this case, the word "marriage" has religi
          • Marriage can still be a legally binding institution. Let the religious institutions write up contracts that abide by their beliefs. The couple can choose their church and their marriage contract. That way, if the Catholics don't want to allow divorce or whatever, they simply write it into the contracts. You can even specify the church as arbiter in the contract and let them handle things like divorce hearings. The law becomes more flexible to serve the diverse religious needs of the people.
          • Marriage as an institution has existed as a legally binding institution for thousands of years. For a very, very long time it was a transfer of ownership of a woman from father to the new husband.

            Yet it's religious? Religions co-opted marriage. Marriage itself is neither inherently religious nor secular at this point. It has been one, the other or both for so long making such a statement is silly.


            Finding a lifelong partner seems to be a human characteristic. It was religion that formalized it into some
            • that's convnenient. Now please name the religion that first started marriage. I'll wait.

              It was still considered ownership up until the early twentieth century in america; america was not "government by religion"; so try again.

              Like I said it is impossible to call marriage religious or secular at this point. It's been blended and pulled around in both directions for a very long time.
            • I don't get this ownership deal that keeps being brought up. It seems that somewhere there is a misconception concerning marriage. There is no indication in the New Testament (I can't speak for the Koran as I haven't studied it) that ownership of a woman is transferred from father to husband in a marriage. The only concept of ownership is in 1 Corinthians 7:4.

              The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

              And this

        • I need to include a piece of background to make my point.

          All Christian churches use the Bible. When Jesus was alive, the Old Testament was already intact, however the New Testament was put together by what is now the Catholic church. Until Martin Luther, ALL Christian doctrine came ONLY from the Catholic church, and even later, after the Reformation, many Protestant churches still depended on teachings that were derived from teachings from the Catholic church.

          What most people don't know is that not only
          • by leonbrooks (8043)
            The Catholic church of the time was focussed around various forms of Mithraism and Zoroastrian-like groups, although it later absorbed the cult of Vesta (ever heard of Vestal Virgins?) and half a dozen others before conquering much of the Christian movement by a kind of internal takeover. The canon existed pretty much as the Protestants use it long before the Catholic Church officially endorsed it - and IRL their endorsement varied from accepted practice and was varied a couple of times.

            The New Testament s
            • What the Bible says about any subject always depends on the way you read and interpret it. Just think about how differently Jesus lived and interpreted the scriptures compared to the Pharisees.

              What the Bible says about homosexuality [religioustolerance.org] on religioustolerance.org [religioustolerance.org] analyses the various texts and tries to show the different points of views.

              • Well, this sure sounds good, BUT!
                You can't possibly follow the liberal beliefs on the religioustolerance site. You can't believe the Bible and believe that it was written by people that were trying to advance their own religious beliefs. In 2nd Timithy 3:16, Paul states "All scripture is given by inspiration of God...". Now this is either a true statement or it is not. And if this one statement is not true, then the entire book must be suspect and is therefore not useful.
                Why should the liberals be l
    • by wibs (696528)
      The thing with civil unions is that a lot of people don't see a big difference between them and "separate but equal." The only gay people that this really appeases are those who see it as but a step along the way to true equal rights.

      As a straight guy this doesn't affect me much, but I hope this shows his hardcore religious following just how strong his beliefs are. Like any other politician he's just doing what he thinks will get him elected, and that's what he always has been doing. Flip-flop is not a te
  • by obeythefist (719316) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @11:42PM (#10660433) Journal
    They can't be married but they're allowed to join a union? I didn't think Dubya supported unions at all! What next? Will he allow gay communists??
  • gay ane lesbian

    Hmm.
  • by Rayonic (462789) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @11:47PM (#10660470) Homepage Journal
    At least that's what this pundit thinks [volokh.com].

    Partial quote:
    President Bush's position is actually consistent with the FMA (whether or not either is right). President Bush said that "I don't think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that's what a state chooses to do so" -- that, in the Times' words, "the matter should be left up to the states."


    The Federal Marriage Amendment would not block a state from recognizing civil unions. It provides (I quote the Mar. 22, 2004 version, S.J. Res. 30) that "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman."

    This is kinda like that "Bush banned stem-cell research" myth, when in fact he just stopped anti-abortionists from being forced to fund abortions (via taxpayer money).
    • That last clause is widely considered to be a ban on civil unions:

      "Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman."

      Bush is being inconsistent by supporting the amendment while claiming that he is for civil unions.
      • You're assuming that Bush has read and understood the FMA. Are you sure you want to make that assumption? :)

    • So can a single person enter into a marriage between a man and a woman, as well as a "civil union"? Isn't one of the main benefits of states recognizing each other's liscences that it helps prevent serial bigamists?
    • My own stance (Score:5, Insightful)

      by melquiades (314628) on Friday October 29, 2004 @12:57AM (#10660808) Homepage
      The government should deal only in civil unions, and stop recognizing "marriage" altogether. It's too politically charged, too religiously entangled, and, frankly, too personal for the government to be messing with. Let people define their own marriages as they see fit, and if they want the legal benefits of a civil union, they can apply for one -- but they're separate things. Signing civil union documents would be a standard part of most marriage ceremonies, but neither would necessitate the other.

      Yeah, it's just a linguistic trick, but it's really only the language that's hanging up the fundies in the first place.

      (OT: If the doc your sig links to is supposed to justify the Iraq war, it's a lousy justification. I'm sure it would take you about 20 minutes to find some loon in northern Idaho who blows off the UN, cheats the government, and would really like to build a biological weapon, and he has about as much ability to follow through on that as Saddam did.)
      • by Fished (574624) <amphigory@gmail. ... m minus language> on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:31AM (#10662372)
        As a licensed (Baptist) minister, I agree. There is a huge difference between marriage as I believe God ordained it and the mockery of marriage we call civil marriage, even if you leave aside the gay marriage issue. In God's marriage, divorce is allowed only in the most dire circumstances, remarriage is never allowed, and the husband and wife "become one flesh." In civil marriage, the opposite obtains. It's time to stop equivocating on what marriage is and get the state out of the marriage business.
        • Thanks for this post! I disagree with your ideas on marriage, and thus agree wholeheartedly on getting the state out of the marriage business. We should not need to play politics or fight each other in court for each of us to live marriage as we believe it ought to be lived. Like other matters of morality and faith, it should be an individual decision, and one where we attempt to sway each other not with laws, but with discussion (in the honorable tradition of my namesake, Paul [virginia.edu]).
    • by rhakka (224319) on Friday October 29, 2004 @01:14AM (#10660870)
      awesome. can we stop making me pay for wars I don't believe in too, with my taxpayer dollars?

      How about the ban on new strains of stem cells being developed for research?
      • How about the ban on new strains of stem cells being developed for research?

        There is no ban on stem cell research. It is just not federally funded any more. You may be of the opinion that the government should fund it, but that is a different issue.

        There is no ban.
      • awesome. can we stop making me pay for wars I don't believe in too, with my taxpayer dollars?

        You're free to organize a group of like-minded people, lobby the government, and get politicians elected that agree with your views.

        You know, just like the "conservative christian" voting bloc did.

        What, you didn't want to go through all that trouble? Then too bad.
    • I think the key phrase is "or the legal incidents thereof".
    • by Alomex (148003) on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:39AM (#10662424) Homepage

      It is a flip-flop. Whenever Kerry has a nuanced opinion, Bush calls it a flip-flop. What is good for the goose is good for the gander and this is a Bush flip-flop.
  • Desperate? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rueger (210566) *
    Wow - That's the sign of a really desperate man. Only minutes ago pollster Zogby [zogby.com], on the Daily Show [comedycentral.com], stated flatly that he saw Kerry winning the election. I think GWB is seeing the writing on the wall.
  • as bad as racism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alatesystems (51331) <chris@nOsPAm.talkingtoad.com> on Thursday October 28, 2004 @11:50PM (#10660491) Homepage Journal
    Separate but equal? "If you ask Vice President Cheney's daughter, ... who is a lesbian ..., I'm sure she'd tell you she's just being herself." Sorry, couldn't resist quoting Kerry. "Want some wood? Heh, heh" There's a Bush one.

    But, this is utter shit. I'm not gay, I only know a couple of gay people, and this whole state I live in seems to be populated by a majority of redneck homophobics. You don't have to be part of a cultural group to stand up for their rights.

    If I recall correctly, about 78% of people in this state approved a bill "defining" marriage and forbidding civil unions. A judge overturned it as "too broad" but I'm sure it will be right back. I proudly voted against it. Haven't any of you ever heard of "and when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me"?

    Vote Michael Badnarik [badnarik.org] in 2004. He is the only one who will bring about real change and bring civil liberties back to us. He supports rights for all minorities (I'm a white, straight Male) and majorities. So don't think I'm pandering or whatever to any specific group.

    Read why [badnarik.org] you should vote for him. There are reasons for about every socioeconomic/cultural group.

    What's a Libertarian you ask? No, you didn't ask? Read this [badnarik.org] anyway.

    Chris

    • If I recall correctly, about 78% of people in this state approved a bill "defining" marriage and forbidding civil unions

      Approval of "Gay marriage" implies government responsabilities regarding spousal benefits, n'est ce pas? Government tends to reward the typical male + female = future taxpayers.

      Disclosure: I'm not gay.
    • I used to vote Libertarian every election. But not this time. Badnarik has some nutty idea's I don't aggree with. He is the worst Libertarian canidate in some time. This is from his wikipedia entry which was the first thing to come up in google with a search of Badnarik and atrophy.

      On his website, prior to recieving the Libertarian Party's nomination, Badnarik has proposed that in order to make prison guards have safer jobs, violent felons should not be allowed to exercise for their first month, so that th
  • by Anonymous Cowdog (154277) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @11:58PM (#10660539) Journal
    Do a Google search for Bush flip flops [google.com] and you'll see there is a whole pile of issues Bush has flip-flopped on.

    The really frightening thing is some doctors think he is showing signs of pre-senile dementia [archive.org].

  • by BortQ (468164) on Friday October 29, 2004 @12:03AM (#10660565) Homepage Journal
    This was pretty surprising news to me. I guess the US election really is a race to the center as many have been saying. Kerry wants to be gun-totin and Bush wants to be gay-friendly.

    If I was in the US I would seriously consider voting for that Badnarik guy. It seems as if he is by far the smartest voice out there.

  • I haven't found one quote that says Bush supports civil unions between gay couples. He simply states that it should be up to the states to decide. Talk about spinning... sheesh
    • So we have some context, here's the relevent part of the article:

      "I don't think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that's what a state chooses to do so. ...

      "I view the definition of marriage different from legal arrangements that enable people to have rights. And I strongly believe that marriage ought to be defined as between a union between a man and a woman.

      "Now, having said that, states ought to be able to have the right to pass laws that enable people to be able

  • "States' rights" used to be something of a codeword for "slavery," way back when; as in "it's a state's right to determine whether or not it will allow slavery." Granted, it was used to allude to other things, as well, but slavery was the main issue with which it was meant to be connotated.

    No, I'm not intending to draw a direct line of connection, but I am pointing out the coincidence.

    There's more I could say on this, but I'm tired, my mind is fuzzy, and my belly is full of pizza.

    ~UP
  • by bersl2 (689221) on Friday October 29, 2004 @12:55AM (#10660803) Journal
    "Flip-flopping" is acceptable if "the facts" change.

    I so wish that politicians were capable of (or is it that they are not allowed?) admiting a wrong decision based on wrong information or even a wrong decision outright. God forbid they be mortal...
  • by macrealist (673411) on Friday October 29, 2004 @01:03AM (#10660835) Journal
    Marriage is the best way to stop sex. So those that truly believe that gay sex is wrong should support gay marriage.

  • by foniksonik (573572) on Friday October 29, 2004 @01:05AM (#10660840) Homepage Journal
    Instead of having Marriages left and right and divorces all over the place just get a civil union and avoid all the moral and ethical baggage religion tacks on to it... unless you are religious and believe in Marriage as an act of worship, which is how Christians and several other religions teach.

    If your church doesn't allow for marriage between gay individuals that is a matter for the church to decide and those gay individuals to deal with. The Hebrew Temple won't marry you if you are not jewish, the Catholic Church won't marry you unless at least one of you is baptized and confirmed Catholic...

    If you want to be together and enjoy partner status in regards to taxes or other benefits go get a civil union and avoid the issue all together... marriage is simply one accepted form of civil union.. not the only one. Well, it looks like it will be this way in the future.

    • I love how all the discussion of marriage leaves out the most important part: children. At the end of the day, the traditional family has been society's way of creating social units to ultimately raise the next generation.
      • by unapersson (38207) on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:05AM (#10661859) Homepage

        I love how all the discussion of marriage leaves out the most important part: children. At the end of the day, the traditional family has been society's way of creating social units to ultimately raise the next generation.

        You're too late, that particular horse bolted back when they allowed divorce. The traditional family myth harks back to a time when parents regularly died in their thirties; so broken families have always been a part of the overall picture of society, whether through death, infidelity, or separation.

  • I don't think anyone really believes him when he says this. He's just trying to appear less evil to uninformed undecided voters. His base knows he's with them in sending gays to hell and his opponents know he's just saying whatever it will take to get him re-installed in office.

    Incidentally, being against LGBT rights now is like being against Civil Rights in the 50's. I'm looking forward to the time when we can all look back on this as another shameful hurdle we overcame.
  • The problem with Bush annoying some of the GOP is this: who will they go and vote for? Is there a candidate who is seriously against this entirely?

    Another example: say Bush said abortion should be kept legal. That would seriously PO a large segment of the GOP. But where would they go? Bush can say whatever the hell he likes, and the GOP members are still stuck voting for him, because there isn't any alternative for fundamentalist busy bodies (not that all the GOP are).

    At some level, I am sure the sa

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