Melissa Etheridge Refuses To Pay Taxes

Melissa Etheridge has declared that she’s not paying income taxes to the state of California because it passed Proposition 8:

Okay. So Prop 8 passed. Alright, I get it. 51% of you think that I am a second class citizen. Alright then. So my wife, uh I mean, roommate? Girlfriend? Special lady friend? You are gonna have to help me here because I am not sure what to call her now. Anyways, she and I are not allowed the same right under the state constitution as any other citizen.

I have been vocal about my opinion about gay marriage. I don’t care about it. I think its odd and weird, but I can’t find a truly sound reason to deny it that isn’t based on some religious precepts. So whatever, I don’t care, marry up. But I think those who support gay marriage deeply mis-read the beliefs and opinions of those who are against it. Melissa Etheridge believes that 51% of her fellow Californians think that she’s a second class citizen, and I would be willing to bet the half-a-million dollars that she’ll be paying in income taxes that she’s dead wrong about that. I think we’re all civilized enough to recognize that there are no “second-class citizens” in America. I do think that every decision we make – the lives we choose – have some consequences and we have to be able to withstand those consequences. Living as ‘wife and wife’ is going to have some consequences, but so what? Lesbians, gays, blacks, white women, redheads, Enron lovers, whatever – you shouldn’t live for what other people think. Follow your own directives and let the chips fall.

Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen. I mean that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights, sounds sort of like that taxation without representation thing from the history books.

I yi yi. As an American citizen and you have the right to marry whomever you wish. Your choice of spouse does not exempt you from taxes.

Connecting “full citizenship” to your choice of lover is a stretch at best.

Okay, cool I don’t mean to get too personal here but there is a lot I can do with the extra half a million dollars that I will be keeping instead of handing it over to the state of California. Oh, and I am sure Ellen will be a little excited to keep her bazillion bucks that she pays in taxes too. Wow, come to think of it, there are quite a few of us fortunate gay folks that will be having some extra cash this year. What recession? We’re gay! I am sure there will be a little box on the tax forms now single, married, divorced, gay, check here if you are gay, yeah, that’s not so bad. Of course all of the waiters and hairdressers and UPS workers and gym teachers and such, they won’t have to pay their taxes either.

Gay people are born everyday. You will never legislate that away.

This is another idea that just has no basis in reality. Nobody wants to get rid of gay people or legislate them away.

Oh and too bad California, I know you were looking forward to the revenue from all of those extra marriages. I guess you will have to find some other way to get out of the budget trouble you are in.

She has a point there.

When did it become okay to legislate morality?

Ask the right, who is trying to cut down on the number of abortions. The left screeches, “you can’t legislate morality” when we try to stop 14 year old girls from having a third trimester abortion. And besides, if being gay is genetic, it’s not a morality issue.

I try to envision someone reading that legislation “eliminates the right” and then clicking yes. What goes through their mind? Was it the frightening commercial where the little girl comes home and says, “Hi mom, we learned about gays in class today” and then the mother gets that awful worried look and the scary music plays? Do they not know anyone who is gay? If they do, can they look them in the face and say “I believe you do not deserve the same rights as me”? Do they think that their children will never encounter a gay person? Do they think they will never have to explain the 20% of us who are gay and living and working side by side with all the citizens of California?

I don’t think its twenty percent. The most valid numbers put gayness between two and seven percent of any given population. Still, to address her point more directly. The quip about “eliminating the right” simply isn’t correct. In the first place, a “right” can not be eliminated or granted by any other person or entity. It’s not a right to have universal health care because it would require forcing others (everyone, in this example) to sacrifice for that “right”. There is no “elimination” of the right for gays to marry because the right simply never existed organically.

I know when I grew up gay was a bad word. Homo, lezzie, faggot, dyke. Ignorance and fear ruled the day. There were so many “thems” back then. The blacks, the poor … you know, “them”. Then there was the immigrants. “Them.” Now the them is me.

Fear of gays? Seriously?

And by the way, there will always be “thems” because we will always group ourselves. To Melissa Etheridge, I am a “them” because I’m hetero.

I tell myself to take a breath, okay take another one, one of the thems made it to the top. Obama has been elected president. This crazy fearful insanity will end soon. This great state and this great country of ours will finally come to the understanding that there is no “them”. We are one. We are united. What you do to someone else you do to yourself.

Did you feel that away about George Bush? I don’t know if Melissa personally advocated the assassination of George Bush, or if she hung him in effigy, or if she called Condi Rice an Aunt Jemima like so many of her compatriots on the left. That’s not exactly acting in unity.

That “judge not, lest ye yourself be judged” are truthful words and not Christian rhetoric.

My brain just exploded.

Today the gay citizenry of this state will pick themselves up and dust themselves off and do what we have been doing for years. We will get back into it. We love this state, we love this country and we are not going to leave it. Even though we could be married in Mass. or Conn, Canada, Holland, Spain and a handful of other countries, this is our home. This is where we work and play and raise our families. We will not rest until we have the full rights of any other citizen. It is that simple, no fearful vote will ever stop us, that is not the American way.

Come to think of it, I should get a federal tax break too…

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  1. “…I think those who support gay marriage deeply mis-read the beliefs and opinions of those who are against it…
    …I think we’re all civilized enough to recognize that there are no “second-class citizens” in America.”

    Thank You!!! I have not seen one person (at least not one neutral person) express this idea and I think it is essential for any kind of healing to happen between the opposite sides of prop 8.

    The worst elements of each side seem to refuse to believe that the other has any good intentions at all. And that is a shame.

  2. David McKenzie says:

    I have no idea where Obama stands on gay marriage. So it is kind of interesting though, that a number of the groups he attracted and motivated to come out to the polls, folks who don’t normally come out to vote, are the ones who voted down the proposition. Yet you’ve got this other group of the elite-left who are so shocked that people with whom they have something in common, their undying devotion to Obama, are also people with whom they have some diametrically opposing views.

    The issue is pretty emotionally charged and most of us try extra hard to be careful about how we express ourselves when discussing it. But like any issue, when group says it is this way and no other, it becomes that much more difficult to have a discussion about it. I’m just not sure how we got to the point of tossing into that bag of human rights, the right to have whatever we want.

    You’ve made a very wise observation that no matter who you are, at some point you feel like you don’t fit in. Yet being in that position doesn’t mean everything around you has to chance to accommodate your particular area of concern. I think we have become so self-obsessed that we not only require everyone to accept us, we get angry when people don’t embrace us at every level. And then it becomes not just embracing, but requiring people to celebrate and exalt our every nuance. There levels no room for self-examination and the recognizing the tiny chance we might be wrong about something. I think we’ve lost our way on so many things, including not understanding where and how to work on ourselves first before telling everyone else what they should be doing.

  3. “I think we have become so self-obsessed that we not only require everyone to accept us, we get angry when people don’t embrace us at every level. And then it becomes not just embracing, but requiring people to celebrate and exalt our every nuance. There levels no room for self-examination and the recognizing the tiny chance we might be wrong about something.”

    Amen! That sums it up beautifully.

  4. Look people, it has nothing to do with “acceptance” and “fitting in”. It has everything to do with having someone I’d really like to be legally married to, someone who I happen to be socially and religiously married to already, and yet I can’t – for no good reason. It has to do with having to explain to our children that legally, we don’t have the same standing as Uncle Chris and Aunt Jess. That in Florida, we can’t both be their legal parents, like we should.

    I’m glad you can feel nice and fuzzy and warm about how ok it is for you to disapprove of my life. I don’t CARE if you disapprove. I just want equal treatment, rational treatment, from my government.

    Civil, legal marriage IS a civil union – nothing more, nothing less. And it is a civil right. And being denied it – guess what that makes us? That’s right: second-class citizens.

    If you have your panties in a wad about the change coming from the courts – although it’s a perfectly valid place for it to come from – then man up and tell your legislators to make the change. It’s the right thing to do.

  5. caraellison says:


    You’ve been so nasty lately. I don’t even recognize you anymore.

    No, being denied marriage does not make you a second class citizen. You are an extreme minority. I know you don’t feel it, but you are. The world is not set up to accomodate every nuance of human behavior. If you want to change it, the onus is on you.

  6. Karen,
    The point Cara made about those who support gay marriage misreading the beliefs and intentions of those who do not is important. I don’t feel warm and fuzzy about disapproving of your life. As far as I’m concerned God is the only one who gets to approve or disapprove of anyone. I’m too busy trying to get myself right to weigh in on anyone else. The thing I feel all warm and fuzzy about is that there are people out there–non religious people who can get where I’m coming from. Everywhere I read there are people throwing around the word “Bigot and Hate” with regards to my church. Nothing could be further from the truth. If anyone is being singled out right now its the Mormons. And guess what? That ridiculous notion that people would go after our tax-exempt status=for real.

  7. caraellison says:

    I see a lot of hate directed toward Enron execs, which is funny since the people who scream the loudest have never met the execs and probably never had a share of any stock, much less Enron stock.

    It’s easy to find people to hate. Mormons, Jews, Enron, Gays, Blacks, Whites. Nobody is immune.

  8. Personally, I think the core issue isn’t marriage per se, but rather the right to have equal access under the law. i.e. the right to a significant others social security benefits, medical treatment/decisions, tax status etc.

    That being said, I think it’s a matter of semantics. Personnaly, I feel marriage is between a man and a woman. However, if a gay couple wants to make a permanent commitment, then they should have the same basic rights as a married couple. I just feel it should be called a civil union or partnership or whatever; just not marriage. Under the law, these “unions” for lack of a better term, should have the same legal rights and legal responsibilities as a married couple when performed under the law.

    Sorry, but that is how I see it. I think the gay community would have a far better chance of getting these rights if they would acquiese the word marriage to straight couples and focus on getting their “partnership” rights granted, instead of trying to force the majority to change their stance.

    I am strongly against marriage being anything other than the legal union of a man and a woman, but honestly, I have no problem at all with a gay couple having the same legal rights that I enjoy with my wife. In fact, I think that if a gay couple is willing to make a legal, binding commitment, then they should enjoy the legal benefits (and restrictions). Maybe I’m shallow, but please don’t call it marriage.

  9. David McKenzie says:

    Man up? I’m not sure, but I think that is a sexist remark.

  10. Rude1,

    Unfortunately, the government already has a name for civil unions. They decided to call it “[legal] marriage”, and despite the name, it is completely and utterly semantically separate from any church’s idea of “marriage” or “sacrament of matrimony” or “holy union” or whatever.

    And while the onus might be on me to fight for access to it – and I am – the right thing to do is the right thing to do, and some of the onus is on you.

    “I am strongly against marriage being anything other than the legal union of a man and a woman, but honestly, I have no problem at all with a gay couple having the same legal rights that I enjoy with my wife.”

    These are contradictory statements. Reconcile them. “The same legal rights” means the same legal rights, the same legal status, the same process, the same license, the same requirements, the same laws applying the same way with the same language: no “separate” name for us just because you “strongly” feel that there ought to be one. The existence of any legal distinction, including in name, is a statement of non-equality whether or not there are practical implications (but believe me, there would be).


    A Catholic priest can refuse to perform the religious marriage and the legal solemnization of the valid legal marriage license of a non-Catholic couple or a mixed-faith couple. A Protestant preacher can refuse to marry a member who won’t go through pre-marital counseling with her intended. A Mormon temple can’t be forced to let non-Mormons into weddings, much less perform the legally valid marriages of non-Mormons. Why do you think a marriage license in my hands would be more powerful than a marriage license in the hands of those heterosexual couples? Your church wouldn’t be able to invalidate my legal marriage, but it would not be obligated to perform or bless it.

    Your church actively worked to implement a constitutional end-around. You chose to work to subvert a valid Supreme Court decision by making the California Constitution self-contradictory: requiring equality in one part, and then turning around and exempting one specific scenario from that requirement because you really, really, really dislike the implications. You Mormons chose to single yourselves out in this fight at LEAST as much as I “chose” to single myself out by being gay and actually feeling entitled to equal treatment before the law.

    Whenever I have to check the “single” box on an application – especially when it actually makes a difference in how I’m treated – I remember my wedding day, which was the best day of my life, and I wonder what is wrong with people like you that you can’t just let me live my life on EQUAL terms, that you have to work so hard to make sure that I have no way of being able to honestly check that “married” box when they’re asking about legal status while plenty of other “sinners” go unmolested by you.

    I don’t think I should live with inequality just so you can sleep at night knowing that no one is going to “confuse” your children with a legal reality – yes, Virginia, a girl CAN marry a girl, yes, it’s perfectly fine to be a gay person, yes, legal equality applies to them too – that you will then have to counteract with plenty of anti-gay instruction so they don’t for one minute forget that you wouldn’t accept them if they turned out gay, that YOU don’t think God thinks a girl can marry a girl or that it’s ok to be a gay person. I don’t think I should have to make your life easier in that respect when it means legal inequality for me and MY family and MY children.


    I’m willing to live with being a minority, but I’m not willing to live with being treated unequally by the law. All else being equal, if I had an M on my drivers’ license where there is an F, I could marry my wife. That is not ok. I’m sick of people feeling sorry for themselves because no one understands how non-bigotted and non-hateful they really are, even though they really really really don’t want gay unions to be equal to their unions. I’m sick of people saying “I don’t really care about gay marriage, it doesn’t affect me” and then tacitly allowing the injustice of the status quo to continue.

    You don’t recognize me? I only comment on the things that really piss me off, now. I used to get just as pissed off in the old days; I don’t know how you could not remember that. I guess I stuck around more and “hung out” more and was more friendly, but that was before. Maybe it’s just because you’re so carefully mysterious, but I don’t know what to believe about you anymore. I guess I’ve just lost the feeling that there’s any part of you that I can actually know, that is real, except of course the love of Enron, sharks, and Plath. And I’ve MET you. I don’t get it.

    Sigh. I’ll be going into labor any day now and won’t have time to fuss with people on the internet, so I’ll just say goodbye. Anyone who wants baby updates, check my blog.

  11. I give up. No matter what I say it’s f’ing wrong.

  12. I’ll never understand why MY views are wrong even when the end result would give the other side what they want. I guess final product doesn’t matter, but the reasoning behind it.

    see ya

  13. caraellison says:

    There is nothing wrong with you, Karen, but same sex marriage is still odd. I know you don’t see it as the majority see it.

  14. Karen,
    I hope you enjoy motherhood. I don’t see how what my church did is any different than what you yourself are working for. Within the law, petitioning for what we think is right. And it wasn’t just my church. We were just the easiest target because of how we are organized. If the church is looking for a missing girl or focused on disaster relief people will always sacrifice their time and money. It is the culture of our religion. (Just a teensy bit of that in CA and that slim margin might have been closed by noon8.) I don’t see our involvement with the broad based coalition as any kind of judgment on the gay and lesbian community. Its about sacrifice and doing what we believe is right. I have every respect for people who are doing the same, if I agree with their reasoning or not. I have always known that I would have to pull my children out of public school at some point. If you are worried about what your daughter is going to have to endure in school you should plan to home school. I just wish that when you are screaming for sensitivity and equality you could practice what you preach.

  15. Karen you hit the nail on the head. It’s the church that decided it must be male/female and the separation of church and state should make gay unions and marriages equal. They both should be called marriages. period. Now on the application, it already states all the personal details of the persons birth certificates so what’s the big deal???? Banks, etc. are not allowed to be discriminatory based on such things.. so it just doesn’t make sense .. at.. all. I think that it’s going to be a longer road than it deserves, but it will be “unions” then it will be converted back to marriages, or all marriages will just be unions. Getting the semantics voted out of the way can work for the gay marriage folks if they don’t take the short term vision only.

    Some of the best weddings my company has ever been involved with were not even legal.. which was a crying shame.. you should see the love! the flowers! the food! the families joy. The smile on the wedding planners face! Tears of joy and expressions of love that are authentic. If I had not witnessed some of these moments, I might be inclined to not understand, but since I work in the event business I have felt the joy of the importance of these REAL PEOPLE!!!! Real commitments!

  16. David McKenzie says:

    You make a good point jessicarrot — “screaming for sensitivity” — seems a bit odd to me. If we want sensitivity – that purposefully attacking people with huge leaps may not be the best way to go about it. I’m with you on this.

    Karen, good luck with everything and I hope the labour goes well and you have a beautiful child. I am sure you will. How you raise her, teach and instruct her is of course entirely your prerogative. Maybe she’ll grow up with an open mind.

  17. Convenient that being “sensitive” to you means living with injustice. Convenient that unless we pretend not to notice and object when the Mormons actively work especially hard to put injustice against our families *back in place*, we’re being insensitive. Convenient that working for equality is seen as “screaming for sensitivity”. And convenient that teaching our children that their family is equal, good, and worthwhile (and that anyone who says they aren’t is flat wrong) is seen as “closing their minds”.

    You think there’s moral equivalence between working for justice and working for INjustice….?

    I guess those pesky activists should have been more “sensitive” to people who believed dark-skinned people should ride in a different rail-car, huh? I mean after all, if your church had been pursuing a constitutional amendment to make “separate but equal” ok again after Brown v. Board found that it wasn’t, you’d only be working with the law, petitioning for what you thought was right…

    You have equality, Jessicarrot. I don’t. I don’t care about you practicing your religion freely, and I don’t try to stop you. Please tell me what more you want from me in terms of sensitivity and equality, because I can’t see how I’m being insensitive to you. Is it my existence? Would you like me to cease existing for your greater comfort and happiness? I don’t interfere in your life in any way. My legal equality would not interfere with your life. Thinking you should stop working against me is not the same as working against you.

    Your church (along with others) actively interfered in my life. It worked to make it so I couldn’t get married in California. Not happy with simply being free to teach your children that your religion doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage, you believe you ought to be able to raise them in a world where the government doesn’t just *allow* you to believe that my relationship is worth less than yours, but *agrees with you* and enshrines that status in law despite the blatant irrationality and injustice of that.

    I plan on homeschooling my children for other reasons, not to preserve your gay-family-free schools. “Sammy has two mommies” is not an obscene statement. “Sammy’s mommies are married” is not an obscene statement. These facts are not “inappropriate for children” and they do not “teach homosexuality”. My children belong there just as much as yours do, and they have just as much right to say “my mommies” without fear or ridicule as your kids do to say “my mommy and daddy”.

    You want to know why we think you hateful? There it is: you shudder to think that your children would know these small things at a young age. Somehow, you live with coffee and tea being around, and still manage to teach your kids that hot drinks are not for the belly. But knowing that two ladies are married to each other! That’s just over the line. I mean, my God, what if they start thinking it’s not unheard of??? What if they get the idea that they gay people live perfectly happy and normal lives????????

    You think our lives – not our sex lives, just our LIVES – are obscene, inappropriate subjects and something that little children ought not to hear about, even in the same language as your lives are discussed (mommy, daddy, love, family, married.) That IS hateful. Sorry, but you don’t get to cry “insensitive” to me, and you don’t get to tell me how filled with love you are, and you don’t get to tell me that pulling my kids out of school is the answer to me not being able to be legally married to my wife.

    The Mormon Church was not an innocent bystander in this. They were active participants – the MOST active participants – working against equality. If you would like your church to be left alone about it, then work within your church to get them to leave US alone.

    RTG, the Mormon religion is pretty darn odd, too. But their religion is on equal legal footing with mainstream Protestantism, Judaism, Islam, and Scientology. Since when was legal equality predicated on not being “odd”? I’m perfectly willing to be odd. I’m happy to explain myself and my family and our difference to anyone who is curious. What I’m not ok with is being unable to secure the same legal status as any other family.

    This is why it’s so frustrating when people say I’m trying to force them to “accept” us in our “oddity”. No! I’m trying to secure a legal status – that’s all. The people I actually care about already accept us and don’t find it so very odd that two people would love each other. And anyone else can pretty much take a hike, which is exactly as much ‘sensitivity’ as I expect them to give me and my opinions. I just want legal equality.

  18. “Thinking you should stop working against me is not the same as working against you.”
    That is also convenient.

    “I don’t interfere in your life in any way.” That is actually true. And I apologize for asking you to answer for the entire gay community with the practice what you preach statement. I meant I wish that people who have as passionate a view on this as you do would step back and think about how hate has nothing to do with this. You are doing what you are doing to protect your family. Prop 8 folks are exercising legal rights to protect their families. It has nothing to do with you, personally. If the idea of protecting a 5 year old from a discussion about sexuality resonates with a majority of Californians, its a valid concern. And the fact that you want to keep throwing that in my face is a little alarming. One thing that we should be clear on as mothers is you just don’t threaten another mom’s kids. I will respect your right to teach your child the way you see fit and you should respect my right to do the same. Period. I don’t think that picking on a minority (2%) of the voters in CA who passed prop 8 is equal, that is why I brought up equality.

  19. I don’t think it’s fair that to you, my marriage is only about sex and cannot be about anything else, but yours isn’t. I don’t think it’s right that to a majority of Californians, being able to say “Sammy’s parents are married” to a 5-year-old is a discussion of sexuality, but saying “Jenny’s parents are married” isn’t. This may be your opinion, but that doesn’t mean it’s right.

    If talking about your marriage in 5-year-old-appropriate terms – married, love, family, parents – is not obscene, but you think talking about my marriage in the same terms to the same 5-year-old would be, I think that’s hateful of you. No one is talking about what we do in the bedroom. We’re just talking about being married.

    I do not want to teach your children anything. You can teach them that gay people are evil robots from Mars, if you see fit. I do not care what you teach them. What I do care about, what I do want is, when you say “Girls can’t marry girls” to your child, for you to be factually incorrect when it comes to our legal status. You’ll have to explain that you mean in GOD’S eyes – in YOUR God’s eyes. The burden will be on YOU to teach your children that gay people are sick and bad and wrong, and the government will not be enabling you in that quest by making you “correct” when you say “Girls don’t marry girls. It’s just not done.”

    I’m sorry if having heard stories about perfectly nice two-dad families, if knowing that Sammy’s mommies are married to each other just like their own mommy and daddy are, makes it more difficult for you to explain why God doesn’t want people to be gay and how Sammy’s mommies aren’t really married and are going to hell. Ok, no, I’m not really sorry, because it’s not my responsibility to make your religious and cultural viewpoints more explicable, especially if that entails my family not having access to the same legal status yours has.

    “Prop 8 folks are exercising legal rights to protect their families.”

    No, they’re exercising their legal rights to take protections away from mine. Your rights to practice your religion, teach your children whatever you like, and get married and have it recognized by the government do not change, either way. My right to get married and have it be recognized by the government is the only thing in play, here – so yes, it has everything to do with me, personally. You are not respecting my right to teach my child the way I see fit when you are taking away my right to say to her, entirely truthfully, “Your parents are married”.

    You can TEACH your child that I am not really married, but there’s no reason that you should be legally correct about that – see the difference?

    “One thing that we should be clear on as mothers is you just don’t threaten another mom’s kids.”

    My family’s equality doesn’t threaten your kids. My family’s inequality DOES threaten MY kids. So yeah, please, stop threatening my children.

    “I don’t think that picking on a minority (2%) of the voters in CA who passed prop 8 is equal, that is why I brought up equality.”

    You’re talking about Mormons now? It’s not about how many of the voters in California were Mormon. It’s about how much money the Mormon church members from Utah poured into the campaign. If you want to believe the Mormons were innocent bystanders, a tiny minority in this fight, go ahead. Yes, the gays totally have it out for the Mormons, poor things.

  20. caraellison says:

    I don’t think saying you’re married is obscene. I think it’s odd – and you don’t even have to defend it being odd. That doesn’t mean it’s bad. Just odd. Like sushi the first time you try it. Odd. This weekend I saw two women walking their dog, holding hands. It was cute and odd. I was glad they were in love – just as I am glad anytime I see a hetero couple arm in arm – but it didn’t take away from the fact that its odd.

    Maybe in 20 years it won’t be.

    But right now, it’s odd.

    A lot of people – the majority it would seem – are not in favor of same sex marriage. I guess you have two ways of looking at it. The first is that your ideas just aren’t winning, you are firmly in the minority and you have no right to force everyone else to conform to your idea of family. The second way is to be okay with being in the minority, be sure you’re right, and continue fighting for what you believe in. But since you are a minority, you have to accept that its going to be an uphill battle.

    You say that its shameful for me to allow the status quo since I think gay marriage is fine. But just as I can’t find any good, legitimate, non-religious reason to deny it, I also can’t see any reason to promote it. It’s still odd. I am a spectator in this one, I have no skin in the game, and I just can’t see taking to the streets to try and change people’s mind on this subject.

    Enron yes. Gay marriage, not so much.

  21. Karen,
    I didn’t have that much hope that you would actually try and hear what I’m saying. Still, it would have been nice to have an actual discussion. I am optimistic enough to hope that you don’t speak for the majority of same sex couples. I really think there are enough of us on both sides that are civilized enough to come to some kind of understanding with one another.

    The way to do that is
    1. not assume you know how I feel.
    2. not assume you know why I feel that way after assuming you know how I feel.
    3. Realize I can be just as powerful an ally as you assume I am an enemy.

  22. More and more of us are WAKING UP, America. No taxation without equality; simple math.

    Now the feds will need to repeal DOMA and DADT, grant us FULL equal rights (including marriage), and begin to start viewing our families – OUR FAMILIES – as the tax-paying contributing members of society we are…..well…..we USED to be!

    Because if our HOMES, our FAMILIES, our very BELOVED are not acknowledged and valued as other families are legally, whatever we do outside of that home will never be acknowledged and valued legally, such as adopting children, working without discrimination, or serving openly in the military.

    FAMILY FIRST. What is more important than FAMILY?

    We owe the IRS absolutely NOTHING until equal. NOTHING. Get it?

    This is NOT a test.
    This is NOT a debate.
    This is NOT a vote.
    This is definitely NOT a popularity contest.

    This IS justice – GAY TAX PROTEST.

  23. Larry Croix says:

    The nastiness of the protests make me sick to my tummy. It is kind of scary.

  24. Jessicarrot,

    I don’t understand. For one thing, when have I been uncivilized towards you? You always seem to accuse me of being this awful, angry person… What, exactly, am I doing that would be so awful if I were representative of most same-sex couples?

    For another thing, what ARE you trying to say? Do you or do you not support proposition 8? Do you or do you not believe the LDS church did the right thing?

    You want me to be ok with what the LDS church did in this fight? Not going to happen. I don’t blame them for the entire debacle, but I’m not ok with a church donating a bunch of money to advertise and promote a referendum against my civil rights. If you support what they did, then I disagree with you. If you don’t, then why do you think I shouldn’t have a problem with it?

    As for Prop 8 itself, all I can do is answer the questions that seem to have been on everyone’s mind – and yours:

    1) Will legal gay marriage mean my church has to perform these marriages? The answer is no.

    2) Will legal gay marriage mean my child will be”taught homosexuality” in schools that “promote homosexuality”? Well, yes, in the same way that legal divorce means that your children are “taught divorce” in schools that “promote divorce”. In other words, no. Your kids will not be encouraged to be gay any more than they’ll be encouraged to NOT be gay. You’ll have to do that yourself.

    It’s really just that simple, and I don’t understand what is so offensive and closed-minded and horrible to you about me stating these things….

  25. RTG,

    “I don’t think saying you’re married is obscene.”

    I didn’t say that you did. However, there are a lot of people who claim that gay marriage can’t happen because it would mean their children will hear that sometimes a girl marries a girl. This is the “teaching homosexuality in schools” argument. The very existence and legal status of my family, to them, is inappropriate fare for children, a sensitive topic like where babies come from, for each family to bring up at the correct time, when the parents deem children are ready to hear about such grown-up, potentially disturbing things.

    Now, I may in fact be guilty of assuming that this is Jessicarrot’s position when it’s not. But in my defense, she seems to be defending such an idea – that invalidating my marriage is a way of protecting 5-year-olds from discussions of sexuality – and it is CERTAINLY the position put forth by the LDS church in its extensive campaigning for Prop 8, and she certainly seems upset that anyone might have a problem with its actions, which to me suggests that she agrees.

    As far as I can tell, she and her fellow Mormons think knowing that my daughter’s moms are just as legally married as their parents would be inherently damaging and it is her right to shield them from hearing about such obscenity – a right which trumps my right to equal treatment by the law. I must be misunderstanding, right? Because that’s ridiculous? Perhaps she does not believe this and is, instead, my ally. I do not actually know.

    “This weekend I saw two women walking their dog, holding hands. It was cute and odd.”

    Is it really that odd? Really? It’s two people in love. Interracial couples always catch my eye and make me smile – it’s different, it’s interesting, but it’s not *odd*, which has definite undertones of “difficult to understand” and “disconcerting” and maybe even a little “off-putting”. Is it that hard to see yourself in them?

    My three-year-old niece gets it. My 80-year-old Mennonite grandma-in-law gets it (although our hyphenated name… that she has a hard time with). What will it take for you stop pondering our “oddity” and recognize our ultimate mundanity?

    I understand that we’re a minority. Really. How many times are you going to inform me, unnecessarily, that we’re a minority? What makes you think I don’t recognize an uphill battle when I see one? The thing is, it shouldn’t be *this* uphill. It should be easy. “Two women! In love. They make a baby or four, and live happily ever after. The end.” There are people that are purposefully working to make this harder. And they tell lies. And they say nasty things about me.

    “I also can’t see any reason to promote it.”

    I have to say, I am a little flabbergasted by this. If you couldn’t get legally married to your intended, and I saw that there was no good reason for such a restriction, I wouldn’t need any special convincing to get off the fence for you. It doesn’t take any effort to make up your mind. You don’t have to wear a t-shirt or put a sign in your yard or write to your congresscritter. Just make up your mind once and for all that yeah, gay couples should have access to legal marriage, and no, it’s not a reasonable position to hold that they shouldn’t. If you ever feel like elaborating on that position when questioned, great.

    As an extra bonus, you could even decide that a court which upholds this as our civil right might not be such an liberal activist anathema, after all – maybe there really IS a guarantee of such liberty somewhere in the Constitution that’s worth defending. Maybe there really is something to the idea that the courts have a role to play in protecting the civil rights of “odd” minorities… that the onus isn’t entirely upon us to prove our worthiness and overcome our oddness when a fundamental right and question of equal protection is in play…

    Rude1, I’m sorry if I offended you. Supporting equal rights but in the next breath asking for us to take a separately named status: these are contradictory. Really. It’s not that everything you say is “f’ing wrong”. I do appreciate your desire for us to have those equal rights, and I’m not mad at you. I am just pointing out what you’re missing: that separate is never equal, by virtue of its separateness, and that civil marriage IS a civil union and is what we should have equal access to. Making up a new status just for gays would be unnecessary and also ineffective.

  26. Karen,
    You do seem angry to me. I don’t think I’m the only one who perceives you that way…But lets just chalk that up to sharing an abdominal cavity with another human. Maybe baby girl is just leaning on your spleen.

    What I’m saying is this: we are both people. What if we were on the same team? If we put our differences aside for just a few seconds we have a lot in common. I’ve been spending a lot of time on forums lately trying to figure this out. I know where I am internally, but I feel its important to fully explore where people are coming from. People are amazing, insane, diverse on this subject. My brother in law’s best friend in CA is convinced that someone has poisoned his dog over this. The validity of that claim is irrelevant. It speaks to the tension in CA. Its nuts. We can go on for years being hateful and cynical and fearful. Repeating our same arguments over and over won’t get us anywhere. We have to get to the place where we’re talking AND listening. I get that you perceive this whole debate as an attack on your wife, your child, your humanity. And frankly, I DO feel for you. I do want to find a way to reconcile that with where I’m at. You can be angry with my church all you want. I’m just saying you catch more flies with sugar is all.

    1. We’ve sparred on this one before. My concern was that if SSM was legal then churches who wouldn’t perform them could lose their tax-exempt status. You may be right, the answer may be a simple, “no”. But there are already websites popping up with instructions on how to petition to revoke my church’s tax-exempt status. And that is just in retaliation for supporting legislation against SSM. That doesn’t feel comforting. An eye for an eye making the whole world blind is not just a cliche Ghandi quote. Anger blinds people. We have to overcome that.

    2. You are the one who brought up children in Kindergarten learning about Same sex relationships. I am not in CA so I didn’t vote on this, but it seems like if 52% of Californians were worried about it you have to recognize it as a valid concern. That is all I said about it. I do think that appealing to people’s humanity on the subject (by explaining that talking about family relationships is not the same thing as talking about sex) is going to be a lot more worthwhile than effectively, “Tough ___ get over it. Your kid is going to have to hear it some day.” That just puts people’s hackles up.

    It seems like its all or nothing for you. I could be wrong, but if we can only have a conversation where I agree with everything you say then its a complete waste of time.

  27. David McKenzie says:

    I don’t know how everything works there, but here in Canada, a reasonably developed neighbour of yours, let me share a few things about what is going on.

    There is a settlement in British Columbia called ‘Bountiful.’ It is an organization of some whack-o nut jobs with multiple partners of multiple ages, allegedly over 16, yet still quite young in my view, you get the picture. There have been many concerns raised over the years about sexual predation and abuse. It has been alleged that the reason why the RCMP takes its investigation no further, is that they fear any prosecution will meet the defense of “Well, the interpretation of marriage is quite open now, if it can be one male and one male, why can’t it be two females and one male?”

    There was the case of a couple in Ontario seeking to formalize the adoption of one of the lady’s children. Turns out, the child’s father wanted to recognized as such, in addition to the two ladies who wanted legal status as parents. Result? The child legally has three parents.

    In Toronto, there are many cases of people arriving here from other countries, applying for welfare and listing multiple spouses. As a result, the amount of their benefits increases substantially.

    And before you accuse me of being some kind of “a-phobe” – these are real issues out there in the public square – all weighted and against the back drop of now legal same sex marriage.

    Where am I going with this? First of all, I don’t doubt that many people in same sex relationships have a deep, profound commitment to each other, that that relationship is meaningful, that they believe in their heart of hearts is the only expression of love they believe themselves to be capable, that it is a personally significant relationship. That being said, there are implications of re-ordering society to accommodate the wishes of a few. Whether those implications are worth the re-ordering is the question. I understand people being impatient, seeing as this profound issue of justice of which there is no question.

    I suspect, that same sex marriage will seem normal to most in the coming years. I don’t embrace that notion, but I recognize its reality. But between here and there, I wish the advocates of it also recognized there will be profound implications.

    And as for anyone saying the religious groups being required to perform marriages with which they don’t agree – bullocks I say!

    I am sure, at least here in Canada, there will be some gay couple coming forward saying we want to get married in the Catholic Church, or the Baptist Church, as a human right, you the church are required to do so. There will be a complaint made to the Human Rights Commission, and the church, against what it believes, has believes for hundreds of years, will be required to perform it. And that isn’t living in a free society either.

    There was the case of the paster out in Alberta who wrote a letter to a newspaper meekly expressing his opposition to same sex marriage. He was hauled before the Commission, told he had to write an apology, and get this, never express that opinion again – HE WAS TOLD HE COULD NOT EXPRESS HIS OPINION – by written word, by email, EVEN FROM HIS OWN PULPIT IN CHURCH – HE WAS TOLD HE COULDN’T SAY WHAT HE BELIEVED!!!

    I look at those tactics, see so much bullying, that I really question the motives of those directing such. Is it really about seeking acceptance for their lifestyles? Or is it about the re-ordering of society, having felt so disenfranchised from the rest of society, that they desire to tear it all down?

  28. I disagree; it’s NOT contradictory, it’s called a compromise. Both sides getting what they want. You want the same legal rights and status. I (and apparently the majority) get to keep “marriage” as a union between man and woman, and our churches don’t face the spectre of losing their status for following their faith.

    Neither side gets 100% of what they desire, but then neither side is coerced into something they passionately believe in.

  29. “But there are already websites popping up with instructions on how to petition to revoke my church’s tax-exempt status.”

    There are IRS rules about what a church can say, politically, while maintaining its tax-free status. People don’t like it when church authorities, which are supposed to be politically neutral, essentially say, “God said give your time and money to make sure this Prop 8 thing passes.”

    People want the LDS church to choose: be a church and follow those rules, or be a political organization and follow THOSE rules. I doubt there’s a case to be made, as crappy as what the LDS church did was. I mean, they’re not stupid, and they have lawyers. But there are those who disagree. And if they did violate them, they SHOULD lose tax-exempt status. That’s what happens when rules are broken. I don’t know what else to tell you – you are taking it very personally. It’s not about you.

    “I get that you perceive this whole debate as an attack on your wife, your child, your humanity. ”

    That’s only because it is. This debate is about whether or not my family is on equal legal footing with yours. It’s about whether my family is a functioning part of society, or a disease of it. I don’t get how you could not perceive the attack in this. I get that people *think* they are being perfectly nice people while still believing that my family is a force of destruction or a symptom of Satan or social decay. But they’re wrong. It’s not perfectly nice to think that about me, about us.

    “You are the one who brought up children in Kindergarten learning about Same sex relationships”

    Noooooo… I’m not. Your church, among other proponents of invalidating existing marriages, was. They directly advertised to the fear of young children being “taught homosexuality”. People didn’t just all of a sudden get scared of it – your church and the other Prop 8 supporters tried – successfully – to imply that legal gay marriage means explaining the mechanics of anal sex to kindergarteners, and encouraging them to try it, or something. This is because people cannot seem to think about gay couples without thinking of what they do in the bedroom.

    I am not the one bringing it up. The ridiculous number of people who cite fear of what their children will be taught as a reason to support prop 8 – they are the ones bringing it up. And I don’t know how you expect me to respond to people who believe that my family is inappropriate for children. “Awww, gee, that’s ok, I understand, we ARE pretty obscene”?

    You seem to be very concerned with the feelings of those who oppose gay marriage. I’m pretty done with holding people’s hands while gently working them around to the idea that I’m not evil or disgusting. The default position ought to be for liberty and equality. If you oppose it, isn’t the burden on you to explain? At some point, isn’t it their responsibility to respect me and my rights, instead of my responsibility to be nice and pretty and cute and friendly enough that they finally forget that they oppose my equality? I’m not trying to catch flies, I’m trying to assert my civil rights to live my life with dignity and equal protection by my *supposedly* secular and rational government.

    “I am sure, at least here in Canada, there will be some gay couple coming forward saying we want to get married in the Catholic Church, or the Baptist Church, as a human right, you the church are required to do so. ”

    And I’m sick of this stupid argument, because it’s wrong. Churches don’t marry people, officiants do. Any non-public officiant (like a priest, or my mom, a notary in Florida) can refuse to perform any ceremony for any reason. In fact, my mom has never married anyone. A justice of the peace can’t, but that’s a public employee. If two atheists, or even a parishioner who is marrying a non-Catholic and won’t raise the kids Catholic, can’t force a Catholic priest to officiate at their wedding, two men can’t either. The other side of this is facilities: ok, so maybe they can’t find a Catholic priest who will do their ceremony, but can’t they rent the cathedral and bring their own officiant? No. Any non-publicly funded, non-public-use facility has no obligation to rent to anyone. If the Neighborhood Neo-Nazi Association can’t force the cathedral to rent their space to them, neither can the neighborhood gay men.

    So you’re “sure” this will happen in Canada, but you’re wrong. And I’m sick of being exhorted to consider and listen and be sensitive to *completely baseless* objections like this to my civil rights.

  30. jessicarrot says:

    Alrighty then. Good luck!

  31. Meh, marriage is overrated. (as is pregnancy imo)

    I don’t care about gay marriage. I don’t want to know about anyone’s sex life, gay or hetero. I think the controversy is cruel and unfair, but I am a realist and know some people just don’t want SSMs. I will vote if I am called to do so, but I can’t change squat.

    I don’t care that some people feel like second class citizens. I can be fired because I have diabetes. Is that fair? No. Legal. Apparently so. I have to pay a ton of money for my health insurance even though I am unable to work. Fair? No. Legal. Yes.

    My insurance company has paid nearly 2 million dollars to keep me alive. I’m fairly sure I have now relapsed and will have to go through hell once again. I don’t think I can fight it this time. So my views on equality and inequity have really changed quite a bit. Explaining relapse and possible death to your eight year old will do that to a person.

    There are inequities all across the world. I can’t change my situation. I could rant from the mountain tops and it still would not change facts of what is fair or not or legal or not. I have lost hope with society on what matters.

    Because, quite frankly, people just don’t give a shit unless it is something that affects them. And I have found in my 41 years on this earth, that on the big issues, you just will not be able to change minds. Abortion. Politics. Race. Immigration. War. Stem cell research. Regardless of logic, facts, emotion, some people just know what they know (or think they know).

    It is just a fact of life that many people think gay people are disgusting and an abomination. You will NEVER be able to change their minds on that. You will NEVER be able to change the fact that people think gay marriage is wrong (or odd or disgusting or whatever) and should never be legalized.

    I have learned to focus on the things that I can change and dismiss what I cannot. Mixed race marriages were once illegal. But even to this day, there are plenty of people who still think it is an abomination. There are places that will legalize SSM. But there are many that never will. And there are plenty of people who will fight and fund to keep it that way.

    When I learned I had leukemia, I ensured that I had a will, that my daughter had a guardian. I prepared what I could, hoped for the best and prayed like hell. Sometimes that is all you can do.

    Karen, prepare for your child. Prepare documents that specifically say your partner will take care of that child in case you die. Do what you can, hope for the best and pray like hell. There are inequities in life for the majority of people in this world. Deal with what you can and take care of your family.

    I am a liberal/moderate who grew up in a household of Catholics. I have a brother who is an Atheist and a father who is a Catholic deacon. My life is too precious to spend banging my head against the wall to change hearts and minds.

    In my world, my daughter says, “You love who you love.” She learned that from me. That is about the best I can do. My opinion will never matter to anyone else on this topic. Just as many of you have thought I am a bitter, angry, idiotic person. It doesn’t matter what I say, I will never change many of your minds about that either.

  32. Sorry for the long post. I am in too much pain to sleep (or apparently make much sense)

  33. “I don’t care about gay marriage. I don’t want to know about anyone’s sex life, gay or hetero.”

    I don’t understand the link between these two statements. It seems like a lot of people think my wedding was “about my sex life” in a way that my brother’s heterosexual wedding wasn’t…?

    “You will NEVER be able to change their minds on that. You will NEVER be able to change the fact that people think gay marriage is wrong.”

    Ah, but I have, on more than one occasion. It’s not easy, but it does happen. I’ve convinced a couple of people with my words, and I’m pretty hopeful that there are some silent minds Rebecca and I have changed just by being out at work and in different social circles. If mixed-race marriages can be legalized and equal, even without changing everyones’ minds about them, I hold out hope that we can achieve that for my own marriage as well. Like I said, this government is *supposed* to be rational and secular. In a rational and secular world, my marriage is legally just as valid as my hetero brother’s. It can happen.

    I’m really sorry that you’re going through all that. I hear despair – Please don’t give up.

    I have done what I can to protect our family in all the ways that are available to me. We’re lucky enough to live in a state where Rebecca is “allowed” to adopt our daughter – when we move back to Florida to be with our families, this won’t be the case. That’s under way, and our wills and POAs and temporary guardianship documents and everything are in order. It will be harder to protect any children we have in Florida, but we’ll do what we can.

    But part of “what I can” is never backing down from this fight, too. Whenever anyone seems to be listening – or even sometimes when they don’t seem to be – I can stand up and say ‘This is wrong. Help me change it, because I can’t do it alone.’ Sometimes, people respond. If I weren’t doing this, I wouldn’t be doing everything I can – even though sometimes it does feel like banging my head against a wall.

    If one person stops saying “I don’t care about gay marriage either way” and starts saying “Gay marriage should be legal”, that’s one more voice. It’s a subtle difference but I have to believe it’s progress.

  34. David McKenzie says:

    Like any discussion, you have to at least consider the position that you are wrong. I read all you say Karen, cut through the emotion and seek the argument. I assure you I do.

    That being said, a lesbian couple did take a private reception hall to court over their refusal to allow them to hold their wedding reception there. You’ll be glad to hear they won. I point that out to illustrate the activist agenda and resulting changes you say won’t happen. They do – they have – they will — take heart.

    You can say I’m wrong – but saying it – doesn’t make it so. That would be the nominal fallacy of your argument.

  35. “You can say I’m wrong – but saying it – doesn’t make it so. That would be the nominal fallacy of your argument.”

    Only if my argument were “I’m right because I say I’m right.”

    Which, of course, it’s not.

    Churches are not public accommodations like private reception halls (and restaurants, and hotels) are.

    Think about this long and hard: A Jewish couple cannot make a Catholic church let them get married there. A reception hall, however, has to comply with basic non-discrimination laws, including religious non-discrimination.

    We gay couples cannot make a Christian church do anything that a Jewish or atheist couple cannot make it do. I’m sorry, but your concern is completely baseless and no, I will not consider a baseless argument.

  36. Also, if – IF – there were any case to be made for suing for equal access to a publicly-rented church facility, it would be on the grounds of non-discrimination laws, not the validity or non-validity of my marriage license. So, if I were going to be able to sue to make your church let me rent its space for my own purposes – including, say, a committment ceremony – I would *already* be able to do this in Maryland, despite my inability to get a legally valid marriage license here. Recognizing same-sex marriages as valid would not effect a ruling on that one way or another. It’s just another lie told by the Prop 8 supporters.

  37. Argh, I don’t think I explained that very well.

    1) Churches have not been forced to allow other people they don’t consider marriageable, but the law disagrees with them – like second marriages, or interfaith marriages – to hold their weddings there. The validity of the marriage license is a completely moot point.

    2) Churches, when offering their facilities for weddings, generally aren’t “public access” in a way that would subject them to anti-discrimination laws, which would be the real “culprit” in “forcing” churches to rent to gays. Usually the church occasionally graciously allows non-members to use the facility in exchange for a donation – it’s not exactly a rental contract.

    3) If for some reason, a church is operating in such a way that WOULD make it subject to those laws, the solution is simple: stop renting to the public, if you don’t want the public having access. That doesn’t mean members or, really, anyone you like can’t use the facility for their weddings. You just can’t be all “Hey, we rent to the public!” and then say “Except blacks!” or “Except non-Christians!” or “Except gays!”

    4) Officiants are most certainly not required to perform any ceremony for any reason if they aren’t public employees whose JOB it is to solemnize marriage licenses. Churches are not required to provide officiants when asked. The idea that any minister could or would be forced to officiate at a gay wedding is absolutely false.

  38. Sorry, I didn’t mean to really link the two statements. I don’t really care about gay marriage. I’m more of a libertarian than anything and think people should be able to marry who they love. I don’t think much about gay marriages though b/c there are just many issues I don’t think about lately since I’m kind of in medical hell.

    And I really do not like to think about any couple’s sex life. I know that personally when I do see gay couples, it kind of makes me think about it. But live and let live I say. My best friend in college is gay and he’s been in a committed relationship longer than any of my other college friends. I’m happy for him. I’d go to his wedding and would buy them a great gift as he’s a great person. I would vote for the issue if it ever came up in Texas, although I probably would not discuss it with many people – I’m already sick of all the politics lately.

    Thanks for the positive vibes. I hope I just have some wonky blood counts and not a relapse. I’m headed to MD Anderson tomorrow, so that makes me feel a little better.

    I get what you mean about changing even a few people’s minds. I guess I just know so many close minded people in San Antonio that it’s hard to imagine they would ever change their thinking. Fortunately most of my close friends feel the same way I do as far as live and let live.

    Good luck with all of your legal documents. It is well worth making sure everything is in order – for anyone.

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