If passed, Issue 1 will force Ohio's cities and universities to stop offering domestic partner benefits, including health insurance. Right now, such benefits are offered by the city of Columbus, Ohio's Miami University, Ohio University and Ohio State University, the largest university in America. Cleveland Heights has a domestic partnership registry, and some Ohio public schools give gay employees family leave to care for ailing partners. Issue 1 would probably mean they could no longer do so.
You know this already, but it bears repeating - this is an amendment that will actually take away people's rights. It's obscene.
"This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage."
How dare these people say that my relationship doesn't have the "significance" it would have if we ambled in to a registry office and signed a piece of paper? How dare they? We love each other, we're kind to each other, and we make each other laugh. We're in this for the long haul. If there's anything more significant and of higher quality in a marriage, I don't know what it is. I'm not anti-marriage per se - I think it's something we can reinvent ourselves. But I don't think it automatically makes a relationship more important or meaningful.
Of course, if we wanted to get the rights granted to married couples (which seem bizarrely specific in Ohio), at least we could do something about it. Non-straight couples will be screwed. Not that they have great rights already, but at least there's no actual amendent taking those feeble rights away.
If these fundamentalists think that straight marriage will somehow be "threatened" by allowing a gay man to visit his dying partner's bedside, or allowing a woman to legally look after her partner's biological child, then their marriages must be pretty fucking shaky. As the always wise daegaer has pointed out, the meaning of "traditional" marriage has certainly changed over the years, so to claim it's some sort of moral absolute is absurd. Let's not forget how many rural marriages in this country up to this century were arranged around land and housekeeping. Is there something holy and sacred about a 20 year old girl being married off to her father's 50 year old friend in order to look after his farm? Because I don't see it.
But apparently, even the crappiest straight marriage is superior to a gay partnership, because, even though Jesus preached a message of tolerance and kindness (and anti-capitalism) and never mentioned homosexuality once, somehow it's been decided that he just hates fags.
Preaching like a street-corner revivalist, Johnston musters quotes from both the Bible and Dostoevski to make the tautological argument that those who reject his vision of Christianity lack the foundation to make any moral arguments. "The proof for the Christian ethic which condemns homosexual marriage is the impossibility of the contrary," he says. "Reject the Christian ethic and you have no basis for making moral judgments."
The audience stares at him in open-mouthed amazement. Looking like she's been slapped, McClellan walks out of the room and starts crying. "My father was a D-Day lander and a World War II hero," she says later. "He freed two concentration camps. All I could think of was here are all of these people who have fought and given their lives to keep our country free of maniacal people like that guy. This guy reminded me of a Hitler youth. At this stage of our evolution, why is there such a maniacal hatred of people?"
Who knows? I sure as hell don't.