Thursday, February 26, 2004

Not a big fan, but... 

Rosie O'Donnell just got married. I really don't think she's funny, and I could care less whether she plays for the "my team" instead of the visitors, but this is incredibly relevant to the gay marriage issue.

She was recently sued by her employer, and that puts the focus on why the rights, not the nomenclature, are what are really at issue here: http://www.signorile.com/articles/nyp107.html

All other viewpoints (religious and political especially) aside, this really hits the central argument - are homosexual couples entitled to the same rights that heterosexual couples are? We're not talking about religion here - every religion is fully within its rights to exclude anybody they decide - for example, 27 year old white longhaired stunningly handsome programmers from Florida. That's not the issue here.

The real question: is the government in the business of deciding who matters and who doesn't? Who deserves this pile of rights over here and who doesn't? Which of us are, to quote Animal Farm, "more equal than others"?. Should testimony given to a close-as-possible confidante (which whether you agree with gay marriage or not, gay couples are to each other) in a gay relationship enjoy the same legal protection that it would if you were involved in a heterosexual relationship?


"Would the media giant Gruner & Jahr have decided to sue Rosie O’Donnell over the downfall of Rosie magazine if same-sex marriage were legal? Bizarre as it might sound, Rosie believes the answer is no, and her explanation is both fascinating and plausible.
“If you are a heterosexual talk show host and you’re sued by a major corporation, anything you have said to your husband is privileged information,” she said in an interview on my radio program on Sirius OutQ. She was referring to two rights of marriage that few of us ever think about—until we’re sued for $100 million, or brought to court for something far more minor. One is the spousal immunity privilege, which, if you watch enough Law & Order or The Practice, you know means that, in general, a husband cannot be compelled to testify against his wife and vice versa. The other is known as the privilege for marital communications, which protects confidential correspondence between spouses. These are just two of hundreds of rights granted by marriage—rights that gay couples don’t have.

“If you are a homosexual talk show host,” O’Donnell continued, “and you’re sued by a corporation, anything you have ever said and/or written to your spouse/partner/wife is allowed to be entered into the record. It is totally unfair.”

She believes that Gruner & Jahr’s lawyers were well aware of that inequity and exploited it to their advantage.

“Any and every thing I wrote to [my partner] Kelli, you know, which they were using against me, some of my essays—you know, when you get into a deep, dark place and you say, ‘You know what honey, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.’ Well, if the honey is the same sex as you, that is evidence in a trial, and that’s hard to believe in America ... . And if they didn’t have access to some of those letters I wrote to Kelli, I don’t think they would have sued me. Because, innately, what they were thinking was that I would rather give them money than show the truth of my darkest part to America ... .” "

George W. Bush says no. I say definitely.

This is about more than gay/straight, left/right, Bush/Kerry. This is about encouraging monogamy, which is one of the things the apoplectic fit crowd claims to be for.

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