Thursday, May 21, 2009

Odd LV Sun, Great Penn Jillette On Gays

The Las Vegas Sun offers up a strange editorial today urging Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons to sign a bill that's already passed the Nevada Legislature creating a domestic partnership registry for unwed straight and unable-to-wed gay couples along with a suite of legal protections that have cost Miles and me thousands of dollars in legal fees to merely approximate. It's great that they feel that way -- I don't pretend to be impartial in this topic since it is all about my own personal legal status -- but the Sun's editorial is awkward on a few accounts:

1. The best that can be realistically hoped for is that Gibbons doesn't veto it and/or that two lawmakers in each house of the Legislature reverse their votes to sustain an override. The divorcing governor has already said he would defend the sanctity of the institution of marriage that he has personally repeatedly defaced with a veto. So urging him to sign it is like the Wall Street Journal urging Obama to appoint Sam Alito's ideological twin to the Supreme Court. It's a waste of ink and a waste of an opportunity to frame the debate in any new way.

2. The piece claims that the bill would make gay partners "eligible for health care benefits if employers provide them." Somebody over there didn't read the papers; they scrapped that provision before it even passed the state Senate about two weeks ago.

3. The paper also claims that "w
hat the bill does is to treat domestic partners as first-class citizens." Well, no. It treats these couples as, roughly, third-class citizens. First class would be marriage equality. Second class would be marriage equality under another name to satisfy those linguistic zealots who believe semantics are more important than the lives of real human beings. But this is the best gays can hope for at the moment around here. Does the Sun actually think that separate and clearly unequal is "first class?"

Despite these flaws, several gay leaders are circulating this inaccurate and uninteresting editorial this morning, which surprises nobody by appearing in the town's left-of-center newspaper. Yet so far as I can tell, not a single activist passed around R-J Publisher Sherm Frederick's far more compelling and convincing Sunday piece in which he actually argued for full marriage equality for gays.
When support comes from unexpected quarters and is argued in unexpected ways that actually provides a chance to persuade people who need persuading, that would seem like something to tout.

While we're on a gay kick this morning, I'm not a fan of Penn Jillette for a myriad of reasons. But he took on Glenn Beck earlier this week on Fox News and the results were quite entertaining:

Hat tip to John Katsilometes at the Sun for his very entertaining summary of the Jillette-Beck exchange.


Jinx said...

Just curious Steve, are you in favor of a resolution that doesn't fit the full requirements you believe (and I do as well) are deserved? I'm simply curious as while I think if I was in the position I would want any bit of ground I could get, a part of me would feel bad for 'settling' for less then deserved.

Also curious to why you aren't a fan of Penn Jillette? Maybe it's something that's been reported on before, but curious to the reason.


am i in favor of second-class rights? well, i'm in favor of whatever we can get at the moment that leads to the next thing. Sooner or later, we'll get there and the country will be baffled we were ever where we are now on this topic.

re: Penn. Complicated. Will explain another time cuz I gotta run now.

Jinx said...

Thanks for the reply, I can definitely understand the desire to get what is available now. It truly is a shame we as a country are still caught up in the things we are. I so hope you are right that we'll be further along someday in our dealing with each other. But sometimes I wonder.

Enjoy Bethlehem.