Republican candidate in Virginia supports homosexual equality

by CynthiaYockey on August 22, 2009

Over the last year I’ve started to see the Democratic party as an organization that makes promises to idealistic people that it doesn’t intend to keep in order to get their support. Now I’m not surprised that I couldn’t cash in any Democrat/liberal promises like wheelchair access to an annual lesbian event for my life partner that was run by — I am not making this up — prominent lesbian disabled rights activists.

Also over the last year I’ve learned how much fiscal conservatism and the Republican party are about liberty and individual empowerment. And in one or two of my early posts on this blog, I predicted that it is Republicans who understand marriage and who would be the ones who would enact laws for marriage equality for lesbians and gays.

So I’m really not surprised at all that Republican Eric Brescia, who is running for the House of Delegates in Virginia, says that it is because of his Republican values that he supports changes in Virginia law described here in support of homosexual equality.

Oh, and while I’m not surprised, I am really, REALLY glad.

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  • SYD

    Brave man, Mr. Brescia. I hope his message catches on!

    SYD
    .-= SYD´s last blog ..Planning Ahead for a Whole Foods Thanksgiving (Just Like The One in Boston) =-.

  • Now if you could just tell us how to convince all of the other people that it’s about liberty.

    (Not that I’m Republican, actually. I’m anti-authoritarian and pro-responsibility. You know, freedom. It tends to line up more with the libertarians, but often with some Republicans as well.)
    .-= silvermine´s last blog ..Persuasion =-.

  • I was a Democrat in my 20’s, caught up in the ideology of the party as many young people are. At some point, I realized that the Dems were pretty superficial. Always talking the talk, but never walking the walk when it came down to the line. I began to wonder why I should bother supporting ideas that seemed to exist only in the form of words. Rarely enforced by actions.

    I switched to Republican in my early 30’s, learning that I identified more with their core values than the Dems. At 40, I am here to stay. I’ve always thought the ‘Pubs would eventually catch up on the issue of gay rights and equality. I think it’s an age thing, generational values.

    As homosexuality becomes more acceptable to those in the base, and it will – look at the difference in tolerance and society now as opposed to the 80’s – and as younger candidates from a new generation begin replacing those older politicians who live by their own set of generational values, I think we’ll begin to see ‘Pubs not only accepting equality/rights, but enforcing them.

  • What two or more consenting adults agree to do with, by, or to, or for each in the privacy of their home, office, factory, or the great outdoors is their business, so long as no non-consenting third party is harmed (and “harm” has to be defined narrowly or you license government intrusion). That’s standard classical liberalism .

    What “conservative” supports tax increases?

    Redefinition of marriage is a tax increase. Customs are a result of cultural evolution; society evolved traditional marriage from informal cost/benefit analysis of the effects on children when children are raised in intact families versus by single mothers. Extension of marriage benefits (e.g., access to a spouse’s employer-funded medical care) to people who are less likely to have children will raise costs without the attendant benefits which justified the costs of traditional marriage in the first place. Even if legislation allowed private-sector employers to renegotiate employee benefit packages to exclude spousal benefits (redefinition of marriage is a material change in the contract), it’s probable that the State itself ( a large employer) would put taxpayers on the hook for expensive medical benefits to spouses of employees.
    .-= Malcolm Kirkpatrick´s last blog ..Aloha, Rose Friedman =-.

    • Malcolm Kirkpatrick,

      Please review the history of marriage and you will see that it was about the formal ownership of women and legitimizing progeny for inheritance of property, status and power, until rather recently.

      Homosexual equality, including marriage equality, is — I know I am being redundant — about equality. There is no validity to the claim of supporting liberty while denying a class of people equality either on the basis of claiming it is too expensive or because you have appropriated the apparatus of the state to empower your religion’s greed and lust for power as embodied in its rules aimed at forcing as much procreation as possible.

      Also, surely you meant that homosexual marriage equality would force up prices, rather than taxes, by increasing the number of persons eligible for employer benefits. Frankly, what this really means is that homosexuals are being unfairly denied benefits and prices are being kept artificially low by cheating them of their wages. That’s redistribution of wealth — something else conservatives oppose. But any objections based on health insurance should not be an issue because health insurance should not be coupled with employment at all, and won’t be in the future if we ever get honest and well-intentioned health insurance reform.

      In addition, it is estimated that homosexual marriage equality will reduce taxes because when gays and lesbians can marry it will reduce the number of persons eligible for Medicaid, since the spouse’s assets are considered in determining eligibility. So the financial argument against homosexual equality is not valid. And it should be obvious that couples get through life better than single people — they buy larger homes, more furniture, in general have better and healthier live. This prosperity and stability helps our nation and our economy to thrive.

      Heterosexuals who marry have over 1,000 more rights and privileges flowing from their married status than gay and lesbian life partners have — and a lot of these rights and privileges cannot be gotten by creating individualized contracts. It’s effectively a tax on gay and lesbian couples that they have to pay a lawyer to get fewer rights than straight couples get with their marriage licenses. There’s no justification for gays and lesbians to contribute equally at their jobs for less compensation than straights and to contribute equally as taxpayers while having fewer rights and having to pay extra to an attorney to get just a few rights back that they can’t count on being honored in every state.

      Cynthia

  • Cynthia, not even those who are opposed to gay marriage are against equality. I am for civil unions and may eventually be convinced for gay marriage. Oddly, one of the things that makes me mildly against gay marriage is the arguments for civil unions. The “gay leadership” almost all were going “give us civil unions and we won’t ask for anything more.”

    So there are a lot of social conservatives who, reluctantly or otherwise, supported civil unions who feel betrayed. Regardless of whether or not I ever come completely over to the gay marriage side or simply stay pro civil union, this shows my objection to having “leaders.”
    .-= Peter´s last blog ..Reprieve For Rifqa =-.

    • Peter,

      Civil unions are supposed to convey exactly the same rights as heterosexual marriage. However, marriage laws are under the authority of the states. It would be a logistical impossibility to keep the laws separate but equal. There always will be legislators who want to make their reputations by slow-walking or halting bills required for civil unions to have parity with marriage. Plus, some of the intentions of the term “civil union” are to single out, stigmatize and degrade homosexuals as a minority by denying us the word “marriage.” I really, truly feel degraded by the distinction and that’s why I advocate for gay marriage, and I do not want to settle for civil unions.

      But also, in actual practice, it would just be impossible to keep parity between laws for civil unions and marriage in all 50 states all the time. So why not admit there’s really no such thing as “separate, but equal”? Plus, which makes the better song: “I going to the chapel and I’m going to get civil unioned (civilly united?),” or, “I’m goin’ to the chapel and I’m gonna get married”?

      People don’t dream about civil unions. We dream about getting married. We’re just asking to choose the spouse we truly love and want to build our lives with.

      Cynthia

  • a) I was raised in no church. I am no more a Christian than I am a Hindu, Buddhist, or Muslim.
    b) Redefinition of marriage to include homosexual couples is a tax, to the extent that the State mandates wealth transfers from employers (or, in the case of the State as employer, from taxpayers) to the expanded category of beneficiaries. It does not really matter whether the revenue stream passes through the State treasury of not. If the State mandates a transfer of wealth, that’s a tax.

    “When someone says ‘It’s not the money, it’s the principle’, it’s the money.”
    .-= Malcolm Kirkpatrick´s last blog ..Aloha, Rose Friedman =-.

  • Many of the benefits of marriage are alrady available through other means (e.g., adults can adopt each other, can assign medical and financial power of attorney). Legislation that would supply some (e.g., tax-free inheritance) of the benefits of marriage make sense. I have no objection to legislation which would abolish inheritance taxes and/or allow any adult to designate one specific tax-free beneficiary.

    I suspect that projections of zero cost (or even net savings) of legalized gay marriage (your paragraph 4) rely on a mistaken assumption, that the response would not depend significantly on the altered structure of incentives. That is, I expect marriage would be more attractive to people who are already supporting a sick friend, and who would seek to use their employers’ medical coverage. One of the plaintifs in the original Baer, et. al. versus Miike lawsuit against the State of Hawaii Department of Health claimed as her cause for complaint that the State’s position barred her partner from her employer’s health insurance. Similarly, people for whom marriage would pose a net loss would be less likely to get married. So simple observations of statistical representation don’t say much about the likely cost to taxpayers.
    .-= Malcolm Kirkpatrick´s last blog ..Aloha, Rose Friedman =-.

    • Malcolm Kirkpatrick,

      One of the very best reasons for everyone over the age of 65 to divorce is the fact that it would improve their eligibility for Medicaid.

      People don’t marry their friends. Or, did you mean to degrade homosexuals by referring to our committed life partners, aka spouses, as “friends”?

      Regarding the 1,000+ rights and privileges accorded by law to marriage, no, you cannot achieve parity by making contracts, wills or powers-of-attorney.

      Second-class citizenship for homosexuals is redistribution of wealth from homosexuals to heterosexuals. It also is intentionally destructive of homosexual lives because of the support marriage laws provide to couples, which allows them to thrive and prosper more than single people, or couples who are denied the rights of marriage. Such intentional destruction to the lives of a class of people is morally indefensible.

      It looks like you’ve set up the arguments in your “zero cost” paragraph to say that you feel entitled to deny all evidence contrary to your opinion. So I won’t be responding to any more of your comments. Plus, I have to go make my father’s dinner.

      Cynthia

  • I guess before responding, I should “out” myself; I’m a conservative Christian as well as a conservative republican. This means that I do include homosexual acts in the “sin” category, just like pre-marital sex, divorce, etc. With that being said…

    I’m also a natural law advocate (see: Thomas Aquinas), meaning that if something is prohibited by natural law, then it is the duty of the government to prohibit it no matter what (even if that restricts the liberty of the individual). I have yet to see any compelling evidence that homosexuality violates any natural law, thus I see no reason for the government to enact prohibitive laws concerning the act of homosexuality, monogamous or otherwise.

    Whereas social issues such as liberty, the rights of a fetus, and even the rights of an embryo (all stages of human development) do fall under natural law categories, I have yet to read a book or an article that offers up an adequate explanation of how homosexuality violates any natural law. In light of this, as a conservative Republican and a conservative Christian, I say, “I disagree with your lifestyle, but I lack the natural right to prohibit it.”

    I think conservative Christians sometimes forget the whole “natural law” caveat; for instance, there are many things that God requires of humans that can only be followed once one is in a relationship with Him. After all, how much sense does it make for us to pass laws forcing non-believers to take communion? How many states have passed amendments for the “sanctity of marriage” prohibiting at-will divorces? What about the so-called conservative Republicans who have, as of late, been caught up in multiple affairs and sexual trysts? Are we to blindly sweep such things under the rug all the while carrying our signs saying, “God hates homosexuals?” (which, by the way, I do not believe that God hates anyone).

    So in conclusion, though I certainly disagree with the act of homosexuality, I see no reason to legally prohibit it, especially within a monogamous relationship.

    As a side note, I don’t think the government (federal or state) should have anything to do with marriage. Civil unions is another thing, and if the government stuck to civil unions then this would hardly be an issue. Unfortunately, it’s in the business of handing out marriages licenses when it doesn’t really hold the right; marriage, in its traditional sense, is a right of the church; whoever the church decides to bring together, it should be allowed. The state can stay out of it and keep it at civil unions (for legal rights, property rights upon death, taxation, etc).

    I hope that none of the above offended you. It can be quite difficult to come across as polite while respectfully disagreeing with someone’s actions.
    .-= Joel´s last blog ..An interesting point of view… =-.

    • Joel,

      Thank you for your point of view. What surprises me is that “natural law” arguments usually are used to justify every sort of evil towards homosexuals. So I have to say I’m glad to see you using natural law but arriving at a different conclusion.

      Regarding marriage being the property of religions, actually, I think it preceded religions since it was originally about women and children as property and then religions took it over. If we separate religious marriage and civil marriage, we are going to put people through the nightmare of having to both marry and civilly unite to be fully married, and to divorce twice — both by civil law and the laws of their religion — to be divorced. There will be plenty of people who only get through one of the two, whether marrying or divorcing, so the confusion will be disastrous.

      Also, the nomenclature of marriage will be re-defined no matter what if the term is reserved for religious marriages. People will have to identify which religion they married in: Methodist marriage, Lutheran marriage, Orthodox Jewish marriage, Catholic marriage, and so on. Plus, one of the first things accomplished at the beginning of the gay rights movement in 1969 was the founding of the Metropolitan Community Church by gay evangelical pastor Troy Perry — so we already can marry within a religion and be entitled to use the term “married” and “marriage.” What we don’t have is marriage equality: the 1,000-plus rights and privileges that attach to heterosexual marriages, even when they are performed by someone who bought their minister’s license over the Internet.

      Cynthia

  • I should also add that the taxation arguments or cost arguments are completely irrelevant to me. The issue boils down to this:

    If there is something in nature that tells us that the act of homosexuality is wrong, then there is no justification for allowing homosexual unions with the government’s “blessing.” If there is nothing in natural law that prohibits the act of homosexuality, then there is no reason to prohibit such unions from occurring.

    I happen to believe the latter part, that there is nothing in natural law that says, “Homosexual acts are bad.” The arguments, “the parts don’t fit,” “it doesn’t allow for pregnancy,” or “God made it Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” just don’t work. The first two can be applied to heterosexual couples in certain circumstances and the second one proves my point; the prohibition on homosexual acts is a spiritual law, not a natural one.
    .-= Joel´s last blog ..An interesting point of view… =-.

  • What I described is what quite a few people choose to do now, yet there is little confusion. It’s simply saying that the government has no say in religion – thus, if you want a Jewish wedding, Islamic wedding, etc., you’re not obligated to tell anyone what religion you’re marrying into or under. Already in some Catholic churches people have to obtain both a civil permit and religious permit for divorce (specifically in Roman Catholic and Christian Orthodox churches), often times with only the civil permit being allowed. The system I advocate simply removes the government from issuing “marriage licenses.” Civil unions are adequate; we don’t need the government involved in marriage (heterosexual or homosexual).

    Your views on marriage are quite interesting, but I’m not sure if they would hold up to historical scrutiny. Certainly some cultures have treated marriage in such a way (specifically in polygamous cultures or even among the Romans), but I’m not sure if all cultures throughout time, or at least our primitive cultures, treated marriage in the way you describe.

    Considering religion of some sort goes back as far as anthropological discoveries will allow us to go, it’s difficult to say that “marriage before religion was thus” when there’s no evidence that humans have ever existed without religion. This is more akin to a Rousseau-an idea of the “natural human” rather than actual evidence. But, this dives more into philosophy and the composition of humans, plus a priori vs a posteriori epistemic justifications, and so on.

    Finally, it’s a tragedy what has been done to the homosexual community in the name of natural law. If only some would use counterfactuals before coming to such stark conclusions on issues. Even if natural law teaches us that homosexual acts are wrong, natural law also teaches us that all human beings are intrinsically valuable and thus, regardless of their choices, should be treated properly and with dignity…not persecuted, tortured, or killed because of their actions.
    .-= Joel´s last blog ..An interesting point of view… =-.

  • (Cynthia): “Regarding marriage being the property of religions, actually, I think it preceded religions since it was originally about women and children as property and then religions took it over.”

    Sexual pair-bonding preceeded the evolution of Homo sapiens. Many species of mammals and birds mate either seasonally or for life.

    You want to attribute opposition to your point of view to hostility toward gays and lesbians. That’s a way to write off counter-arguments without addressing them. I don’t know how close the community is, but you might inquire of Dr. Tom Ramsay (a friend) and Dr. Rod Powell (a friend and neighbor), both gay rights activists, whether they believe I’m hostile toward gays. No. I’m hostile to new regulations and taxes.
    .-= Malcolm Kirkpatrick´s last blog ..Aloha, Rose Friedman =-.

    • Malcolm,

      You do not present any valid arguments for forcing an entire class of people to live as second-class citizens, especially when that status is so destructive to their lives. The belief that you can force people into second-class citizenship because you are afraid that their equality might cost you money also is one of the driving arguments for eugenics and euthanasia. It is completely irrelevant what emotions you have about it.

      Sexual pair-bonding from the dawn of time includes homosexual couples and precedes marriage.

      Cynthia

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