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The upside of living in a blue state

Last November, to my complete and utter astonishment, the Democrats swept New Hampshire elections. In addition to both House seats, they retained the governorship and took majorities in both Houses of the legislature and the Executive Council. And flush with success, they're starting to implement the agenda they've been pushing for years.

One aspect of it I find I'm welcoming. The House just overwhelming passed a Civil Union bill.

This measure begins what I think should have been done a long time ago -- it gets the State out of the marriage business. Right now, in New Hampshire, marriage grants about 400 specific rights and privileges to the couple. This bill would establish a "separate but equal" status for couples who either don't want to or can't get married. Maybe they're athiests and don't care for the religious origins and associated with it. Maybe they "don't believe" in marriage. Or maybe they're of the same sex.

As I said, it's about damned time. From my extremely cursory study of the measure, it preserves many of the restrictions of marriage -- it prevents close relations from legally joining, for one example -- but allows same-sex partners to form a state-recognized family unit, with pretty much all the rights and privileges that entails.

I think that, long-term, it'll be good for New Hampshire, and our society in general. The state is strengthened by family units, by people forming bonds with each other. It's certainly better for children, but I think we've reached the point where the state has to continue to subsidize and encourage people to have kids -- we're not exactly suffering from underpopulation, and not likely to any time soon. And by avoiding the whole "M-word," they've taken away one of the traditionalists' most potent rhetorical tools.

In retrospect, I think I'm glad I voted for Governor Lynch, both in 2004 and 2006. This might not be so bad as I had feared.

Comments (21)

What ever. It only means g... (Below threshold)

What ever. It only means gay people are one step closer to having marriage officially sanctioned in NH. One step closer to being viewed as a "Normal" couple.

The decline of the nuclear family is a sad thing. So many selfish and self centered people. NH may not be underpopulated, but within a couple generations you entire NH culture will change due to immigrants high birth rates and their own traditional values & customs.

Or maybe they want to form ... (Below threshold)

Or maybe they want to form a "union" with 4 other people. Whose to say that it is not my right to do this if it is ok for 2 people of the same sex, belief, height, weight etc. This way you have "built" in tax exemptions. A great big oh can of worms is about to be opened here.

What about multiple party u... (Below threshold)

What about multiple party unions? They have been around since the beginning of civilization, why should the state ban them? If they are going to allow 2 women to form a union, why not 2 women and a man? That should be normal and respected by society with full benefits and recognition.

By doing what they did the state was not all inclusive. If they are not going to be all inclusive, they should not be "in" the union business at all.

LOL, jhow66 you beat me. Th... (Below threshold)

LOL, jhow66 you beat me. That's what I get for going to get a drink while typing.

Wait for it...one of the bi... (Below threshold)

Wait for it...one of the bigots will inevitably bring up animals soon...

Well, I am very fond of my ... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Well, I am very fond of my peach-faced lovebirds, does that make me a bigot? ;-)

The decline of marriage is ... (Below threshold)

The decline of marriage is a sad thing. I won't say "nuclear family" because I think it's an aberration over all. Grandparents don't feel responsibility for helping their adult children, adult children don't feel responsible for taking care of their parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, we just don't have the support networks that we need anymore (and yes, part of that is from moving to work so much) and the idea of the nuclear family is part of what makes these non-supporters feel all righteous about leaving family members to twist in the wind.

Even so, that "nuclear" family unit *is* the smallest basic unit of social welfare and encouraging more of it, even between people who who don't resemble the traditional marriage unit, is not a bad thing and does not contribute to the decline of traditional marriage. Pre-nuptual shacking-up (and isn't that a quaint term!) and the fact that zero shame is associated with divorce (yes, some people *should* get divorced but as a society we don't care who, if anyone, broke vows or even if vows were broken) are doing that well enough on their own.

Only it's hard to blame someone else for that.

Hey Synova leave me out of ... (Below threshold)

Hey Synova leave me out of that unit.We in my family (72 year old papaw talking) take care of each all the way down the line. My oldest grandkid just came by to take her "nana" to get her hair done. My daughter-in-law fixes our supper and brings it to us when she has the time. This is just a few of the things that we do for each other. Families are not dead yet. But if the PC's have their way, it will not be long.

Jay, I don't think we've ev... (Below threshold)

Jay, I don't think we've ever agreed on anything before, but I also am a strong proponent of the separation of marriage and state. It's simply too intrusive into the affairs of churches. Let the state regulate the legal aspects of the relationship -- inheritance, parent's rights, medical, etc. -- but since marriage is defined in the bible as a covenant, obviously the state has no authority to define or control it.

JimK, you make a joke or th... (Below threshold)

JimK, you make a joke or think it's a joke. Wanna bet it don't happen. Sub-Humans, but walking on two legs, get caught every day have sex with animals. some alive, some dead. Can a request for marriage and all the 'benefits' ? be far behind. Right now they are put in the Ha Ha house, soon you will put them in the state house. My pet goat will have a complete different meaning.

Liberalism really is a mental illness.

"Wait for it...one of the b... (Below threshold)

"Wait for it...one of the bigots will inevitably bring up animals soon..."

Ummm....You just did, so guess what that makes You!

Oh now you've got me starte... (Below threshold)

Oh now you've got me started. It's my turn to be called a bigot.

Marriage as an institution was primarily invented for two main reasons: The legitimization of offspring and the protection of a female's rights. Everything else has been pretty much grafted-on over the last couple of centuries. How do the original reasons for inventing marriage have any affect on same sex couples? Answer: they don't. What people are after is the stuff that has been grafted-on. In a weird sort of way, we are trying to turn the tax and insurance scam benefits that are afforded married couples, into a government entitlement.

The small "L" libertarian in me agrees that we should allow same sex couples that wish to form lasting and stable bonds to have the same advantage normal couples have. It's probably in the country's best interests to do so.

Will this ever be significant to the population in general? I don't think so. The percentage of the population that is homosexual has been (in my opinion) grossly overstated. I read where 9-10% of males are homosexual or bisexual. I think that is bunk. Most likely it is more like 3-5% and 5% is really pushing it. What part of this population will ever form a lasting union?

Civil unions between same sex couples can never offer the same benefits to the nation that a mom and dad with kids offers. Calling same sex unions the same thing as marriage is a bit like trying to compare a golf cart to an S class Mercedes. They have similarities (4 tires, a seat, an engine) but aren't even close to being the same thing.

I'm basically on you... (Below threshold)

I'm basically on your side Jay.

I'm completely against homosexual marriage. But homosexual unions, properly legislated, are OK by me.

Words matter.

That's also George Bush's position, btw.

Calling same sex unions ... (Below threshold)

Calling same sex unions the same thing as marriage is a bit like trying to compare a golf cart to an S class Mercedes

That's the problem when both cars are stick shifts.

In Michigan <a href="http:/... (Below threshold)

In Michigan everyone gets free iPods.

No joke, the dem's want to give every school kid in the state an iPod to "invest in" education. Forget the fact that we have a billion dollar deficit.

This measure begins what... (Below threshold)

This measure begins what I think should have been done a long time ago -- it gets the State out of the marriage business.

The problem, Jay, is that it doesn't get the State out of the marriage business, and, in fact, makes it harder for that to ever eventually happen. In order for the State to get out of the marriage business they'd need to get rid of those 400 specific privileges. Instead, they've extended them to an even larger class of people. The more people who have them, the harder it will be to get rid of.

Jay, you argued earlier tha... (Below threshold)

Jay, you argued earlier that the MA seat belt law began a slippery slope. I argue the same re same sex marriage or unions. This can only lead to the day when apes rule the planet.

Well, maybe not that bad, but certainly the activists won't stop there. Incrementalism is a tool of the activists' trade.

'Give us this and we'll be happy.'
'OK- give us just a little more and we'll be happy.'
'OK- now we need THIS to make it all work, and then we'll be happy.'

And on and on and on.

Til apes rule the planet.

Poor, poor conservatives, w... (Below threshold)

Poor, poor conservatives, wanting desperately to maintain antiquated ways, as the future marches on, leaving them in the dust.

That's right Herman, keep o... (Below threshold)

That's right Herman, keep on "progressing" till civilization meets ruination. So much for values, individual responsibility & morals. No one can judge you and your behavior because you have an excuse for everything. It's always someone else's fault.

Find someone else to pay for it though.

Yeah, BillyBob, so much for... (Below threshold)

Yeah, BillyBob, so much for "progressing". So much for Blacks and women getting to vote. So much for all people in our society gaining equal right to live their lives in the same manner that you live yours. No one is asking you to pay for their marriage, jackass. Go pick your hood up from the dry cleaners.

I'm a little confused here ... (Below threshold)

I'm a little confused here (sarcasm).

Our liberal posters equate conservatism with racist homophobia, and repeated berate JT for his conservative views. Uh, but didn't JT just repeat his long touted views supporting homosexual civil unions? Perhaps its just easier to revert to stereotypes and leave any arguments based on reality to JT, with banal name-calling and grade school yard yammering the only weapons in your armamentarium,






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