Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage Debate Heats Up in PACNW

Out here in the state of Washington our current Governor, Christine Gregoire has decided not to run for a third term. Early on in her time as governor she was a typical tax and spend liberal, boosted by a majority in the state legislature. While at one time, the state did have a surplus, the tax and spend policies of controlling democrat party have put our state’s finances in jeopardy with billions in shortfalls over the past couple of years.

Gregoire has done a decent job of trying to balance the state budget as constitutionally required, but there have been occasions where I thought she could have done more to make deeper cuts. For example, she has asked for a 20% cut in senior citizen programs, but has only asked for a 4% cut in the Department of Ecology. She also proposed a nearly 10% cut in programs for developmentally disabled programs, but has requested full funding for state employee salary increases. Nothing like kowtowing to those who get you elected.

Just recently Gregoire has come out in support of gay marriage, despite the fact that Washington State enjoys probably the most liberal policy regarding domestic partnerships in the nation, short of the actual marriage certificate. Her stated support has heated up the debate in the state legislature that is seriously considering a bill that would allow same-sex marriages. Just the other day, State Senator Mary Haugen, who is a democrat in a conservative-leaning district, has decided to be the 25th Senator to support same-sex marriage. Makes me wonder if the Washington state Republican Party apparatus is going to consider running a candidate against her. While the district has conservative leanings, it has reelected her time and time again. Maybe it is time for the folks of her district to rethink their support.

Anyways, since Gregoire is not running for a third term, into the “elect me” fray steps State Attorney General Rob McKenna, a west coast Republican (conservative on taxing and budgets, liberal on social issues). McKenna has been part of the class action suit filed against Obama Care and he has been a champion of tighter budget cuts and tax cuts. However, on the social issues side, he is a strong supporter of equal rights for gays and lesbians, going as far as to support same-sex domestic partnerships.

“My private view is that domestic partners and same sex (couples) ought to enjoy all the rights – the legal rights to inherit, to visit each other in the hospital, the whole panoply of rights – but my view of marriage is based on my religious faith. And so I have a hard time getting there,” McKenna said (Source: Seattle PI)

As might be expected by a party that is in desperate straits, nationwide at least, they have bent and twisted the truth to fit their needs. McKenna is in a closely watched and contested race for the governor’s mansion against democrat Jay Inslee. In a state that is heavily democrat, especially in Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia, the fact the McKenna has the lead in many polls has the democrats scrambling for anything they can get their hands on. Note the quote above from McKenna. His stance is quite liberal. He supports giving all rights to same sex couples, other than that little piece of paper that is a marriage certificate. This would be called the whole nine yards. But it isn’t quite far enough for a group of people who wouldn’t dream of compromise and whose idea of compromise is their way or the highway.

“Rob McKenna believes that same-sex couples don’t deserve equal rights,” alleges democratic Chairman Dwight Pelz, in a email appeal sent out hours after marriage equality gained majority support in the State Senate.

“In fact, he (McKenna) has fought to preserve discrimination in state law and has even gone so far as to equate marriage equality to polygamy and incest,” Pelz charges. (Source: Seattle PI)

Talk about bending and twisting facts to suit your needs! As pointed out above, McKenna is on record as supporting equal rights for gays and lesbians, but just not marriage. He was a supporter of, and a voter for, a referendum that gave same-sex couples all the rights that DOMA-protected marriages enjoy. But that isn’t enough for these radical groups. No compromise, my way or the highway, if you’re not with us, you’re against us; that is the mentality of these groups.

What is wrong with the compromise that we have now? Same-sex couples can now inherit their partner’s estate, they can visit and sign documents in the hospital, be listed on worker benefit plans, plus all the other benefits that traditional marriages enjoy. Why don’t these groups see this as a compromise? Why don’t they feel that supporters of traditional marriage have moved a great deal way from their sincerely held beliefs? Isn’t that what compromise is? Each group gives a little? Traditionalists have given a great deal. What have the progressives given in the matter?

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