Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Domestic Partnership on the Ballot In WA State - Ref 71

The talk radio airwaves are full of advertisements calling for the rejection of Ref 71 in Washington State, a referendum addressing Gay Marriage versus Domestic Partnership Laws. The text of the referendum reads:
Ballot Title
Statement of Subject: The legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5688[4] concerning rights and responsibilities of state-registered domestic partners [and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill].

Concise Description: This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage.

Should this bill be:

Approved ___
Rejected ___

Ballot Measure Summary
Same-sex couples, or any couple that includes one person age sixty-two or older, may register as a domestic partnership with the state. Registered domestic partnerships are not marriages, and marriage is prohibited except between one man and one woman. This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of registered domestic partners and their families to include all rights, responsibilities, and obligations granted by or imposed by state law on married couples and their families.
The problem is two fold. Social Conservatives see this as a bridge to Gay Marriage recognition in the state of Washington, and Gays and Lesbians who may otherwise be sympathetic to the Tea Party "Limited Government" cause are being turned away from "Conservative" issues because of the dictation of "Social Morality."

The rift in the Republican Party is the loyalty to social causes, regardless of the impact on true liberty. In this way, Republicans use the power of elected office to dictate social morality. This is wrong. It is this abuse of power that is the cause of concern when democrats dictate social morality when it comes to expression of religion or attacking Fox News as a legitimate news source. This is wrong. This is not the intended use of government in the United States. It is not a force to rule, but rather a mediator to the Just Rule of Law, protecting Persons and Property - Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

What is the TRUE ROLE of Government? What authority do we want to give the government, understanding that if we give a certain power, it is bound to be used against us when the "others" are in control... which holds true for whichever side of the aisle you find yourself seated. How much liberty are you willing to surrender?

Considering Domestic Partnership. I cannot advocate more for the cause of liberty, especially when it comes to an individual's free choice to grant power of attorney or trust over their own person or property. The law should not dictate morality. Rather it should allow for equal protection under the law. As such, as a true advocate for absolute liberty and with an understanding that government has the most limited role in our daily lives, it is only right to support legislation that protects equal rights for all.

Considering Gay Marriage. Marriage, as is defined in the Pierce County (WA) Marriage License, is a "blessed event". As such, the government should eliminate all forms of licensing or regulating marriage. Of course, protection of minors, the population from incest, etc. should be expected and upheld, but the concept of marriage as a "blessed event" should be eliminated from government control. We should advocate for a move to a single service system of "Common Law" property and legal authority to protect individual and joint property - a contract between two adults with a common interest in the legal protection of property.

Let us take into consideration a group of three women, 60 years or older, all of whom are heterosexual, widowed or never married, and who all decide that for their safety and friendship they will live together. They all use equal sums of money to purchase a home, are equally responsible for the maintenance of the property, and have equal share in the decoration and furnishing of the home. Because of their common interest they choose to also investigate the legality of being labelled as the "care-taker" for one another to allow access or medical decision authority in the case of emergency. These women should have the ability to willingly allow certain legal privileges to their "domestic partners". Sexual orientation has nothing to do with this case, but should the women happen to be intimate with one another, the legal basis for their desire to allow legal authority over their person or property is no less substantiated.

Because of relocation issues, I was not eligible to register to vote in this November 3rd election. However, as a staunch conservative and Liberty Republican, I openly support Referendum 71 as a cause for Personal Liberty in this State.

For those of us who support the cause of the tea parties, the cause of liberty from excessive government control, and who support true reduction in the size of government, it is necessary to consider the power which you are willing to grant to government. As I said, it is a power which may be used against you at some point in the future.


  1. After a careful re-reading of your post, I believe you have taken the correct stance. Here's hoping enough people are convinced to make it happen.

  2. Exactly... Regardless of our own feelings toward homosexuality, there should be legal ability to afford joint legal authority over joint property, or to allow individuals of the same sex to make healthcare choices on their own behalf. Equal protection under the law should never consider sexual orientation, rather should afford increased liberty where vague legality currently exists. It is a tough pill to swallow for entrenched Social Conservatives... But right is right and we should consider hypocrasy in disallowing liberty while at the same time crying out for it in other areas.

  3. I have never had a problem with domestic partnerships and rights. I am against using the word "marriage" for a relationship other than a man/woman. That is all. But maybe I'm liberal that way.

  4. Opus - Exactly. That is why this referendum explicitly defines marriage as one man and one woman, but goes on to afford legal rights to whomever may so choose to apply. It may be that in the future the govt. only recognizes "Domestic Partnerships" as nothing more than a legal contract protecting joint property (which is what marriage license/contract is - in order to split property in divorce!) and marriage rites will be left to the churches. What a great day that will be, when the govt. gives up power over our most sacred religious/spiritual rites!