1. kybarsfang says

    Go Portia!

    Elizabeth, your statement doesn’t make sense. marriage is the name of an institution, not a gender. Having the same rights of a male doesn’t make you a male, but having the same rights as marriage makes it a marriage.

  2. dizzy spins says

    Hasselback is an idiot, but I think there’s a point there. Part of the reason we’re having such a hard time getting our rights is that some straight people are freaking out over semantics. They hear the word “marriage” being used for something DIFFERENT and they get scared. (Remember, straight people are scared of change).

    I think we wouldve been better off fighting for civil unions that gave us all the rights of marriage without using that hot-button word. In very short order, everyone would call in marriaged anyway–no one would say their cousin got “civil unionized” last month. Then once everyone was more comfortable with things, we could have it changed to marriage.

    I know that sounds demeaning to gays, and maybe it is, but sometimes you have to suck it up to get what you want. Do you think Blacks or Women got full equality in one step? So you think blacks said, “if we can’t marry white women, we won’t accept the right to vote”? No, they accepted what they could get and kept on fighting. And thats what we have to do.

  3. johnny says

    Without the word “marriage”, all of the laws that are already on the books (re: taxes, rights, adoption, visitation, insurance, property, death, etc.) which pertain to marriage will never view a gay civil union equally if that’s all they give us. That’s why the wingnut right doesn’t want us to have that word, they know it makes us equal.

    The words “marry, marriage, married, marries,” – or any derivatives – are important words that should be kept in the conversation BECAUSE of the laws. Our laws are written with specific words. And those specifics are the bottom line in our court system.

    Elizabitch is now and will always be a dumbass.

  4. says

    As a man, I cannot speak for women about what they want to be called. But the fact is that Elizabeth does not understand the clear deliniations she is trying to reconcile. (She is also giving us the current talking point against legalized same-sex marriage.) The point for me is that these are human rights and civil rights. They are not men’s rights or heterosexual rights, even though both of those groups have more rights legalized so they seem to Liz to be the norm.

  5. James says

    Dear Elizabeth,

    Your equation is terrible. We are not asking to be called ‘straight’, just as women weren’t asking to be called men. We are asking to be called equal, just like women where, and are.

    But sometimes when you open your mouth I’m not sure if I believe all people are equal, because you seem like a dumbass.

    Love James

  6. John says

    Although I do not agree with Hasselbeck’s argument, she is essentially giving us the summarized version of what supreme courts in several states – New York, California, Washington, Maryland, Oregon, etc. – have said.

    “Domestic partnerships and civil unions are definitely not equal to marriage because this court has identified several rights which same-sex couples have no access to. But the people are sovereign, so you gays better shut up and do as you are told.”

    If only LGBT people went after these judges with the same ferocity as they do right-wing media personalities like Hasselbeck. When the California Supreme Court upheld Prop. 8, a full 200 – 300 people showed up in San Francisco to protest.

    That’s not even a Star Trek convention.

  7. says

    As a PERSON, I want the same rights as everyone else. I am a woman, but that is a gender identity, it doesn’t make me any less or more of a person than a man. I think PEOPLE deserve equal rights. Perhaps people like Hasselbeck would like to be called IDIOTS. American apartheid needs to end and giving in to the Religious Right who want to be the moral arbiters for the rest of us by calling it “civil unions” or by keeping apartheid in place means that ALL Americans are one step further away from true freedom and equality. Hey, Hasselbeck, the evangelical idiot brigade will come for women next. Or weren’t you in class for all the history on Puritans.

  8. Observer1000 says

    If I’m not mistaken the law does not make a distinction between men and women. They are both people under the law. We do not have different laws for men and different laws for women. So why do we have different laws for heterosexuals and different laws for homosexuals?

  9. Matsy says

    What if women were given the all the same rights and benefits of voting as men in 1920, but it was called “opinion-sharing?” Would that have been OK? Could you imagine if Hazzieback made her analogy with blacks and whites in regards to segregation, suggesting that we call black people white. The sh*t would hit the fan!

  10. Michael @ says

    @ Dizzy: What’s with this “it’s just semantics” crap? Semantics have a moral side to them, too. Examples: “nigger,” “faggot,” “kike,” “spic,” etc.

    None of us should have to, nor be willing to, sit at the back of the semantics bus any more than we would job discrimination.

    Further, Your Dizziness, except for random acts, virtually every campaign for marriage equality has been preceded by fights for civil unions/domestic partnerships. In some instances we’ve gotten them and then have moved for the EQUAL OPPORTUNITY to call our relationships the same and have them legally recognized no less than straights, and, in other instances, we’ve failed at both.

    It is your constitutional right, I guess, to crawl on your belly and accept your own second class citizenship but buy a vowell and get that demanding others do the same is less free speech than the right to appear stupid and cowardly.

  11. Caleb says

    Dizzy – no one is stopping you from fighting for civil unions. The glaring problem in your statement is that you, like so many of us, are waiting for someone else to get the work done for us.

    Don’t fault the gays who are willing to stand up and fight for what they believe in – equal marriage rights. At least they are doing something.

  12. says

    I actually think that the push for gay marriage before some sort of “confirmed association” has hurt the battle in the States. In Iceland, we have staðfest samvist which translates as “confirmed association” for us gays and lesbians. It’s the same, but it has a different name. The only legal part that is left for us in Iceland is to have the term “confirmed association” abolished. By taking smaller steps, you give the straight people a time to adjust. The same thing can be said of a lot of other European countries. I really think the first focus should be the rights, and getting something giving that’s basically same thing as marriage, but without the name. Then we can focus on getting to use the name too.

    What’s happening in Iceland, is that all the people who have this “confirmed association” still say that they are married and their families refer to them as a married couple. So by allowing culture to be ahead of lawmaking is a good thing, because then people [conservatives] don’t feel like anything’s being pushed on them that they don’t want.

  13. says

    Civil Unions, the marriage that dare not speak its name. Here in Vermont, been there, done that. We had them for 9 years and they are not equal. It would be great if we could get all the rights nationally, but equality requires an identical name. Maybe if all straights give up the word “marriage” and also get only civil unions from the state, then we can agree to it.

    Courts in CA, CT, and IA have found that the only justification for having a separate status (civil unions) for gays is to codify second class citizenship and endorse discrimination.

  14. Michael @ says


    When will someone have the balls to ask any of those straights pretending there’s no difference [INCLUDING Obama] if they’ll trade their marriages for our civil unions?

  15. patrick says

    I would have really appreciated it if Portia would have replied to Elizabeth by asking if she feels the same (fucked up) theory could be applicable to water fountains or public telephones as they were 50 years ago.

    Surely hASSelback would agree that in a public accommodation comparison perspective there is much more weight on the side of marriage than there is on access to a fountain or a phone. How could she – with any integrity – defend the right to extend access to water fountains as MORE reasonable than the right to be granted the status of a legitimate and fully recognized/accepted relationship status?

    Civil unions / Domestic Partnerships / ‘colored only’ accommodations are created to cater to bigots not to make minorities feel better. The logic that there is some kind of betterment gained from accepting the less than real brand OF ANYTHING is completely false – not to mention cowardly and corrupt.

    When will we learn to show our teeth? The Maggie Gallaghers / hASSelbacks of the world do not hesitate to bear their salivating sharp fangs at us at every opportunity and we continue to think that it is not in our best interest to FULLY turn the tables on their lies, distortions and manipulations which only enables their continued notion of supremacy.

  16. Bill says

    Rights are added to marriage all the time. If gay couples get civil unions you can bet that over time because of neglect from lawmakers that the differences between civil unions and marriage will be enormous. That is one reason why only marriage is acceptable for gay couples.

  17. sparks says

    Portia speaks very eloquently about the marriage equality issue. It’s fantastic that she’s so likable; I have a feeling she could get through to some of the more moderate conservatives who are on the fence about gays and the “marriage” word.

  18. RP says

    @Dizzy Spins, you said:

    What you’re saying is different, IMO.

    I don’t think blacks called their marriage “mixed unions”, did they? They were fighting for the right to vote, and the right to marry. TWO rights.

    We’re fighting for the right to marry. We already have the right to vote. ONE right. If we want the right to marry, then we shouldn’t “settle” for a union.

    The thing is, marriage and civil union would be separately defined. It’s one thing if civil union is a part of or a kind of marriage, but it’s not, and it won’t, as long as marriage is between a man and a woman.

  19. RP says

    Sorry. The first line should’ve read:

    @Dizzy Spins, you said: ‘So you think blacks said, “if we can’t marry white women, we won’t accept the right to vote”? No, they accepted what they could get and kept on fighting. And thats what we have to do.’

  20. jeffrey says

    All the people who say we should just be trying to for “civil unions” also forget that civil unions have been granted as a consolation prize because we were fighting for marriage. If we had just been asking for civil unions we would have been granted the right to go steady.

  21. says

    “I think we wouldve been better off fighting for civil unions that gave us all the rights of marriage without using that hot-button word.”

    No, you fight for full equality because anything less isn’t equality, it is second class citizenship. If we had fought only for civil unions, they would have wanted to give us less, because that is the whole point of separate categories: to make once class of people less than another. If CUs and civil marriage are the same, then the only reason to distinguish between them is to honor prejudice.

    That isn’t to say that we won’t have to make compromises along the road to full equality, as we did originally in VT, as they have in WA etc. But you don’t fight for compromise. Compromising in the interest of giving a greater number of people some protections instead of none may be a necessary step but if we make that our ultimate goal then we will never get what we deserve.

  22. Henry says

    A more appropriate Hasselbeck analogy would have been calling women, “Legal Equivilants”. The words “Man” and “Woman” have existed long before the women’s suffrage movement, they have been built into our culture and our understanding of what those words mean whereas “civil union” is a new term, and new terms are only created for new concepts. Love between two people isn’t a new concept, and the title “civil unions” (aside from being invalid in a lot of federal laws) is demeaning to those relationships.

  23. Sargon Bighorn says

    Kari Emil, that’s interesting about Iceland. The only weakness I see is “giving str8 people time to adjust”. Are Gay people in Iceland Orange with purple stripes that others need to adjust to them? Can you tell a Gay person by looking? Where’s the adjustment? Or are you really suggesting Acceptance? Laws of equality don’t need time for others to adjust. Either the laws are applied equally or they are not. What it really comes down to, in Iceland or America is str8 people not wanting grant Gay people equal civil rights. It’s not more complex than that.

  24. christopher says

    This argument becomes more and more nuanced and complicated as time goes on. To clarify as a gay man; I want the right just as any other person in this country who is not gay has the right to get married. I want it called Marriage and I want it to be the exact same contract that a man and woman can have now, not something under another name, not something that confers even one less right that “straight” people now have. Until that happens anything less is just that, less. If it takes a year fine, if it takes fifty then that’s what it takes. If a civil union makes you happy in the interim then fine, get one.

    To think it’s almost 2010 and discrimination in this country is still legal and happily tolerated is tragic and does not bode well for this world going forward. Gay marriage is not a religious argument, I would never expect, nor would I want, any religious institution involved in my marriage. I’m tired of parsing words for the sake of egomaniacal straight folks who think the only reason we are having this debate is to lessen something they have or to be fodder for those folks who feel it’s their position in life to dictate to and discriminate against other human beings.

  25. says

    I hate this issue. On the one hand I could care less about Gay Marriage. And I think all unions should be civil and if you want, go get it blessed wherever.

    On the other hand, as a Black man, I can’t get behind the whole separate but equal bullshit.

    Having said all of that, I’m sick of seeing millions of dollars be thrown down the drain by large orgs that never seem to get anything done. Imagine how many scholarships for LGBT youths could be paid for with the “donations” hoovered up by the big LGBT “leaders”. How many lawyers, judges, political activists, etc., could we already have in places where they could make a real difference if we spent our money more wisely?

    I am not sure if the second class treatment or the misappropriation of our LGBT treasure is more disgusting.

  26. TJ says

    So Elizabeth, if the rights and MEANING are more important than the word itself (and the commitment, and the relationship, and your particular religious sanctifications and ceremonies, etc), why do you and others of your ilk have such a problem with its use?

  27. says

    I love Portia de Rossi. I thought Hasselback’s question was valid(ish) in the context set up by Joy Behar, but the response to it was what was important–and Portia handled that better than anyone else. I’m in agreement with Derek. We need to see more of her.

    But moving on… Did she talk about the Arrested Development movie at all?!?!?!

  28. Erik says

    When a wedding is performed by a justice of the peace and not a priest its a civil service (anyone remember that term?). That makes it a civl right.

    The same ceremony performed by a priest isn’t legal without the licence you’d get from a justice of the peace who bestows your civil right to get married.

    I think it’s funny that “marriage” depends upon a civil service (or licence) and they call our weddings “civil unions” doesn’t that make our weddings a little more official?

  29. blah says

    I don’t watch the show, so I don’t have any advanced biases for or against its hosts, but it’s pretty clear that it is Joy who asks the question and Elisabeth just tries to sort of clarify Joy’s question through an analogy. It may not have been a great analogy, but why are people jumping all over her for the separate/equal scenario, when that was all Joy?

  30. lucas says

    as a gay man, I don’t care what they call it. they can call it a freaking Quizzlewat if they wish. cause the name isn’t the issue. it’s the definition that matters. if the churches don’t want to allow us to stand before God, fine. God doesn’t decide if my partner can inherit from me, get health insurance through me from my employer, file taxes with me, own a house with me, adopt kids with me etc.
    let Marriage remain this church blessed man and woman BS if you like. but give me equal right under the law. I’ll sort out things with God when the time comes.

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