The same sex issue: Does God really hate homosexuals or homophobes or neither?
In secular society, marriage is a contractual relationship. Within religion, marriage is a spiritual bonding. I believe in the separation of church and state and therefore I believe that contractual issues between human beings should be dealt with in the secular law. I am running for the political position of governor of Texas. I am not running for preacher, minister, priest or Pope.
There is no doubt but that I have my personal spiritual perspective but the governor of Texas must be the governor of all the citizens of Texas and as governor it is my intention to promote laws that support, bolster and preserve in fact the democratic principles of "due process" and "equal protection" under the law.
Therefore, I believe that any two adult human beings who desire to enter into a non-commercial partnership should have that relationship supported by the laws of Texas regardless of the sex of the partners. (I use the word partner as opposed to spouse because I arbitrarily reserve the word spouse for a conventional heterosexual marriage.) In a word, if two adults of the same sex, determine to enter into a non-commercial partnership as defined by the laws of the state of Texas, then so be it.
Once contracted, these non-commercial partners will be subject to virtually all the laws relating to husbands and wives that have been enacted in Texas since it became a state. This means that a dissolution would be necessary to end the partnership and it also means that the laws relating to other areas such as probate will also apply to these non-commercial partnerships.
It is not the mandate of the state of Texas to determine spiritual issues. The mandate of democracy and the state of Texas is to enact laws that promote equality, peace and harmony in society. It is the mandate of the state of Texas to pass laws that define contractual relationships. It is not the mandate of the state of Texas to disenfranchise any group of people based upon their religious or lack of religious beliefs. The mandate of the state of Texas is to deal with the secular relationships of people and not with their spiritual and religious relationships and beliefs.
I as governor of Texas will support legislation that creates what I would term a non-commercial partnership between any two adult individuals of the same sex. I think that much of that legislation could and would incorporate the laws relating to husbands and wives in a conventional marital relationships including considering income to be joint income and requiring a dissolution like any commercial partnership or conventional heterosexual marriage. It would also incorporate much of the probate law regarding hiership. It would also mandate under what conditions the individuals in these non-commercial partnerships are eligible for group health benefits provided by employers of one of the partners.
I would remind the citizens of this state that until 1920 with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution women could not vote and up until 1863 slavery was legal in the United States. Millions of men died and were permanently crippled in a war to end that slavery and provide equality and justice to the Black race. It is my hope that we can fully integrate same sex partners into our democratic legal system which was founded on equality and justice for all without an uncivil war.
I do not endorse nor advocate participation in homosexual relationships. I also do not endorse nor participate in drug use nor alcohol abuse. I do not endorse or participate second class citizenship for people of color or women. And I suggest that people of color and women who after 225 years of democracy still do not have equality in society refrain from demanding equality and justice for themselves and subordination and discrimination for those who by genetics or by environment have chosen a homosexual relationship. I further suggest that those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol acknowledge their commonality with those who engage in homosexual preferences.
It is time to quit using God as an excuse for promoting and maintaining an undemocratic democracy. In the Holy Bible: Book of Genesis 3: 16 God said to Eve "your desire will be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." With these words God forever subordinated women. Yet the majority of Christians have ignored these words and have democratically endorsed and enacted equal rights for women. If Christian democracy can ignore God with regards to the subordination of women and invest them with equality, then surely it can do the same for those with same sex preferences.
The next governor of Texas
November 15, 2001
Salvation Army nixes domestic-partner policy
By Mark O'Keefe
Newhouse News Service
Wednesday, November 14, 2001
Barraged by evangelical groups, the Salvation Army has reversed a decision made two weeks ago to give benefits to domestic partners of its employees in 13 Western states.
The ruling does not affect Texas, except for El Paso County, which is in the Salvation Army's western district.
In a turnaround made public Tuesday, the charity's national leadership declared a policy of never giving benefits to same-sex or unmarried opposite-sex partners.
"Today, the Commissioners' Conference established a national policy to extend health benefit access to an employee's spouse and dependent children only," Lawrence Moretz, who with the rank of commissioner is among the group's top U.S. officials, said in a statement. "I assure you, again, that the Salvation Army has not changed its position on marriage and the family, homosexuality or other position statements, nor have we changed any of our basic doctrines or moral positions."
Salvation Army officials did not return telephone calls seeking comment. Their new directive became public Tuesday, and conservative Christian groups that had attacked the Army for its Nov. 1 decision began instead praising the charity, one of the nation's largest.
"I am so pleased by this," said James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family, the Colorado Springs, Colo., group that led the evangelical backlash against same-sex benefits. "This is a wonderful conclusion to a very difficult situation."
Gay-rights groups, meanwhile, expressed disappointment.
"If this decision stands, the Salvation Army will have unambiguously identified itself as an anti-gay organization," said Elizabeth Birch, executive director of the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign.
Raul Muņoz, spokesman for the Salvation Army in Austin, said the policy was a concern here, although it might have had little practical effect.
"We're just very pleased with the decision of the commissioner to rescind that policy," Muņoz said. "It would have had little or no effect on us because we are not signing contracts with sexual-orientation language in them. But it was a concern of many officers, soldiers and friends of the army who had expressed their feeling to the national commander."
The catalyst for consideration of a benefits change was San Francisco's 1996 Equal Benefits Ordinance, the first of its kind in the nation. The ordinance requires organizations doing business with the city to provide the same benefits to same-sex couples and other domestic partners that they do for married couples.
Unlike thousands of other companies and nonprofit organizations, the Salvation Army had resisted offering same-sex benefits. It paid a steep price, losing $3.5 million in contracts with San Francisco in 1998 alone.
American-Statesman staff writer Dick Stanley contributed to this report.