Thursday, March 19, 2009

About The Limited Set Of Protections..

So, what the heck does the proposed statewide domestic partner registry do, anyway? Here's my take based on skimming through the general provisions for the budget proposal. Basically, it grants a limited set of 43 legal protections to same-sex couples who choose to register as domestic partners.

As has been widely discussed, the statewide registry if passed as proposed in the budget grants specific protections. The helicopter view is that they grant basic protections and other miscellaneous rights and protections to same-sex couples. The basic protections include requiring hospitals and nursing homes to allow visitation for domestic partners, providing the ability to make end of life decisions for a domestic partner if he or she is unable to, and permitting family leave in the event of the death or serious illness of a domestic partner.

Tell me which couple does not deserve to have the aforementioned basic protections and why. Explain who the hell you think you are to have the right to judge why they are not deserved. In the interest of separation of church and state convince me why your view is more right than any other one without invoking the name of any given deity and religion.

Imagine being encouraged by your boss to lie in order to use personal time to care for a loved one in the event of a serious illness. It is among the most unusual choices to ever be faced with. Believe me, it is not a pleasant situation. It is an example of the extraordinary situations same-sex couples are faced in caring for each other.

Our state motto is, "Forward!" Our governor believes that same-sex couples deserve some basic legal protection as their opposite-sex counterparts do. These protections fall under specific provisions, and try putting a price tag on some of them..

  • Victim Notification by the Department of Corrections

  • Evidences - Privileges

  • Damages, Recovery, and Miscellaneous Provisions Regarding Actions in Court

  • Crime Victim Compensation Program

  • Ownership of Property-Joint Tenancy

  • Administration and Transfer of a Deceased Individual's Estate

    • Revocation of Certain Provisions in Favor of a Former Spouse

    • Unintentional Exclusion from a Deceased Individual's Will

    • Default Rules for the Transfer of Property to Heirs in the Absence of a Will

    • Priority with Respect to Certain Personal Property

    • Right to Purchase Deceased Individual's Interest in Joint Home

    • Exempting Certain Property Transferred to the Surviving Spouse or Surviving Domestic Partner from General Creditors' Claims

    • Family Support During Administration of the Deceased Individual's Estate

    • Accelerated Distribution and Closure of Small Estates

  • Active State Duty National Guard Member Civil Relief

  • Private Employer Health Care Purchasing Alliance Program (PEHCPAP) Rights of Residents in Care Facilities

  • Consent to Admissions to Nursing Homes, CBRFs, and Hospices.
  • Mental Illness, Developmental Disability and Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) Treatment Records

  • Health Care Records

  • Power of Attorney for Property and Finances

  • Power of Attorney for Health Care

  • Consent to Autopsies

  • Consent to Make an Anatomical Gift

  • AIDS/HIV Health Insurance Premium Subsidy Program

  • Insurance Provided by Fraternal Organizations

  • Notifications Made to Family Members Following the Release of Certain Persons

  • Real Estate Transfer Fee

  • Family and Medical Leave

  • Worker's Compensation Death Benefits

  • Employee Cash Bonds Held in Trust

  • Wage Payments

  • Insurance for Employees of Local Governmental Units

  • Manufactured Home Title Transfer Fee

  • Motor Vehicle Titles

To think that for an average of $80 opposite-sex couples get automatic access to the above protections and substantially many more when they purchase their marriage license. For more about the above as they are laid out in the budget proposal, check out its general provisions.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Flip-Flopping At The Expense Of Taxpayers Regarding Same-Sex Couples

I wasn't quite sure how to remark on an old, unmarried, closed-minded, religious heterosexual woman leading a crusade to protect the religious institution of marriage.

Julaine Appling was interviewed for this week's Eye To Eye on CBS 58. During that interview, she made something perfectly clear. She is ready and willing to legally challenge the proposed statewide domestic partner registry which would grant 43 basic protections to same-sex couples in Wisconsin.

Appling has made it clear in the past that the absurd, disgusting, and far-reaching amendment which bans civil unions and "look-alike marriages" was not intended to affect benefits. Now she wants to challenge the 43 protections should the budget be passed with the registry intact. I wonder if she considers these protections to be benefits..

If she thinks of the protections as benefits, then she has in effect flip-flopped her position. I have a vague recollection of her stating to the residents of Waukesha back in 2006 that she would not do that. How many people crowded the UW-Waukesha campus and witnessed that?

What the hell?

Regardless this change in attitude is no surprise, whatsoever. But there's another thing: she gripes about the expense to the taxpayer for extending domestic partner benefits to state employees. On the other hand, she wants to put the government through the cost of a legal battle over her apparent flip-flopped position.

Again: what the hell?

The point is this. Wisconsin opposite-sex couples have the choice to enter a civil contract which automatically grants 200+ legal protections for their relationships and if applicable for their families. Same-sex couples do not have that choice.

Yes, its true that all couples have the choice to spend hundreds if not thousands on strong legal protections. Not everyone is blessed to have that kind of money. Especially now during a struggling economy. Same-sex couples which do not have the financial means to purchase strong legal protection are in effect -- I hate how this sounds -- out of luck.

I don't want my tax dollars going to a legal battle over an old, unmarried, closed-minded, religious heterosexual woman's belief that some couples do not deserve basic legal protection and that the constitution should be used to eradicate their choices and rights.

Do you?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bush's Common Ground With Some Islamic Nations

Say it wasn't so. The Bush administration was opposed to a gay rights declaration over at the United Nations? Really?

Gee, no surprises here.

Isn't it nice to see Bush share common ground with some Islamic nations? Can't forget the Vatican. They opposed the declaration as well. Regrettable that this common ground is regarding gay rights.

Friday, March 13, 2009

We Don't Need These In Wartime, Right?

Someone help me out here. We're in the middle of a war right? So, it makes perfect sense to me that we need qualified:

  • intelligence collectors
  • military police officers
  • infantry personnel
  • health-care experts

Apparently not if you're gay.

Tornado Rainbow Triangle