I recently read Douglas Grimm's bigoted rant against same-sex benefits (Dec. 28, Juneau Empire) and Kenn Magowan's pretense at acceptance of benefits (Dec. 31), which was nothing but a thinly veiled rant of not equal rights and responsibilities but special rights without responsibilities - the same rant heard by various groups. While it's true the gay community does not "shove" (its lifestyle) down our throats, it preaches equal rights but in effect wants more than equal or special rights.
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Instead of continuing this silly argument, let's make the discussion be about equal rights and responsibilities. There is no law requiring benefits, etc., for nongay couples (male-female shack-up situations, or nonsexual same-sex roommates), so let's lay some guidelines.
1) What's the requirement to show you're a committed couple and not a flavor of the week, month, year, etc.?
2) If you split up, is there any responsibilities regarding division of property?
3) Why can't nongay couples who choose to live together without marriage obtain these same benefits?
I support equal rights, responsibilities and benefits for people who live equal lives. The only way around that is to legalize marriage between same-sex partners, perhaps even same-type partners, for example, human-human relationships (no pets, animals, etc.). If you're married, you get married benefits; if you divorce, you go through the same system of divorce that nongay married couples go through.
I'm just afraid that if we willy-nilly grant the same rights of marriage without (or even with) the same responsibilities to nonmarried couples of the same sex, then we'll be granting benefits to couples of the opposite sex that live together, and to couples of the same sex that are not gay but are roommates.
The gay community is like any political action group. It will "sell" you a package of goods and only accent one small part. I am not against gays, but I am for fairness and equality for all humans.