LGBT community promotes domestic partnership registry

Saturday, December 27, 2008 | 6:40 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Columbia is working to gather support to create a domestic partnership registry for couples 18 and older who are in cohabitating relationships. 

Missouri banned same-sex marriage four years before the recent passage of California's ban, Proposition 8.Supporters of the registry say it's important to establish a list of simple rights and suggested benefits and to validate the relationships of LGBT individuals.

St. Louis, Kansas City and Jackson County already have domestic partnership registries. The St. Louis registry, passed in 1998, is "very limited in scope," said A.J. Bockelman, executive director of Missouri's statewide LGBT advocacy group PROMO. It only ensures the right to visit a partner in the hospital or in jail, according to the ordinance.

"The extra, added component that can be good across the board for registries is giving an employer some way to recognize there is some sort of a relationship between two people in order to have domestic partner benefits," Bockelman said. "Domestic partner registries by no means require a business entity to have (domestic partner) benefits."

The Columbia LGBT community and its supporters are lobbying Mayor Darwin Hindman and the rest of the City Council to garner support for a registry.

Many entities and businesses, including Boone Hospital Center in Columbia and all Fortune 500 companies, give partners health insurance benefits already. It's not mandatory, though, and Bockelman said the registries can frustrate people because of their limits.

"This is not marriage," Bockelman said. "This is nowhere near the rights and privileges of marriage." 

Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser appreciates the difference. She said she is "all for" visitation rights, such as at hospitals and prisons, for everyone but is uncertain she "approves of marriage in the traditional sense" for same-sex couples.

Some registries give rights to partners concerning the disposition of remains, notification of family members, use and access to public facilities and health-care decisions. The latter is most important to David Huddlestonsmith, 64, who worries about his daughter and partner if he were to die.

Huddlestonsmith recently underwent surgery at Truman Veterans Hospital. Even though his partner, Dave Collins, has no legal right to visit Huddlestonsmith, the hospital let him in. Huddlestonsmith also asked to give his partner power of attorney in case of an emergency, but there is no legal guarantee the hospital would honor that if Huddelstonsmith died or was incapacitated.

“We’re asking basically for some equality,” Huddlestonsmith said.

He's dealt with inequality his whole life, he said. He joined the Navy during the Vietnam War, serving as a doctor. Eventually, he had to leave the military because he had a partner and gained custody of his sons.

"If I had been found out to be gay, I would've been discharged on the spot," he said.

He decided not to take the risk because of his family, so he retired without full military benefits. Now, he receives health insurance through the military, but that doesn't extend to his partner or his daughter. As he grows older and his health declines, he said, his chance of getting a job is close to zero. He said because he has faced discrimination that has limited his work opportunities, he survives on his Social Security and raising dogs part time.

"I'm too old and too over-educated to get a job," he said, noting that it's not for lack of trying.

Unlike Huddlestonsmith, Travis Lauhoff, 20, moved to Columbia to escape discrimination. Lauhoff and his partner, Jason Barber, 24, are new to Columbia but are trying to become involved in the LGBT community here.

Lauhoff said he enjoys his job at Subway, where he hasn't felt any discrimination in regard to his sexual orientation. While he was living in Marceline, businesses refused to hire him, and people frequently threatened and taunted him, he said.

He and Barber both said they think Columbia is very accepting and want to register as domestic partners.

"I'd like to have all the same rights that straight people have," Lauhoff said. He paused, then continued. "That may never happen, but ..."

Showing his resignation in his hopes for equality, he said his opinion of Columbia wouldn't change if the council didn't approve the registry. He said he supports legalizing gay marriage, but right now he wants mostly to show people that same-sex relationships are valid.

 "Most of my straight friends think (gay people) go from person to person," Lauhoff said. "You've got to give them positive reinforcement. You've got to show them people who have been together for a while and actually are happy."

Lauhoff said he thinks passing an ordinance creating the registry is possible in Columbia. The LGBT community already has contacted members of the council, and Huddlestonsmith approached Hindman about the idea. Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe said she saw a draft of the ordinance already.

"We talked about it, and I had a couple suggestions," Hoppe said. "There’s still some kinks to work out of it. So, I think they’re gonna come back and take a little while to sort of revise it and talk with some more people. I think if the ordinance is constructed well, it has the potential to serve a variety of people in a positive way. My guess is that it would have a good chance of passing."

She suggested changing the language to make points optional rather than mandatory.

"Rather than require the University Hospital to recognize partners, it establishes a means that makes it easier for them to do that if they want to do that," Hoppe said.

She said registries also could benefit people outside the LGBT community, such as elderly heterosexual couples.

"A point that they raised was that it would apply to senior citizens who don’t get married for a variety of reasons, and this will help them in terms of having a better process for visiting in the hospitals and a variety of other things," Hoppe said.

Many widowed senior citizens fall in love again but don't want to lose Social Security benefits from a deceased spouse, Bockelman said. Registering as a domestic partner would allow them to keep those benefits while having a new relationship recognized.

"We’re not just thinking of the gay folks and the LGBT community; we’re thinking of everybody because Columbia has a huge drawing of retired people," Huddlestonsmith said. "If we had a DPR, it would be more attractive to all people."

Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala said it is "no secret" that he's been supportive of the LGBT community. He encourages residents to share with the council any proposals they think would improve the city.

"At the outset, I think it sounds like a great idea," Skala said.

Skala hasn't seen a proposal for the registry or talked to other council members about it, but he said he feels "pretty comfortable in this community that there’s a lot of us that approach these big issues from a thorough point of view."

"There always is opposition to big topic, emotional issues, but I'm confident that most people aren’t threatened by the idea that other people have a different point of view," Skala said, characterizing the council as more progressive than in the past.

Huddlestonsmith, Lauhoff and Barber said they'd be happy with any benefits they could get but want to work toward even more.

"If people really pay attention to what is being asked for, which is the same human rights for LGBT people as other people, there shouldn’t be any real opposition," Huddlestonsmith said. "We are a progressive community, we’re a university town, and we really need to catch up in some of our policies to other cities."

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T M December 27, 2008 | 8:36 p.m.

Apartheid: A system of laws applied to one category of citizens in order to isolate them and keep them from having privileges and opportunities given to all others.
Stop gay apartheid.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 27, 2008 | 9:49 p.m.

Your definition of apartheid is "gay."
["Strategists in the National Party invented apartheid as a means to cement their control over the economic and social system. Initially, aim of the apartheid was to maintain white domination while extending racial separation. Starting in the 60's, a plan of "Grand Apartheid" was executed, emphasizing territorial separation and police repression.
With the enactment of apartheid laws in 1948, racial discrimination was institutionalized.]**Please don't confuse racial civil rights with a moral issue. (Unless you're a black gay man living in Africa during the '60's.)

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 28, 2008 | 3:37 a.m.

So the City Council is looking at accepting and adopting an ordinance that would allow inappropriate behavior that has been instilled into our children from very far back in time and even condone that behavior as such that is acceptable.

Doesn't that go totally against the grain of this so called and self proclaimed good "Christian Community" in this so called good "Christian State" in this good "Christian Part" of the country that has more churches per square area than fast food chains or gas stations?

Looks like the proverbial oxymoron doesn't it?

What will the City Council ok next the burning of crosses in Peace Park as a show of protest as after all if you are going to ok one immoral behavior you might as well just ok them all.

Might as well set up an alter in Peace Park as well so the Pagan Worshipers who choose to can sacrifice whatever it is they do in those deep dark ceremonies late at night.

Might as well just go ahead to and ok all immorality then there would be no need for a police department either because law enforcement would not be needed.

After all we should be fair to everybody right?

I can see all sides of this issue but what is this city,county,state,society and nation coming down to when it leaves it's first founding beliefs in the saving and preserving of real true Traditional Christian values and morals. Last I checked the Bible has not been rewritten to give the official okie dokie to all of these immoral behaviors.

Are we or have we as a nation already become as the modern age Sodom and Gomorrah of the Old Testament who's immorality was so great that they were destroyed and not a trace is left to this day but a spot in the sands. That is all archeologists and biblical historians have ever found is just a spot in the sand and there immorality was radically out of control.

Being or calling yourself a Christian does not give you the freedom to do whatever immoral acts or behaviors you desire to do but in fact it means that you turn over a new life and follow the moral code Christianity teaches.

LGBT is no more being a Christian that a murderer is being a law abiding citizen. They both end up hurting our society in the long run.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 28, 2008 | 3:51 a.m.

We can have the CIT counsel them whenever they display inappropriate behavior in public..........


(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 28, 2008 | 3:55 a.m.

If someone feels that homosexual acts are immoral, then don't practice them. But let others do as they believe. Christians do not have a monopoly on morality.


(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 28, 2008 | 10:47 p.m.

Decades-long fight
Once classified a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association and legislated through anti-vice laws, gays and lesbians have struggled for civil right protections for decades — a movement that gained momentum after a routine police raid at a gay bar in Greenwich Village led to rioting in 1969.

California's Supreme Court 4-3 ruling in May said sexual orientation — like gender, race and religion — is a minority group entitled to equal protection under the law.

But not everyone believes the struggle for marriage equality should be considered as a civil rights issue.

“It's not a civil rights issue, it's a moral issue,” said Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law.

“I think it's all a public relations attempt to use language and distort meaning to advance their agenda. Marriage has never been a free for all for any human relationship under the seal of the government. It's offensive to frame it as a civil rights issue.”

Liberty Counsel is a Virginia-based nonprofit founded in 1989 that uses education and litigation to advance conservative religious beliefs.

Exit polls indicate that marriage equality advocates need to strengthen their outreach and education in the black and Latino communities, who largely supported Proposition 8, which overturned a state Supreme Court's decision legalizing gay marriage earlier this year.

Politicos point to the conservative religious beliefs of blacks and Latinos for the ban's passage — a major hiccup in framing marriage equality as a civil rights issue, experts say.

“It's been touchy because people of color don't actually see gay civil rights as the same as black and Latino rights,” said Barbara Cox, who is a national authority on sexual orientation and the law and professor at California Western School of Law in San Diego.

“So often they don't see this as a civil rights issue because of the morality issue. Many people say that you choose to be gay. My response is that heterosexuals don't believe they choose to be straight.”

The deeply religious, who believe homosexuality is a sin, argue a lifestyle choice should not be protected class.

“It's a harder battle in terms of winning civil rights,” said Juan Lujan, a Mexican historian and adjunction professor of history with California State University, San Bernardino.

FYI: New York Times article
What Gay Unions Don’t Guarantee
Published: October 31, 2008

The list below outlines the benefits same-sex married couples (and those with civil unions) generally receive, as well as what they still need to be concerned about.
(If interested, look it up for yourself on the New York Times archives page. Personally, I think the American Psychiatric Association had it right, back in the '60s. But that's just my opinion.)

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 28, 2008 | 10:53 p.m.

Anyone interested can read my posting above...

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 29, 2008 | 4:34 a.m.

Homosexuality has been around as long as recorded history has been with stories of ancient civilizations being decimated by mighty forces which utterly destroyed those civilizations for this immorality which in alot of cases archeologists have found the ancient remains of those cities spoken about in those stories.

There are also such stories of one ancient civilization being commanded by some might force of power to wipe out other civilizations for this immorality as well.

These immoral behaviors have been looked down upon for centuries on end and if they were so moral or ethical as some claim how come there are all of these stories of these past immoral civilizations coming to an end and their remnants scattered across the lands with their cities abandoned and left in ruins to this day?

It would just be common sense that these types of civilizations who practice(d) and promote(d) this type of immorality were not meant to survive.

If you have some facts from history please present them for all of us to think about.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz December 29, 2008 | 10:44 a.m.

Well Chuck, here's hoping you and Ray speak against this proposal before the council if our very civilization is at stake.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 29, 2008 | 12:09 p.m.

John Schultz did you ever hear the phrase "Those who do not remember history are destined to repeat it themselves"?

That is the point you do not think will ever happen do you just like nobody ever thought we would ever have a African American President.

God loves non believers John Schultz...even you.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 29, 2008 | 1:25 p.m.

Here is a balanced discussion of reasons why Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. Homosexuality is a possibility, as was lack of charity and ill treatment of strangers. It's not nearly as cut and dried as many think.

Also, when was the last time anyone heard of fire and brimstone raining from the heavens? I'm not real worried about it.


(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich December 29, 2008 | 1:34 p.m.

OR how about none of that stuff ever happened?! What a crazy idea that is!

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 29, 2008 | 1:40 p.m.

Here's one possible explanation:


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 29, 2008 | 2:20 p.m.

Art Vandelay prove it never happened.

Archeologists say it did.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich December 29, 2008 | 2:27 p.m.

Archaeologists don't say some invisible imaginary guy in the sky was responsible for destroying those cities.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 29, 2008 | 2:35 p.m.

Here is the question; can you prove it DID happen?

Art can't prove a negative, but you should be able to prove a positive; if it did happen........


(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 29, 2008 | 2:35 p.m.

And prove this never happened either:
(Hitler And Homosexuality)

And read this concerning how homosexuality can affect society and our civilization.....
Civilization Watch
First appeared in print in The Rhinoceros Times, Greensboro, NC
By Orson Scott Card February 15, 2004
Homosexual "Marriage" and Civilization

And then , get back to me. We'll talk amongst ourselves...

(Report Comment)
John Schultz December 29, 2008 | 3:13 p.m.

Chuck, you seem pretty sure of yourself that I'm a "non beliver" - too bad you are wrong again.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 29, 2008 | 3:28 p.m.

Art Vandelay archeologists have found the remnants of those cities and others and they have also found the remnants of Nineveh which was also destroyed according to history books in the same fashion as Sodom and Gomorrah for it's immorality too.

Those who refuse to learn from history are destined to repeat it later in life.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich December 29, 2008 | 3:56 p.m.
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Ricky Gurley December 29, 2008 | 4:55 p.m.

Did they find any pillars of salt in those remnants?

All I see in these articles that you present Ray, is people that don't approve of homosexuality.

I simply don't understand it. But, I also respect other people enough to let them make their personal choices without any arguments, preachings, and/or interference from me. Someone's sexual preference is also NOT a part of the criteria as to whether or not I can cal that person a friend and they can call me a friend.

Those are my views, plain and simple.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 29, 2008 | 5:00 p.m.

Art Vandelay Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed due to their great immoralities.

Wikipedia presents this issue quite well from all sides.

Unless you claim Wikipedia is full of lies.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 29, 2008 | 5:57 p.m.

"Food for thought"
The nine most terrifying words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help'

Friday, May 16, 2008
My Arguments Against Gay Marriage

(Report Comment)
Matt Y December 29, 2008 | 6:44 p.m.

Wait, are there some of you trying to argue that the Bible is a legitimate, accurate historical record?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 29, 2008 | 6:51 p.m.

Matt: I'm not.
(I'll keep my personal opinion regarding the bible's historical accuracy to myself, for now.)
I do however think that it's a better book than Mein Kampf or the Communist Manifesto.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 29, 2008 | 6:54 p.m.

Matt Y can you come up with more accurate references of documented ancient history than the Torah,Quaran and the King James Version of the Bible?

All three of them do not condone homosexual behavior at all.

Three ancient historical type documentations handed down over time sure do show quite a statistical consensus view to alot of people.

If you get into the original word translations you will find similarities through out the three as well.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 29, 2008 | 7:42 p.m.

Matt: Historically accurate or not, it makes one heck of a guide book for human behavior, morality, values and ethics.
(History tends to be a form of "story telling" no matter what.)
It also represents our heritage and is valued as "the word" for those who believe in a power greater than themself.

Even, gentiles, hedonistics and heathens can find their way to a healthy, spiritually-full, qualitative life-style.

No longer is God's word reserved just to early Biblical Jews.
What a world, what a world.

(Report Comment)
Matt Y December 29, 2008 | 8:12 p.m.

It's interesting that you bring up the Bible as being a guidebook for morality considering its reprehensible content. Take the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, whom many of you have taken to be a scathing damnation of homosexuality. When the angels sought refuge in Lot's home, what did he do? He offered his virgin daughters to the crowd to be RAPED. And Lot is the good guy!

I have not even begun to chronicle the torture, slavery and murder of innocents that appears in your 'guidebook for human morality'. With the exceptions of stealing and murder, the ten commandments (all three versions thereof) don't touch on the exhaustive list of crimes that god condones. To claim that the vast majority of lessons taught in the Bible are anything but antiquated is to betray your intelligence and reason.

The typical response to this is that all of these things occurred in the Old Testament, and because Jesus "fulfilled" the covenant, the old laws don't apply. Then that throws your argument about homosexuality out as well. Jesus spoke nothing of homosexual activity. Don't you think that if it was THAT important, your lord and savior would have said something?

Charles, religious scholars and archeologists can find better documentation of historical facts than that of the Bible. As an example, Egyptian inventories, which were extraordinarily exhaustive, mention absolutely nothing of the enslavement of millions of Hebrews as claimed in Exodus. In fact, much of the early Bible makes claims that have no corroborating evidence. It simply doesn't meet the burden of proof that modern scholarship demands. And of course you're going to find similarities in the Torah, Qur'an and Bible. The Torah is in the Bible, and the Qur'an is a self-described sequel to the Bible. In the real world, they're all works of the same near eastern tradition.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 29, 2008 | 9:43 p.m.

Matt Y: I identify more with the Judaic-Christian teachings than I do with pro-gay activists. In my opinion, the teachings of Jesus did not include throwing away the old testament. The new testament is an outgrowth and continuation of the old.

Please let me know when LGBT finishes writing the third testament. Make sure it has a "rainbow" cover, so I'll know it when I see it...

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 29, 2008 | 9:44 p.m.

Ahhh, and "educated man"; as Chuck likes to tell everyone they are not.......... LOL.


(Report Comment)
Matt Y December 29, 2008 | 11:26 p.m.

You're perfectly free to identify with whomever you like.

I am, however, troubled that those on your side speak with such vile hatred towards a group of people who want nothing more than to have their shot at a loving relationship. In a world with a 50% divorce rate, shotgun-weddings at drive-through chapels, crack-babies with no fathers, you would think that a stable, loving relationship would be something we would strive towards. You can try to fuddle the issue by saying that we would have to allow marriage between people and dogs, polygamy (such as appears prominently in the Bible) adults and children, etc., but none of those are nearly in the same class as two consenting adults.

I just don't get why this is such an important issue to you guys. They don't want to make you gay. They don't want ot make your children gay. They want to be left alone - but they want to enjoy the same benefits that others do. You don't have to call it marriage. You don't have to like it. Just let them be.

Personally, I'd like to see the federal benefits for religious sacraments completely stripped. There is no such thing as the "traditional family". It's a relatively modern invention - and the government trying to define and force what family means is definitely not a good thing.

I am not gay, and don't even necessarily count gay people amongst my best friends, but I truly believe that the fact that we're having this discussion in the year 2008 means that we have a long way to go before we "...shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against [y]our countrymen..."

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 30, 2008 | 12:31 a.m.

The secular progessive leftist gay activists advocate as though it has never been a matter of just being left alone. It is an agenda to promote and ahieve full, unconditional acceptance and promotion of the homosexual life style. http://prcatholicinformation.aquinasandm... - 142k

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 30, 2008 | 3:24 a.m.

Matt Y Lot was willing to sacrifice his own flesh and blood rather than to see God's messengers hurt in any way shape or form due to Lot knew the immorality in the city itself.

Do you notice in the story that the crowd refused the young tender women but instead desired to have those strangers whom were God's messengers instead.

Now if you also read through the Bible,Torah,Qur'an you will see God's messengers were usually depicted as in the forms of man not women.

Now if we take that into account we can clearly see that the crowd outside of Lot's house was wanting to practice their immorality upon those men and not women which gives us the view that the main form(s) of immorality spoken of in that story is homosexuality which was one of the reasons that city was destroyed for.

Oh I apologize for the long sentences you say you cannot understand. Maybe you have a reading disorder that does not allow you to concentrate very long on a subject or a chain of thought. Did you know that is classified as a Developmental Disability?

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich December 30, 2008 | 4:00 a.m.
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Charles Dudley Jr December 30, 2008 | 4:55 a.m.

Art Vandelay the points I make are valid by documented factual information gathered together in any major library you might visit around the world or via the internet.

Sure they are compiled by man and man is quite prone to mistakes but all of these documentations once gathered together and studied in their context show a obvious consensus point of view.

History is supposed to be our teacher not something we choose to use only when convenient to our own whims.

Many times society forgets it's past mistakes and ends up reliving those mistakes all over again some time later in time.

It is the nature of the beast.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich December 30, 2008 | 6:05 a.m.

No, they're not valid.

Stop living in Imaginationland.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 30, 2008 | 6:59 a.m.

Art Vandelay if they are not valid and relevant how come then these same teachings,lessons and theologies are still being taught in Seminaries and schools of Biblical Theology by highly accredited professors who have made it their life time careers.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich December 30, 2008 | 9:14 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Ray Shapiro December 30, 2008 | 8:19 p.m.

Charles says: Art Vandelay if they are not valid and relevant how come then these same teachings,lessons and theologies are still being taught in Seminaries and schools of Biblical Theology by highly accredited professors who have made it their life time careers.

I'd like to add, "What are militant gay activists teaching?"
And, to who?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 31, 2008 | 2:52 a.m.

ray shapiro that is a great point what are they teaching as examples to our young children in society?

This is what every parent should be asking themselves too.

(Report Comment)
monique quayle January 23, 2009 | 2:35 p.m.

Charles & Ray: Well, to answer your question "What are militant gay activists teaching?" The answer is: it depends on the subject - Spanish, English, Algebra, Computer Science - you name the subject and I'm sure there is an activist who teaches in that area.

Ah, but morally speaking I think we're teaching that people are different and we need to respect that and legally protect the rights of all people.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 23, 2009 | 3:43 p.m.

Thanks for dragging up an article from last year. You could have used the article about the new meeting facility for the "everything but straight" crowd, instead of reminding us of how unaccepting some of us are about certain sexual behaviors. You could have also waited for the next "queer" story to hit the papers. I'm certain that there's one right around the corner.
You may have the "right" to do what you want behind closed doors, but I don't have to approve of every behavior under the sun or endorse your advocacy for acceptability.
I find what you do, under the covers, improper and immoral.
I choose to respond with disdain to overt, militant, in-your-face homosexuality as I have the right to do so.
Straights and gays obviously have the right to be employed and teach academic subjects. They may even have the right to teach "tolereance, respect and diversity." Most of all they need to teach awareness. Sometimes we need to be aware that we are not making healthy choices.
Personally, I don't think "gays" are making a healthy choice.
You have the right to agree or not.
And I have the right not to embrace your "rainbow."

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 23, 2009 | 4:03 p.m.

Golly gee Ray, you should come to the next Columbia Pridefest, probably around May I would guess. I've run a table there the past few years and Columbia must have the most mellow and agreeable bunch of militant gays in the world.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 23, 2009 | 4:29 p.m.

Dear John:
Everyone needs something to be proud of.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 23, 2009 | 4:38 p.m.

So let us know about some of your run-ins with militant gays in Columbia.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 23, 2009 | 5:04 p.m.

I have known both militant gays and non-militant gays in Columbia, on the east coast and on the west coast. I can assure you that my "challenge of tolerance and getting along" is much better with the non-militant gay. If you want me to share personal encounters with you, you'll just have to get to know me better, off the net.

(Report Comment)
monique quayle January 23, 2009 | 6:47 p.m.

From last year? For a moment I had to look at the dates, I thought that maybe this was actually truly old news but as it turns out it is still pretty recent. We are, after all, only into the first month of this new year and this article was published near the end of December 2008. While it may be 'irrelevant' or 'untimely' by a paper's standards, it certainly isn't by the community's considering that this Monday they will be discussing the registry at the public library.

I'm not quite sure what a 'militant gay' is. I am picturing army boots right now. I picture these boots on 'militant feminists' as well. I wonder what a 'militant straight' looks like!

I'm quite fortunate, Ray, that not only do I have the right to do that behind closed doors but I also have the same right to do it outside of my closed doors just as any opposite sex couple would. We can all hold hands and kiss and public but I imagine the only difference is that if I were to do so with a member of the same-sex I might be met with insults.

Fair is fair, you don't have to think I'm making a healthy choice. I don't think that eating burgers is a healthy choice but I'm not about to advocate legislation against it nor do I particularly worry that people eat burgers.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 23, 2009 | 7:23 p.m.

Yea, you are right. I used the literal meaning of last year as a lead in to my response. (I was actually looking for the recent article about LGBT's more inclusive letters and the new meeting facility, but couldn't find that article.) I did not see anything recently about the library meeting either.
My use of the word "militant" is based on the dictionary, not the military.
If you want to know what a "militant straight" looks like, add another letter to your LGBTQwearealljustreallyconfused....alphabet soup group and maybe some will attend a meeting.
I thank you for allowing me to eat hamburgers in public and I'll look the other way when I see you smootching.
Just don't let me see any tongue.
I might be compelled to ask you to get a room.
And if I get ketchup on my face, feel free to ask me to use a napkin.

(Report Comment)
DJ Lanza January 26, 2009 | 8:29 p.m.

Excuse me, people. We have strayed far off topic with all this religious dogma. The fact of the matter is clear.
The Constitution of the United States guarantees that all
men are created equal, and entitled to certain inalienable rights. Not all straight men, ALL MEN. My guaranteed right
to a family is being denied me. I didn't get to vote on straight marriage, in fact, it was never brought to a vote. You are free to have any religious views you care to.
And I as an American citizen can subscribe or reject your views. That is the beauty of America. My bible is The Constitution of the United States....and it may take some time because of all the fear stoking from the christian right, as well as ignorance and intolerance, but my life and my love is as precious as anybody elses. The fact that
many heterosexuals don't understand it or accept it doesn't make it any less true. Jesus wept.

(Report Comment)
Lane Wilson January 26, 2009 | 9:13 p.m.

Two militant atheists can get married. The god many of you speak of would not find this moral. Two people with bizarre sexual fetishes can get married. The god many of you speak of would not find this moral. A gay man can marry a lesbian. The god many of you speak of would not find this moral.
Now, please tell me why two members of the same sex getting married deserves special attention. No one is trying to outlaw these other "forms" of marriage.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 26, 2009 | 9:15 p.m.

The Constitution does not guarantee the desires which homosexuals currently advocate for, and already have certain "protections" by virtue of being Americans, first and foremost...

Things That Are Not In the U.S. Constitution


In 2004, a lot of controversy began to swirl around the topic of marriage as homosexual marriage entered the news once again. In 1999, the Vermont Supreme Court ordered that the state must make accommodations for gay unions, bringing the issue into the public eye. Vermont created civil unions as a result. In 2004, the Massachusetts Supreme Court went a step further, and ruled that the state must accommodate not just an institution equal to marriage, as civil union was designed to be, but that gay marriage itself must be offered in the state. Subsequently, mayors in New York and California to offer gay marriage in their towns and cities, citing civil rights concerns. Those opposed to gay marriage began to urge that an amendment to the Constitution be created to define marriage as being between a man and a woman only. Opponents of the amendment pointed to the failed Prohibition Amendment as a reason why such social issues should stay out of the Constitution. In the absence of any such amendment, however, marriage is not mentioned in the Constitution at any point. More information is available on the Marriage Topic Page.
It's a Free Country:

A commonly heard mantra is, "Read your Constitution - it's a free country, you know!" Well, read your Constitution - it never says it is a free country. The implication of the aphorism is that in the United States, you can do whatever you want to do, and the Constitution is there to ensure that. It is certainly true that the Constitution protects many civil rights. The 1st Amendment ensures freedom of religious choice and freedom of speech, but those things are not without limit. You cannot create a religion that allows you to kill someone without civil punishment; you cannot use libelous or slanderous words without recourse. There are other things that restrict freedom - from the ability to suspend habeas corpus to the issuance of patents. Certainly the United States is a very free country, but it is not totally free - which is actually a good thing, unless you actually like anarchy. It is interesting to note that in his confirmation hearings in 2005, John Roberts said several times, "It's a free country." It will be interesting to see how this enters into his judicial philosophy on the Court.
"Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness":
This phrase is commonly attributed to the Constitution, but it comes from the Declaration of Independence. The 5th Amendment does offer protections to our "life, liberty, or property," noting we cannot be deprived of any of them without due process of law.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 26, 2009 | 9:19 p.m.

Lane Wilson:
What part of "between a man and a woman," don't you understand?

(Report Comment)
Lane Wilson January 26, 2009 | 9:51 p.m.

I understand that fine. I also understand that polygamy used to be okay and that the old testament endorses it. I also understand that women used to be treated as property and were married off to men without consent. I think redefining marriage in these instances was probably a pretty good thing.
You know, "gay" used to mean "happy," yet no one seems too upset about its evolving definition. Why not? Didn't it change happiness forever? The answer is no, it did not. And allowing members of the same sex to marry won't hurt or change any heterosexual marriage, either.
My first question has still not been answered.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 27, 2009 | 3:39 a.m.

For me the facts of the matter are:

I do not care what you do in your own home.

I do not care how high you make it in society.

I do not care whom you have a civil union with.

I do not care where you work.

I do care though when your openly offensive to me behaviors which are against my own beliefs are intruding upon my own mental imagery and cause me distress of any kind. That is where your rights end and mine begin and visa versa.

That is as plain and simple as it gets and that is guaranteed me in the Constitution and State and City Laws governing all forms of common decency. Please respect my long held beliefs and do not shove your behaviors down my mental throat of thought and we can all get along just fine.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 27, 2009 | 4:18 a.m.

Chuck, you have no Constitutional rights to not be offended by someone else's behaviors, conduct, or beliefs, so don't try bringing that or the law into the discussion. If you feel what someone is doing is immoral, just say it.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 27, 2009 | 4:28 a.m.

John Schultz your chain of thoughts are what do not get the Libertarian party the popular vote they so much cry over not getting.

All citizens have rights and if something they find is offensive in their eyes and against their moral grain is causing them mental distress they have the rights to file complaints to the proper authorities.

If this was not so then all would be utter chaos.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 27, 2009 | 4:49 a.m.

Chuck, your digging at my political beliefs is pretty tiring and cliche, but I accept that you have no other legitimate arguments against my words. But you know, I guess by your latest post, I apparently have somewhere I can take my complaints about your "offensive in my eyes" political bashing and the "mental distress" it is causing me. Guess I should be calling the police or prosecuting attorney now? Does that sound logical? Maybe in Chuckland...

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 27, 2009 | 5:11 a.m.

John Schultz you are the one putting your beliefs out there openly to be looked at and commented on so if you do not want that to happen Mr Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Boone County don't do it.

In fact if you are the leader of your local political party why do you continually make that party look bad by bashing other citizens you should be trying to win over to your party openly here on these local forums?

I do not see any other political party leaders in our community doing the types of things you are doing on these local forums and blogs.

Everybody is entitled to their points of view and opinions and when anybody such as you comes across and tries to squelch those points of view and opinions just because you think you can that is oppression of rights to freedom of speech which is also against the Constitution.

If you only come here to "nit pick" as you normally do then please bring it to my email inbox. You know how to do that don't you? Here is the address: send all of your abusive complaints directly to there.

Save all of us the mental trauma of your consistent "nit picking" as it is rather droll anymore compared to the much more intelligent citizens who post here daily.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 27, 2009 | 7:42 a.m.

Chuck, please re-read your Constitution and let me know how my "putting my beliefs out there openly" and allegedly "bashing other citizens" is oppressing anyone's freedom of speech. If you cannot handle what I say, you can ignore me or rebut me or complain to the Missourian staff, but you do not have the right to shut me up as you seem to be alleging in this thread.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 27, 2009 | 7:46 a.m.

John Schultz and you do not have the right to continually take threads/topics off track just to continue your ongoing rounds of nit picking either about anything i post either which is the only reason you post here.

It goes both ways.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 27, 2009 | 8:35 a.m.

Until the Missourian or the Tribune tell me to pack it up, or someone takes me to court, I can freely say what I want. If you don't like what I'm saying, rebut it instead of getting hysterical for crying out loud.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 27, 2009 | 9:47 a.m.

John Schultz only when you can actually stay on topic instead of bashing others instead of bashing the issue itself.

You do this not only here but on the Trib as well. At least this site has working comment moderation.

As I stated before if you have problems with me use my email I openly posted and keep your nit picking to that and not here. Here it is once again:

I do not believe that was why this area was created so you and others could nit pick needlessly.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 27, 2009 | 1:00 p.m.

Chuck, this will be my last post on this topic. If you don't like what I say in response to what you or someone else says, either here or on the Tribune forum, then you need to grow a thicker skin, rebut it and defend your positions, or don't post in the first place. I don't see a need to send you an email to make my points, nit-picky as you might think they are.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 27, 2009 | 1:12 p.m.

John Schultz once again if you cannot stay on topic instead of nit picking me or my personal life I will post and call you on it. Get used to it I'm not going anywhere for quite a very long time.

(Report Comment)

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