Ballot Issues

Less than a week 'til we vote. My ballot will be loaded this time around. We've got Governor, US Senator, State Senator, and on and on, for a total of about 12 elective offices. Then, there are the two referenda on the ballot - one to ban same-sex unions, one to bring the death penalty to Wisconsin. They both make my stomach clench, and a sick feeling spread through my body. I may talk about the death penalty later. For now, have a look at the proposed marriage ammendment. Here's what it says:
"Marriage. Shall section 13 of article XIII of the constitution be created to provide that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state and that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state?"
This proposal has a lot of problems. The website here can walk you through some of them. But however you feel about gay marriage, or civil unions, this proposed ammendment is just hateful. If you feel that Marriage is between one man and one woman, fine. I think it's narrow-minded to feel that way but, in the end, it's a religious argument, isn't it? *

But this ammendment doesn't just stop with regulating religious marriage. It also prohibits (yes, flat out prohibits) the formation of anything like it! What's the basis for that? If only 'marriage' is sacrosanct, why should we ban the creation of things substantially similar to it? The reason seems pretty obvious to me - a general hostility for homosexuals. If this is really about 'defending marriage', then why isn't the prohibition agains same-sex marriage sufficient? I just don't understand. If you know the answer, please share.

*There are strong religious components to marriage, and for that reason, I am flat out opposed to the idea of ANY government controlled marriage. Perhaps the legal minds could come up with an outline for a new corporate entity called a 'Household', with certain rights acruing to it's members. Current government categories would work for most instances - Head of Household, Dependent, etc. If we really wanted to, we could do this. Then, marriage could be left in the religious arena. But for now, we're stuck with this horrid amalgam of religion and politics.

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