Thursday, April 19, 2007

I'll See Your Attorney, and Raise You One

First, let me reassure all the gay folks out there - The Gay Agenda has been located - so if you weren't issued a copy on coming out, there's still hope.

You'll just have to write Anchorage attorney Les Syren for a copy.

Syren, testifying on behalf of HJR 9 during Tuesday's hearing, offered two quotes from Carl Wittman's 1969 publication, The Gay Manifesto. It's out of print, not even available at ALibris, but Syren managed to dredge up two quotes from it on marriage and heterosexuality that he offered as proof that gay people are not only out to ruin marriage and heterosexuality, they're organized and have been working off Wittman for the last 38 years.

Because, as you no doubt realize, one dude's book written in 1969 represents all gay people everywhere in perpetuity.

Sooooo. HJR 9 passed out of the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday after a lengthy hearing. Predictably, Reps. Lynn, Coghill and Dahlstrom voted to pass it. Reps. Holmes and Gruenberg voted 'no' but Reps. Samuels and Ramras offered no recommendation. (Chickens!)

Scads of people testified on the thing. Public testimony mirrored pretty much everything said in print, radio, and television coverage of the issue already, but there were several interesting bits:
1) The language of the amendment may be such that it constitutes a revision to the state constitution as opposed to an amendment, according to Legislative Counsel Jean Michel. (Ya know, one of the folks employed by The Lege to advise it on the legality of proposed legislation.) She cautioned that the language of the proposed amendment is deceptively simple and in its breadth would affect matters far beyond marriage.

What that means, my peoples, is that if the amendment is found to be a revision, we'd have to undergo a Constitutional Convention and ratify the thing all over again. Fascinating stuff, don't ya think?

Because really, we don't have any other pressing issues to deal with here. Let's spend this year and the next wrangling over this one.

2) Representative Coghill needs to go back and read some history. Coghill, working on the 'protecting the nuclear family/marriage' motif, claimed that employer provided health benefits arose after World War II because the government wanted to support/protect the nuclear family.

Bzzzzt! No, not actually. Health care as a part of employment came about as a way for employers to attract workers during a time of labor shortage and fixed wages. The feds froze wages during WWII, but determined that fringe benefits were not subject to that freeze and better yet, were tax deductible. So companies could attract workers by offering benefits and workers were pretty happy to settle for them instead of increased wages.
I could also point out that single family households, i.e., the Rockwellian nuclear family, are a relatively recent development brought on by prosperity and an increasingly mobile population, but you are probably already dozing off at this point.

Oh, there's more - but it was a four hour hearing. It's archived at KTUU's Gavel to Gavel, and over there in the Link at right.

HJR9 now moves on to the Rules Committee, chaired by who else? Representative Coghill.

[Edited at 2 p.m. for crap grammar and typos.]

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