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Thread: Reichen & Chip

  1. #21
    LG.
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    Actually, I believe (though I haven't researched in several years in the topic) that Hawaii doesn't have legalized gay marriages either. Any state which allowed legal marriages would be entitled to "full faith and credit" for such decrees in other state courts under the US Constitution. Both Hawaii and Vermont have different types of domestic partnership registrations which grant benefits under state laws, and many smaller governmental entities (cities, counties, etc.) have passed similar legislation. I seem to recall the Vermont statute refers to the decree as a "civil union", and I can't remember what Hawaii's statute was called, but it give legal presumptions for partners in the event of death, the power to act at personal representative, etc. That doesn't mean that they can't refer to themselves as "married" in my book, however, as they would be married if the law would allow it. I have seem a very, very odd circumstance in the US with a same sex legal marriage. I believe the jurisdiction was Texas, but won't swear to it, and the situation was two biological women, one of whom was born a man but had since had a sex change operation. Because under the applicable state law, the marriage statute referred to the person's gender at birth, and these two people were of opposite gender at birth, they were granted a marriage license.
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  2. #22
    Leo
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    I don't think that they're married in a legal sense. They may consider themseleves married to each other, but I doubt they are married under the laws of any state.

  3. #23
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    Hawaii legalized gay marriages way back in 1978. They went from the most restrictive marriage policies (mixed race marriages were prohibited there for a long time) to the most liberal one. However, it is the only state in the US you can legally get married. Some people think you can be married in Vermont, but they only acknowledge marriages done in states or countries that allow gay marriages and gives them the same rights that they give heterosexual marriages, but does not permit homosexual people to physically get married in Vermont.

  4. #24
    LG.
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    I'd be interested in the citation to a current Hawaii statute which provides for gay marriages, as I have actually researched the issue. Full faith and credit under the US Constitution requires orders and judgments valid in one US state to be recognized in other US states, which is why you can get married in Vegas (with no waiting period for a marriage license) and your marriage is still valid in Minnesota (with a 7 day waiting period).

    The Human Rights Campaign website www.hrc.org which is a great resource regarding domestic partner benefits and other related issues, states:
    Couple/partner protections
    No state explicitly allows same-sex couples to marry, and the validity of marriage involving a transgender spouse is uncertain if challenged. The result: All same-sex families are denied the more than 1,000 federal rights, benefits and protections of marriage.

    Only one state, Vermont, permits same-sex couples to obtain a civil union license, which makes them eligible for the state-provided benefits and protections of marriage. However, a civil union does not make a couple eligible for any of the more numerous federal benefits of marriage, nor is there a guarantee that a civil union obtained in Vermont will be recognized anywhere else.

    Ten states and the District of Columbia provide health insurance benefits to the domestic partners of government employees.

    And 37 states have laws that ban recognition of marriages of same-sex couples that may be performed in other countries or, should one permit it, another American state.
    Here's the link to that page of the HRC website: http://www.hrc.org/familynet/chapter.asp?article=554
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  5. #25
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    I spoke to one of my law professors and I was misinformed. They did legalize same-sex marriages in 1978, but they revoked it in 1999.

  6. #26
    LG.
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    That makes more sense, Anna, as I researched this area of the law rather extensively in 2000. There are all types of interesting legal issues, not to mention the 1996 United State Code amendment in the Defense of Marriage Act - it's all fraught with jurisdicational issues and constitutional interpretation. Of course I feel that gay marriages should be legal, but that won't cut it legally.
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  7. #27
    Starbucks is your friend Bill's Avatar
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    LG is right.

    In fact at the end of 1999, the Hawaiian Supreme Court in effect struck down the same sex marriage endorsement, but upholding a new state law which prevented those marriages from being covered under marriage licenses (and the legal protections provided therein).

    From http://www.lambdalegal.org/cgi-bin/i...ord?record=544

    Preliminary Notes on the Hawaii Supreme Court's 12/9/99 Decision


    On December 9, 1999, the Hawaii Supreme Court summarily held that Baehr v. Anderson, the landmark case of three lesbian and gay couples seeking state marriage licenses now is "moot" because of last year’s change in the state constitution. The Court held that the 1998 constitutional amendment "[took] the statute out of the ambit of the equal protection clause of the Hawai'i Constitution" at least as regards marriage licenses.



    The Ruling


    The Court did not overrule its 1993 decision that the denial of the freedom to marry is sex discrimination, although it did hold that the 1998 constitutional amendment removed access to marriage licenses from the reach of the state constitution's equal protection clause.


    The Court did not disagree with Judge Kevin S.C. Chang who found after the 1996 trial that the state has no legitimate reason for excluding same-sex couples from civil marriage.


    The Court did limit its ruling to access to marriage licenses, suggesting that the amendment might only exempt the issuance of marriage licenses from constitutional scrutiny, but that future claims for the protections, benefits, and responsibilities that come with civil marriage might be considered as a separate issue.


    The Court states that Hawaii's constitution prohibits sexual orientation discrimination, and that both sex and sexual orientation discrimination warrant strict scrutiny by the Hawaii courts.
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  8. #28
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    Although I am not homosexual and am in fact happily married to a man, I feel that gay marriages should be given legal rights. If churches do not wish to ordain the weddings under the law of the Lord, that's fine, but rights taken advantage of by heterosexuals, such as filing joint taxes and getting mortgages as a married couple, etc. should be allowed to gays. And some religions provide marriage ceremonies for gays, although they are not recognized under the law. For example, my church, the Unitarian Universalist church, has provided gay wedding ceremonies for years and I think it's great that there are more accepting environments for gays today. However, I hope these marriages are eventually recognized under the law, as it seems like such an arbitrary distinction to prevent rights to this group based on a moral issue.

  9. #29
    LG.
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    I totally agree, Anna.

    Now, to return this thread back to it's topic, about Reichen and Chip . . .

    Do you think they will fight or agree most of the time?
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  10. #30
    COMBAT MISSIONS junkie! BravoFan's Avatar
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    I'm guessing they'll fight most of the time.
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