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  1. #1
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    Default What do you think about this? (gay rights kinda question)

    I live with two room mates. One girl, one guy. And, here in Finland we have this system that I get a little money to get by if I am unemployed, but the amount of money depends on if I live with my spouse or not.

    Now, I got this letter from the department of government that takes care of the money I get. The letter asks if the girl I live with is my spouse. I will answer them no she isn't. But, my question is this: If my government has allowed gays to marry, why didn't they ask me if the guy I am living with is my spouse? He might be, they don't know... Doesn't this reflect the discrimination that gays face even if they are legalized and have the right to marry? I mean, I'm not gay, but this idea that they EXPECT her to be my spouse, but not him, it sounds like discrimination...

    Is it just me? I feel this is wrong on some level... They should either ask both for him and her or not at all. Of course it might be that they don't want to make the straight people uncomfortable with that kind of questions, but I don't think it is any more justifiable.

    (feel free to add more of this kinda gay discrimination)

  2. #2
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    I don't know if I'd call it discrimination at this point. If the law allows them to marry and to receive unemployment benefits by virtue of being married, then their failure to ask wouldn't actually be a denial of benefits of privileges. On the other hand, it's possible that gay couples would not be INFORMED that they have a right to extra unemployment, and are getting semi-shafted that way. You should call up the office and see what they say.

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    I don't know. Sometimes it takes time for things to change because (1) it's bureacracy and (2) people have their minds still in the box and haven't been challenged on that particular note.

    I forget specifically what the specifics were, but I recently was told of a snafu recently in Ohio USA regarding driver's licenses that made sense within the box (where they were basically going to invalidate driver's licenses that didn't conform to a particular standard) but that would have screwed over the entire trans population of the state.

    So the rep from the National Trans Rights Org in Wash DC called the DMV in Ohio to ask them about it, and they were sort of surprised because they hadn't realized the ramification of this seemingly insignificant regulation, and they recanted on the issue.

    I think some of it's not necessarily overt prejudice, it's just people who really aren't used to dealing with a change in the environment and people's needs and taking those factors into consideration. (YOu could even go as far to label it "incompetence" but that might or might not be fair.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  4. #4
    Reigning Bologna Princess Rajah's Avatar
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    I think they could reflect current law and avoid stepping on people's toes by rephrasing the question to ask, "Are you legally married to anyone currently living in your household? If so, enter the name of your spouse here ________."

    That would pretty much cover all the bases.


    I... suppose. Yeah!

  5. #5
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    That would be one option to get it nicely covered, Rajah.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    I don't know if I'd call it discrimination at this point. If the law allows them to marry and to receive unemployment benefits by virtue of being married, then their failure to ask wouldn't actually be a denial of benefits of privileges. On the other hand, it's possible that gay couples would not be INFORMED that they have a right to extra unemployment, and are getting semi-shafted that way. You should call up the office and see what they say.
    No, it's actually other way around. If I had a spouse it would mean that I get less. My point is that they should EQUALLY expect that I have a male spouse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I think some of it's not necessarily overt prejudice, it's just people who really aren't used to dealing with a change in the environment and people's needs and taking those factors into consideration. (YOu could even go as far to label it "incompetence" but that might or might not be fair.)
    I might say it is an attitude (because they don't waste time thinking about this. I am sure they don't deliberately try to indicate that it is more appropriate to have male-female relationships). But, if it is just the attitude, it still is huge if it is attitude of the government... Well, maybe they just havent thought about it. Gay marriage havent been around for long. Anyhow, If I was gay, I'd be pissed.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    No, it's actually other way around. If I had a spouse it would mean that I get less. My point is that they should EQUALLY expect that I have a male spouse.
    I O C. So in other words, they're not screwing over the gays the same way they're screwing over the straight people, and that offends you, as a straight person who cares about gay rights.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    I O C. So in other words, they're not screwing over the gays the same way they're screwing over the straight people, and that offends you, as a straight person who cares about gay rights.
    Well.. if you want to put it that way, then yes I wasn't really thinking about my own "win" about the situation (besides, its like one paper I have to deliver). It's more about the fact that if they asked all the people living with room mates (male or female) if they are their spouses, it would make the whole gay thing seem more accepted, or am I wrong?

    Or, actually, if I would be offended about this (on a personal level), it would be because they expect that I can't live with a woman without her being my spouse. That's a bit like saying men and women can't really be friends. I don't know if this makes sense anymore, but I think these two things are related. Either men are not supposed to be spouses to men or women and men are supposed to be spouses and nothing else. There's something wrong here, in any case... Hmm...

    *thinks*

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    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    I live with two room mates. One girl, one guy. And, here in Finland we have this system that I get a little money to get by if I am unemployed, but the amount of money depends on if I live with my spouse or not.

    Now, I got this letter from the department of government that takes care of the money I get. The letter asks if the girl I live with is my spouse. I will answer them no she isn't. But, my question is this: If my government has allowed gays to marry, why didn't they ask me if the guy I am living with is my spouse? He might be, they don't know... Doesn't this reflect the discrimination that gays face even if they are legalized and have the right to marry? I mean, I'm not gay, but this idea that they EXPECT her to be my spouse, but not him, it sounds like discrimination...

    Is it just me? I feel this is wrong on some level... They should either ask both for him and her or not at all. Of course it might be that they don't want to make the straight people uncomfortable with that kind of questions, but I don't think it is any more justifiable.

    (feel free to add more of this kinda gay discrimination)
    Agree.

  9. #9
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    It's great you have that perspective on the situation.

    It will take time for the general public to open their minds. Your country is fortunate to even have a legal beginning for change to occur. On the other hand, some people will never be accepting of homosexuality and they don't have to. I only hope the opposition doesn't prevent equal laws.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    I might say it is an attitude (because they don't waste time thinking about this. I am sure they don't deliberately try to indicate that it is more appropriate to have male-female relationships). But, if it is just the attitude, it still is huge if it is attitude of the government... Well, maybe they just havent thought about it. Gay marriage havent been around for long. Anyhow, If I was gay, I'd be pissed.
    It's fine to be pissed.

    I'm just noting that sometimes it's pure ignorance or thoughtlessness, rather than purposeful oppression -- and understanding the range of motivation can help when selecting an approach and strategy to fixing things.

    BTW, just saw this on Christianity Today web poll, so it tells you the typical stance of at least online readers of the magazine:

    Christianity Today Poll
    Is Newsweek right that there's a biblical case for gay marriage?


    4%...Yes, the Bible allows for cultural changes in society that would allow gay marriage.
    0%...Yes, the Bible tolerates gay marriage, although it does not condone it.
    2%...Yes, because the Bible does not clearly prohibit gay marriage.
    62%..No, the Bible clearly states that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
    28%..No, the Bible clearly describes a natural law that same-sex marriage violates.
    4%...I'm not sure.

    Total Votes: 1200
    And the article headline in that magazine basically suggests that Newsweek is out to support gay marriage by marginalizing the opposition. (I have not read it yet.) So they're taking things very personally and shoving back hard.

    I think that spells it out right there, at least on this self-selecting poll, that the evangelical church (and maybe some moderates too) are dead-set against gay marriage rights. It's pretty entrenched. My opinion is that gay marriage (and to some extent abortion rights) are focal points for the conservative religious movements in their feelings that the culture is heading somewhere they don't want to go: All their dissatisfaction with general relaxation of their religious values as well as fear of the future is being channeled into these two issues.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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