Same Sex Marriages
In secular society, marriage is a contractual relationship. Within religion, marriage is a spiritual bonding. I believe in the separation of church and state and therefore I believe that contractual issues between human beings should be dealt with in the secular law. I am running for the political position of governor of Texas. I am not running for preacher, minister, priest or Pope.
There is no doubt but that I have my personal spiritual perspective but the governor of Texas must be the governor of all the citizens of Texas and as governor it is my intention to promote laws that support, bolster and preserve in fact the democratic principles of "due process" and "equal protection" under the law.
Therefore, I believe that any two adult human beings who desire to enter into a non-commercial partnership should have that relationship supported by the laws of Texas regardless of the sex of the partners. (I use the word partner as opposed to spouse because I arbitrarily reserve the word spouse for a conventional heterosexual marriage.) In a word, if two adults of the same sex, determine to enter into a non-commercial partnership as defined by the laws of the state of Texas, then so be it.
Once contracted, these non-commercial partners will be subject to virtually all the laws relating to husbands and wives that have been enacted in Texas since it became a state. This means that a dissolution would be necessary to end the partnership and it also means that the laws relating to other areas such as probate will also apply to these non-commercial partnerships.
It is not the mandate of the state of Texas to determine spiritual issues. The mandate of democracy and the state of Texas is to enact laws that promote equality, peace and harmony in society. It is the mandate of the state of Texas to pass laws that define contractual relationships. It is not the mandate of the state of Texas to disenfranchise any group of people based upon their religious or lack of religious beliefs. The mandate of the state of Texas is to deal with the secular relationships of people and not with their spiritual and religious relationships and beliefs.
I as governor of Texas will support legislation that creates what I would term a non-commercial partnership between any two adult individuals of the same sex. I think that much of that legislation could and would incorporate the laws relating to husbands and wives in a conventional marital relationships including considering income to be joint income and requiring a dissolution like any commercial partnership or conventional heterosexual marriage. It would also incorporate much of the probate law regarding hiership. It would also mandate under what conditions the individuals in these non-commercial partnerships are eligible for group health benefits provided by employers of one of the partners.
I would remind the citizens of this state that until 1920 with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution women could not vote and up until 1863 slavery was legal in the United States. Millions of men died and were permanently crippled in a war to end that slavery and provide equality and justice to the Black race. It is my hope that we can fully integrate same sex partners into our democratic legal system which was founded on equality and justice for all without an uncivil war.
I do not endorse nor advocate participation in homosexual relationships. I also do not endorse nor participate in drug use nor alcohol abuse. I do not endorse or participate second class citizenship for people of color or women. And I suggest that people of color and women who after 225 years of democracy still do not have equality in society refrain from demanding equality and justice for themselves and subordination and discrimination for those who by genetics or by environment have chosen a homosexual relationship. I further suggest that those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol acknowledge their commonality with those who engage in homosexual preferences.
It is time to quit using God as an excuse for promoting and maintaining an undemocratic democracy. In the Holy Bible: Book of Genesis 3: 16 God said to Eve "your desire will be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." With these words God forever subordinated women. Yet the majority of Christians have ignored these words and have democratically endorsed and enacted equal rights for women. If Christian democracy can ignore God with regards to the subordination of women and invest them with equality, then surely it can do the same for those with same sex preferences.
The next governor of Texas
November 15, 2001
Early Census Data Show Rise in Same-Sex Couples
By GENARO C. ARMAS
.c The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (June 13) - The number of American households indicating same-sex partners skyrocketed over the past decade, according to the first set of Census 2000 figures on the subject, offering fresh confirmation of a turn-of-the-century trend.
Although the report involved only two states - Delaware and Vermont - both of them showed substantial changes during the 1990s.
Same-sex unmarried partner homes still represented less than 1 percent of all households in both Delaware and Vermont last year. Because of those small numbers, the percentages of change seemed particularly dramatic.
Same-sex couple households in Vermont, for instance, increased from an estimated 370 in 1990, to 1,933 in 2000, a fivefold jump, according to data released Wednesday by the Census Bureau.
Delaware saw an even greater increase: up from an estimated 212 to 1,868 households, a nearly ninefold increase. These two states were the first to receive the latest wave of data from last year's national headcount, with all 50 to get the Census Bureau material by late August.
Researchers attributed the increases more to gay couples feeling comfortable with identifying their relationships rather than any big increase in such couples.
Regardless of the reason, Holly Puterbaugh, of South Burlington, Vt., considered it one of the most thorough counts yet of homosexuals in this country.
``It's one more way for the recognition of same-sex couples to come about,'' said Puterbaugh, who took part in a civil union ceremony last year in Vermont with her partner of 28 years. ``There are a lot more same-sex couples in this world than most people realize.''
Figures to be released for more crowded states like California will give a clearer picture of the nation's gay and lesbian population, said Urban Institute analyst Gary Gates.
Unmarried partner statistics in 1990 were based on a sample of responses; 2000 data were based on a count of all households.
Nationally, unmarried partner homes, regardless of sexual orientation, increased 72 percent from 3.2 million in 1990 to 5.5 million in 2000.
Less than 5 percent of the country's unmarried partner households in 1990 were made up of same-sex couples. Comparable numbers for 2000 will not be known until all state figures are released.
The statistics come from answers to questions posed on census forms including gender and, if two or more people lived in a home, ``What is your relationship?''
The census did not ask about sexuality. However, it did offer ``unmarried partner'' as a way to describe a relationship between two unrelated people living together. Other options included ``housemate'', ``boarder'' and ``other nonrelative.''
If ``unmarried partner'' is checked off on a form, and either two men or two women live in the home, that could suggest a gay or lesbian relationship.
Unlike the approach to previous counts, Human Rights Campaign and other advocacy groups encouraged same-sex live-in partners to identify themselves as such for last year's census.
That attention, along with debate over the Vermont law and increasing social acceptance of gay and lesbian couples during the decade played key roles in increases seen so far, said Paula Ettelbrick of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
``The 1990s have been the decade of the lesbian and gay family in terms of sheer visibility in the American public, couples together being more out and more visible,'' said Ettelbrick, the group's family policy director.
Though the bureau has strict privacy guidelines, some people still were concerned about their responses being kept confidential.
``It's going to contribute to undercounting, but people somehow need to feel affirmed of seeing it on the census,'' said Chris Tebbetts, of Burlington, Vt. He and his partner entered a civil union in Vermont last year.
Vermont's civil unions law - the first of its kind in the country granting marriage benefits to same-sex couples - took effect July 1, 2000, about four months after census forms were mailed out. The unions are not recognized by other states and partners in them have no marriage benefits under federal law.