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  • « Nomination by the backroom | Main | Hillary's election spin-control »

    February 11, 2008

    Hillary makes her own gay case

    Posted by: Chris

    Hillarywaves_3 Hillary Clinton defended her views on a variety of gay rights issues in an interview posted today by the Washington Blade. It was only her second gay press interview of the campaign, which bests Barack Obama by one. I don't know the exigencies of the Sunday interview, but it was a curious choice for my former Blade colleague Kevin Naff to ask the questions, since he has already endorsed Clinton for president, but fortunately he does not seem to pull any punches.

    Clinton was at her strongest talking about extending federal legal recognition to gay couples who are married, in civil unions, domestic partnerships, and even committed gay couples who reside in states with no official status:

    She repeated her call for a repeal of Section 3 of DOMA, because it prohibits the federal government from recognizing decisions made by the states in terms of enacting civil unions, domestic partnerships or, in the case of Massachusetts, full marriage rights.

    “I think extending federal benefits is a very important step forward,” she said. “I don’t see why a same-sex couple in California, which has a domestic partnership law, should be able to take advantage of the Family Medical Leave Act if one of them is ill, while a couple in another state without such a law cannot.

    “I would like to see federal benefits extended to same-sex couples that meet certain standards of commitment regardless of the state in which they reside. Too many couples cannot share life decisions, or jointly own property or take care of one another within a recognized legal framework. I want to change that.”

    At the same time, her go-it-slow pragmatism shows through, since she sees the "first step" as domestic partner benefits for federal employees, and even that she says will be "challenging."

    Clinton defended her position in favor of only half-repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law in 1996 by her husband, arguing that the other half, which allows states to refuse recognition to gay marriages from other states, is needed to forestall a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage:

    “We’d already seen the success the Republican majority had had in 2002, 2004 in using this as a wedge issue. I was able to explain to other senators that DOMA ensured marriage would be left to the states — that was critical in defeating the amendment. It gave us an argument with both Republicans and Democrats.”

    Unfortunately, the two HRCs -- Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign -- chose to fight the federal marriage amendment by arguing redundancy rather than federalism or the fundamental unfairness of preventing gay couples from full equal rights. When the amendment came to the Senate floor, they defected even further from the core case for equality, and instead made only the partisan argument that President Bush and congressional Republicans were trying to change the subject from the Iraq War and rising gas prices. That may have been true, but it was a huge wasted opportunity for making the case for treating gay couples fairly. When our "friends" look for ways to avoid arguing on our behalf, it sends a clear signal of weakness. Hillary "I'll work hard" Clinton should know that.

    On a personal note, I was pleased to see Hillary speak out in her most forceful tone to date on the Uniting American Families Act, which neither she nor Obama have co-sponsored, though both say they support it with reservations:

    “I’m supportive of it and the strategy was to do it as part of comprehensive immigration reform,” she said. “We still need to do comprehensive immigration reform … that is my preference.”

    Her recollection is a bit curious, however, since there was no effort to include UAFA in the last round of comprehensive immigration reform. Perhaps she was referring to the strategy looking forward.

    On another hot-button issue, Hillary said she would prefer the Employment Non-Discrimination Act be introduced in the Senate in an "inclusive form," meaning with transgender protection, but she declined to comment on the divisive House debate over whether to support ENDA as a gay-only measure if the votes aren't there for gender identity.

    Clinton was at her weakest when Kevin asked her to respond to the claim by Obama supporters that he talks about gay rights much more often before non-gay audiences. Rather than respond to the substance, she quipped that she found the claim "ironic since Senator Obama had his gospel tour with [Donnie] McClurkin that he and his supporters would take credit for that."

    The real irony is that the McClurkin episode was only one of many when Obama did what Clinton will not, reiterating even to his own base supporters that he disagrees with them on gay rights and will work to fight homophobia within their community. Hillary Clinton has never showed that sort of strength.

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    Comments

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Feb 11, 2008 2:21:58 PM:

      “I don’t see why a same-sex couple in California, which has a domestic partnership law, should be able to take advantage of the Family Medical Leave Act if one of them is ill, while a couple in another state without such a law cannot."

      California has a separate form of family leave based on the state equivalent of FMLA, CFRA, which applies to registered domestic partners in California and can be used in the same fashion as FMLA is for just the situation she describes.


      I would like to see federal benefits extended to same-sex couples that meet certain standards of commitment regardless of the state in which they reside. Too many couples cannot share life decisions, or jointly own property or take care of one another within a recognized legal framework. I want to change that.”

      Mainly because they neglect or choose not to fill out the necessary legal paperwork to do all of those things.

      Federal law already requires that they be respected; for example, hospitals, regardless of location, must ask whether or not the person has a healthcare proxy and act accordingly. In addition, since healthcare proxies, financial proxies, property ownership agreements, and other such legal contracts are not considered intrinsic and exclusive to marriage, they are not forbidden by state constitutional amendments or laws banning gay marriage, and in fact are quite arguably covered under full faith and credit.

      In short, a gay couple can already have the things she mentioned -- if they're willing to enter into a binding legal contract.

    1. Jeff on Feb 11, 2008 3:40:33 PM:

      NDT: Isn't that what marriage is? Except for the 1,000 other benefits that marriage provides?

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Feb 11, 2008 5:03:42 PM:

      Well, Jeff, let's take a look at a few of those benefits.

      -- benefits such as annuities, pension plans, Social Security, and Medicare

      Marriage does not guarantee you your spouse's pension; that ultimately depends on the language of the benefits plan. Furthermore, since the rewrite of pension and retirement plan law under the Pension Protection Act of 2006, non-spousal beneficiaries may now receive the same preferential tax treatment as was previously limited to spouses.

      As for Social Security, marriage confers on you the "right" to be subject to the household limits on benefits, which are LESS than the combined individual limits for two people, and also gives you the choice of either your own Social Security benefits or receiving 70% of your spouse's when you retire instead -- subject to your NOT remarrying, of course.

      Trust me, given yours and your partner's careers, you'll be better off taking your own. This is why older couples are so upset over domestic-partner laws being abolished; those are what allow them to conveniently play house while not being subject to the limits on Social Security that married couples face.

      bereavement or sick leave to care for a partner or child;

      No one is guaranteed bereavement leave; that's company policy, not Federal law. FMLA covers parents, period, so gay parents can always invoke it for their sick child time. State laws like CFRA also cover this, as do company policies.

      decision-making power with respect to whether a deceased partner will be cremated or not and where to bury him or her

      Written in the healthcare proxy and end of life directives, both of which are legally binding when correctly done -- and which are recommended for even married couples to avoid brouhahas because even marriage is inferior to a signed and duly executed proxy. Had Terri Schiavo designated her parents as her healthcare proxies, her husband would have had no decisionmaking power, DESPITE their marriage.

      In short, if you want the benefits and protections, there are routes to get them, many of which are even superior to marriage. But repeatedly, gays and lesbians blow tens of millions of dollars on politicians when they could be putting that money towards paying for legal assistance for gay couples to set up this documentation, or lobbying for states to standardize and streamline the process of getting these things (which, since it would benefit MANY people, not just gays and lesbians, would have much broader popular support).

    1. buzzzed.com on Feb 12, 2008 4:43:31 PM:

      I have no doubt President Hillary Clinton will work more favorably for ALL families, including gay and lesbian families than Obama and certainly the repugs.

      She has a history of social justice, feminist, civil rights, political and legal activism (not just words!), including all the feminists who have worked for decades on issues for civil rights, childrens rights, women's rights including fighting homophobian with and for gay men and lesbians ON the FRONT LINES & behind the scenes that Obama fails to live up to in any way and whose record pales in comparison.

      Feminists and lesbians, including Hillary, stood up for gay men long before our gay brothers stood for women's rights or anyone else's rights for that matter. Learn a little history, why doncha?

      If you want perfection and utopia, read a fairy tale (or your gay porn mags). If you want a history of pro-gay action, strength, realism, pragmatism and more than just pretty words, stand up for Clinton.

    1. Carl on Feb 12, 2008 4:43:45 PM:

      Its rather ignorant to assume that all gay couples are rich. There are plenty of gay couples who are on the lower income scale who may benefit from social security. After all, if it were a better economic benefit to do all these legal wranglings and come out ahead. Wouldnt straight people NEVER marry? Perhaps Donald Trump should just "incorporate" his next life parter. Gay people cannot file joint tax returns, benefit from a partners social security, and even though they may have the right papers, have difficulty with hospital visitation and life decisions. It is far easier to meet acceptance saying "I am her husband or she is my wife" than to have to scramble for the magic papers.
      There is also the issue of gays not being able to have a relationship with an immigrant. Sure, the immigrant can go through all the process of naturalization, but heteros can marry, bring there spouses in and naturalize them through a special process. There is nothing comparable for gays to do that.

    1. Carl on Feb 12, 2008 4:43:52 PM:

      Its rather ignorant to assume that all gay couples are rich. There are plenty of gay couples who are on the lower income scale who may benefit from social security. After all, if it were a better economic benefit to do all these legal wranglings and come out ahead. Wouldnt straight people NEVER marry? Perhaps Donald Trump should just "incorporate" his next life parter. Gay people cannot file joint tax returns, benefit from a partners social security, and even though they may have the right papers, have difficulty with hospital visitation and life decisions. It is far easier to meet acceptance saying "I am her husband or she is my wife" than to have to scramble for the magic papers.
      There is also the issue of gays not being able to have a relationship with an immigrant. Sure, the immigrant can go through all the process of naturalization, but heteros can marry, bring there spouses in and naturalize them through a special process. There is nothing comparable for gays to do that.

    1. Steve on Feb 12, 2008 4:59:22 PM:

      The Clinton's gave us Don't Ask Don't Tell and DOMA. No THANKS!

    1. pecola on Feb 12, 2008 5:27:16 PM:

      Clinton was at her weakest when Kevin asked her to respond to the claim by Obama supporters that he talks about gay rights much more often before non-gay audiences. Rather than respond to the substance, she quipped that she found the claim "ironic since Senator Obama had his gospel tour with [Donnie] McClurkin that he and his supporters would take credit for that."

      The real irony is that the McClurkin episode was only one of many when Obama did what Clinton will not, reiterating even to his own base supporters that he disagrees with them on gay rights and will work to fight homophobia within their community. Hillary Clinton has never showed that sort of strength.

      Another irony is that during the weekend before Super Tuesday, Bill Clinton made his mea culpa tour of black churches in Los Angeles and made a stop at a church pastored by Noel Jones.

      Jones is, of course, another noted bigoted, anti-gay pastor whose relationship with McClurkin is, shall we say, close.

      Any word from the Clintons on that?

      Any word from LGBT media on it?

      What's that?

      *Crickets*

      Yeah.

    1. Amicus on Feb 12, 2008 7:57:03 PM:

      since there was no effort to include UAFA in the last round of comprehensive immigration reform.

      Just to clean up the passive voice, did you mean no effort by the Congress of no effort by the activist groups? As I recall, it was both, right?

      When our "friends" look for ways to avoid arguing on our behalf, ...

      This will sort of ring hollow, for a time, in the past throw-them("T")-under-the-bus period.

      In short, a gay couple can already have the things she mentioned -- if they're willing to enter into a binding legal contract.

      Gosh, is that what Log Cabin Californians are saying to themselves, after their failure to press Arnold on the CA marriage bill (and the willingness of at least one of his lesbian advisers to collaborate with him, despite his ridiculous refusal(s))?

      What's more, healthcare proxies are not an "equal" substitute to marriage. A hospital can refer proxy papers (which you have to carry with you, in case of an emergency, right?) to a legal department, at their whim.

    1. NOLAGAY on Feb 13, 2008 10:34:21 AM:

      North Dallas Forty is conveniently ignoring the fact that almost every public pension/retirement/death benefit plan (i.e., for federal, state, and municipal workers) is restricted to married spouses. My partner and I have done all the legal things he spoke of, but if he or I dies, or retires, we don't get the same benefits that a married spouse gets. E.G., if I die, he would get 50% of my salary for the rest of his life if he were my husband. No legal document can change the fact that he does not qualify by statute. There are many other examples. NDT is clearly not a friend of working class gays and lesbians.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Feb 13, 2008 2:07:53 PM:

      Gosh, is that what Log Cabin Californians are saying to themselves, after their failure to press Arnold on the CA marriage bill (and the willingness of at least one of his lesbian advisers to collaborate with him, despite his ridiculous refusal(s))?

      First, California already has a voter proposition -- Proposition 22 -- that explicitly bans gay marriage. What Susan Kennedy, who is the lesbian you are trying to badmouth, knows is that, under our constitution, a voter proposition trumps the Legislature and cannot be modified by the Legislature without their ability to do so being specifically written into it.

      The questions that should be asked are why the leftist gays and lesbians who are trying to force marriage through the Legislature aren't running a popular referendum to repeal Prop 22 -- or, even more hilariously, why they're not incensed that the marriage bill is not being raised this year. But then again, we already know the answer; because the state Democrat Party already has its contributions and unswerving loyalty, so back in the closet those gays go for the election year so they don't embarrass us in front of our constitutents -- just like they did in 2006.

      Furthermore, California is a very poor example for you to use, given our domestic partner law which is equivalent to marriage at the state level -- which, I might add, assuming California has a gay population of 2 million, has been invoked by roughly 5% of that population. Even more amusingly, when the change to the law to make it actually legally binding and equivalent was imminent, there was a rush of couples dissolving their existing ones because doing so would subject gay couples to the same benefit limits as married couples.

      (That also answers Carl's question. Seems that at low incomes, liberal welfare laws are actually a DISINCENTIVE to marry.)


      A hospital can refer proxy papers (which you have to carry with you, in case of an emergency, right?) to a legal department, at their whim.

      Of course they can. They can also demand proof that you are married. But ultimately, if you provide the correct papers, you're going to win that argument, either way.

      Furthermore, Andoni, again; which is more productive, putting energy towards helping people GET healthcare proxies, or putting energy towards whining that you don't have marriage -- which leaves people without either marriage OR healthcare proxies?


      North Dallas Forty is conveniently ignoring the fact that almost every public pension/retirement/death benefit plan (i.e., for federal, state, and municipal workers) is restricted to married spouses.

      Under the Pension Protection Act of 2006, it is perfectly legal to write pension plans, public-sector OR private-sector, to provide benefits to any designated beneficiary regardless of marital status. Furthermore, doing so is not a violation of state or Federal laws or constitutional amendments forbidding recognition of gay couples because a) "beneficiary" can mean virtually anyone and b) designation of beneficiary does not require the plan to recognize that person as having any legal status relationship with you.

      Best example: the University of Michigan DP benefits case. Gay and lesbian leftists who were trying to mislead people and protect the unions who were screwing over gay employees tried arguing that the appeals court which ruled against the university said that Michigan's constitutional amendment, which is one of the most restrictive in the United States, banned DP benefits completely. In fact, the decision explicitly states (page 15), "The amendment as written does not preclude the extension of employment benefits to
      unmarried partners on a basis unrelated to recognition of their agreed-upon relationship." What the court ruled (correctly) is that, since the plans were contingent on people having legally registered as domestic partners with the city of Ann Arbor or similar setups elsewhere, that was a violation of the amendment, which precludes state or public entities from recognizing such. A simple wording change, as Michigan State tried, and everything works copasetically.

      The reason most of these plans restrict matters to married spouses is twofold; one, their language has not been updated, and two, it saves the pension plan money to only recognize married spouses. Paying your partner 50% of your salary for the rest of his life is expensive; plans can limit that by making the benefits payout only over your lifespan, or by requiring some other barrier, i.e. marriage. But there is no law that prevents them from allowing you to designate him as your beneficiary for survivor benefits, as long as the plan doesn't require you to have some sort of legal arrangement as a condition of that (i.e. a domestic partnership).

      What this boils down to is that most gays and lesbians are not looking at marriage for what it is or for its benefits and protections; indeed, they're actively AVOIDING or outright dissolving legal relationships that would require them to follow the same limits and rules as married people. Instead, they're looking at it as a means of taunting the religious and other people.

      It's exemplified by the reciprocal-benefits fight in Colorado. Leftist gays and lesbians haughtily refused an offer of a guaranteed reciprocal-benefits law because it wasn't "good enough" and tried to ram through a domestic partnership amendment; it lost, they ended up with a marriage ban, AND they don't have reciprocal benefits.

      How on earth does that benefit gay couples?


    1. Kevin on Feb 13, 2008 3:45:06 PM:

      Oh NDT, when that truck of yours starts running down the hill at me these days, I just jump out of the way :-) Very interesting back and forth on this issue, folks.

    1. Amicus on Feb 13, 2008 7:29:14 PM:

      NDT,

      You (and others) have ducked behind Prop-22 as a way of avoiding the moral issue(s) of some gay Californian's failure to stand up for equal rights. They ought to have taken an active an open stand against the Governator's serial excuses. Public opinion polls no longer support prop-22 quite the same as they used to, so your "cover" is looking very ... how shall we say, see-through thin.

      Susan Kennedy, formerly a Democrat, until she got seduced by the smiling Governator, ought to have resigned, plain as day. Her position is/was untenable, even if I don't subscribe to some of the vitriol thrown at her.

      As I understand it, CA's rights groups put their efforts / resources into defeating the constitutional amendments, rather than sponsoring a 'repeal 22' initiative. Could they have done both? I don't know.

      The idea that all marriage rights can be contracted is a canard thrown out by the Right, quite often, to keep gay relationships comfortably in 'second place'. Perhaps you are comfortable there, but others are not, whether they are on the Left or the Right.

      By the way, one cannot contract for so-called 'spousal privilege'. If you watched the Enron trial, they went to "break" the gay couple first ... guess why.

    1. Buzzzed Blue on Feb 13, 2008 7:54:26 PM:

      Why Did Barack Obama Support & Campaign for Joe Lieberman if He Was So Anti-War?

      When Obama had a chance to 'speak truth to power', when he had the opportunity to support the anti-war voters of Connecticut, why didn't he? Instead, Barack Obama endorsed and campaigned for Joe Lieberman. Say What?

      Obama pro-actively supported Joe Lieberman, the ex-democrat who couldn't win the democratic primary fair and square, so he changed his party affiliation in order to be put back into office by the pro-war republicans. Obama supported Lieberman: the one who has whole-heartedly endorsed and been campaigning for Republican John McCain. Obama supported Lieberman: the one who has continued to side with the Republicans in the Senate in order to prevent the Senate Democrats from bringing about change.

      What does that say about Obama's ACTUAL willingness to stand up to the actual status quo when given the clear choice and opportunites? (as opposed to the theoretical one that he has never faced, unlike Hillary.) What does that say about his actual judgment? (as opposed to the theoretical one after the fact where everyone is always a better Monday-morning quarter back) What does it say about how much change he's really willing to advocate for in the face of the pro-war, pro-zionist, pro-right-wing republican, defense department, military industrial complex?

      Senator Obama really in actuality abandoned the people he claims to stand with: those who actually voted for anti-war candidate Ned Lamont — who actually won the primary. But Obama chose Lieberman, he stood, acted, campaigned in favor of the war, chose in reality to stand for and with those in power, one of the biggest pro-war hawks in the country, much less the Congress.

      Why hasn't the media raised this specific issue? Not to mention so many others such as "what are the specifics" of all these beautiful but vague hopes and dreams?

      ........................

      I don't begrudge Senator Obama his support or his supporters or his willingness to benefit from the sexism and misogyny directed at Hillary Clinton (okay, maybe that last part I think he's been a bit of a coward about. And what was with his wife not being willing to back Hillary if she wins? What the hell is that all about? Not to mention all those homophobic, right-wing supporters who don't seem to bother him -- hey, what does THAT say about his judgment? He's not right on that issue. What others are there that simply haven't been raised, researched, answered?)

      He's gotten a free ride from the media. There's just no way to deny that. Studies have already been done. Senator Clinton hasn't. If you watched any of Glenn Beck last night, you'll have begun to hear the underpinnings of the right wing attacks that he has yet to fathom, much less experience. They're not pretty.

      Look, I'm for Clinton. It's very clear she's gotten extremely unfair, unequal, grossly sexist and misogynist treatment from mainstream and broadcast media (see MediaMatters.org). If it had all been even-handed, no problem. But it hasn't been. Obama has benefited from the disparate treatment and love-affair support from the media — for now. I don't have a problem with him winning fair and square. But that's not the way it's been. (Not really his fault, not under his control; he could've been more up front about that fact, but he hasn't.) It's the media — both mainstream and right-wing, and so-called liberal and progressive media — which have treated poured every unnamed anxiety, fear, bias, lie, distortion into their coverage of Clinton.

      I'm interested to read the definitive book/analysis about this after it's all over. It kinda reminds me of the hysteria (violence, bigotry, extremism) which emerged toward anyone who seemed 'middle eastern' after September 11th.

      If Obama wins, I will vote for him. There's too much to at stake. I think it will take him longer to adjust to the office, to get things done that need to be done, and I think the repugs will pull out all their tricks to block and stymie him if he does win.

      It's the unjust, unfair, disgusting treatment of Hillary Clinton that will (and should) haunt this nation's psyche for year — at least those who have any conscience or soul or who long for justice and fairness.

      .
      ..............
      There's a Time magazine article about Obama from two years ago, describing his desire to be liked by everyone. Where have we heard THAT before? "The minute you start casting votes, you make some people happy and some people unhappy"

      If there's one thing we don't have to worry about with Hillary, it's whether she'd rather be liked or rather accomplish the hard work and actually achieve something!

      And you might want to read this news story reprinted by Common Dreams:

      Despite Rhetoric, Obama Pushed Lobbyists’ Interests

      by Justin Rood

      Away from the bright lights and high-minded rhetoric of the campaign trail, Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has quietly worked with corporate lobbyists to help pass breaks worth $12 million.

      In his speeches, Obama has lambasted lobbyists and moneyed interests who “have turned our government into a game only they can afford to play.”

      “It’s an entire culture in Washington — some of it legal, some of it not,” the Democratic hopeful told a New York crowd in June, rallying support for his ethics reform agenda.

      But last year, at the request of a hired representative for an Australian-owned chemical corporation Nufarm, Obama introduced nine separate bills exempting the company from import fees on a range of chemical ingredients it uses in the manufacture of pesticides and herbicides. Nufarm’s U.S. subsidiary is based in Illinois.

      Nufarm wasn’t the only beneficiary of Obama’s efforts to reduce customs fees and duties. In early May of 2006, two Washington lobbyists registered to work on behalf of Astellas Pharma, a Japanese-owned drug company which also has offices in Illinois.

      The lobbyists’ task? “Introduce legislation to temporarily suspend customs duties for the importation of a pharmaceutical ingredient,” they wrote on their lobbying forms. Less than three weeks later, the men had earned their $20,000 fee, thanks to Obama. On May 26, he introduced S. 3155, a bill specifically exempting Astellas’ key ingredient from tariff payments. The bill cost the federal government more than $1 million in lost revenue, according to government estimates.

      Together, Obama’s obscure measures — known as tariff suspensions — steered more than $12 million away from federal coffers, according to government estimates.

      A spokesman for the senator defended Obama’s efforts on behalf of the two firms.

      full story: http://buzzzed.blogspot.com/2008/02/why-did-barack-obama-support-campaign.html

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Feb 14, 2008 5:13:11 PM:

      Amicus, my initial post in response to you is hung up in the spam filter, presumably because it has too many links.

      So I'll split it in two.

      i>Susan Kennedy, formerly a Democrat, until she got seduced by the smiling Governator, ought to have resigned, plain as day.
      Um, no.
      You see, Amicus, liberal and Democrat gays saw absolutely nothing wrong with endorsing and praising as "pro-gay' and "gay-supportive", giving tens of millions of dollars to, and working on the campaigns of, people who supported bans on gay marriage, including where it already existed.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Feb 14, 2008 5:14:36 PM:

      Furthermore, not only were they doing that, it turns out they were fully endorsing and supporting FMA supporters, multiple times.

      So why are you picking on Susan Kennedy?

      Public opinion polls no longer support prop-22 quite the same as they used to, so your "cover" is looking very ... how shall we say, see-through thin.

      And yet.......

      As I understand it, CA's rights groups put their efforts / resources into defeating the constitutional amendments, rather than sponsoring a 'repeal 22' initiative.

      That makes no sense, inasmuch as state constitutional amendments would do the same thing on marriage as Prop 22 does now; if there's no support for Prop 22, as you claim, then there wouldn't be any public support for the amendments, so why not ignore them and get people to repeal Proposition 22 instead?

      The plain and simple fact is that an attempt to repeal Proposition 22 would lose, and they know it full well.

      By the way, one cannot contract for so-called 'spousal privilege'. If you watched the Enron trial, they went to "break" the gay couple first ... guess why.

      I am fully in favor of abolishing spousal privilege. Put differently, had the gay couple had it, they probably would have walked with much lesser sentences.

      Is that fair to all the people they swindled? And precisely because it creates just those kind of opportunities, spousal privilege should be eliminated.

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