Question 6 Isn’t About Marriage Equality For Homosexuals

In the state of Maryland, on Nov. 6th, 2012, there will be 7 questions up for Maryland voters to vote on and pass into law. One of these is Question 6.

Question 6, on the State Maryland ballot, says: “Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from marrying; protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.”

There have even been some ads on the issue. Here are two of those adds.

Now there is one key thing mentioned in this ballot question, which is that the ballot “Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from marrying”. (Italics my own emphasis)

Here is the bill that got the ball rolling on “Gay Marriage”, which was Maryland House Bill 438. Now that we have that set up, lets get started in taking a look on a couple of things.

This law states that “Only a marriage between two individuals who are not otherwise prohibited from marrying is valid in this state.”

Now the law lists which  two individuals who want to be married are prohibited from marrying. An individual may not marry another individual who happens to be (1)grandfather’s wife; (2) wife’s grandmother; (3) father’s sister; (4) mother’s sister; (5) stepmother; (6) wife’s mother; (7) wife’s daughter; (8) son’s wife; (9) grandmother’s husband; (10) husband’s grandfather; (11) father’s brother; (12) mother’s brother; (13) stepfather; (14) husband’s father; (15) husband’s son; (16) daughter’s husband; (17) husband’s grandson; (18) brother’s son; (19) sister’s son; (20) daughter’s husband; (21) GRANDPARENT’S SPOUSE; (22) SPOUSE’S GRANDPARENT; (23) PARENT’S SIBLING; (24) STEPPARENT; (25) SPOUSE’S PARENT; (26)SPOUSE’S CHILD.

Example: I would not be allowed to marry (1) my grandfather’s wife, (2) my wife’s grandmother, (3) my father’s sister, (4) my mother’s sister (5) my stepmother, (6) my wife’s mother, (7) my wife’s daughter, (8) my son’s wife, (9) my grandmother’s husband, (10) my husband’s grandfather, (11) my father’s brother, (12) my mother’s brother, (13) my stepfather, (14) my husband’s father, (15) my husband’s son, (16) my daughter’s husband, (17) my husband’s grandson, (18) my brother’s son, (19) my sister’s son, (20) my daughter’s husband, (21) my grandparent’s spouse, (22) my spouse’s grandparents, (23) my parent’s sibling, (24) my step-parent, (25) my spouse’s parent, or (26) my spouse’s child.

I will assume that (1) people cannot marry people who share the same blood-line. This means that an individual cannot marry their mother, father, grandparents, son, daughter, grand-kids, or cousins if they share the same blood-line. From this assumption it means that a person can marry people who do not hare the same blood-line. So let us exclude those people who share the same blood-line from the 26 that people are prohibited from marrying.  This point comes down to that your mother, father, grandparents, son, daughter, grand-kids, or cousins could all be those things because you were either were adopted into that family or married into that family. So If you were adopted or married into that family, then you do not share the same blood-line.

I will assume that (2) people who are adopted into a family are not of the same blood-line. For example, you sometimes hear of a child’s parents both dying for some reason, and one of the child’s blood-relatives, like an uncle, will adopt the child and raise them as their own. This means my assumption excludes people who are adopted into a family and the family adopted into still has the same blood-line. So me being adopted by my uncle after both my parents die.

So these assumptions make the distinction between being biologically related and legally related. These sometimes overlap and sometimes do not overlap. It is possible for my biological father to be my legal father, but it is also possible that my biological father is not my legal father, but in both cases I cannot marry my biological father. Both of my assumptions, basically, states that all biologically related people are excluded/prohibited from legally marrying or its logical equivalent would be that of  all non-excluded people from legally marrying are non-biologically related people.

So here is one of the basic points that will be assumed throughout this post: For all individuals, if  individuals are biologically related, then individuals are prohibited from legally marrying in Maryland.

The first video has Rev. Delman Coates saying that “The government should treat everyone equally”, “It’s about fairness”, “This…is about protecting all Marylander’s equally”.

The second video has Julian Bond saying that “I know something about fighting for what’s right and just”, “They should share in the right to marry”, “Its about protecting the civil right to make a lifeline commitment to the one that you love.”, “It’s the right thing to do”.

Let us grant these statements to Rev. Delman Coates and Julian Bond. Does this law do what they state? No, this law does not lead to what we granted these two people. One of the most basic points they bring up is that of “equality” or “fairness”, but this law does not grant fairness or equality in marriage, let alone for gay people who want to get married. This law still treats people unfairly, especially still treating gay people unfairly and unequally.

The key point about the law is that it is between TWO individuals. This means that a man may marry a woman, a man may marry a man, a woman may marry a woman. These are allowed because it is between two individuals. This is basically saying that only those who want to have a monogamous marriage are allowed to marry. But this doesn’t treat, or protect, “all Marylander’s equally” and doesn’t treat those who don’t want a monogamous marriage to “share the right to marry”. So this is a “civil right” that only a few people have, not all people. Where is the equality when not all people, but only some, are allowed this “civil right”? Is this “equality” when you still discriminate against people who want to get married as well, but are prohibited because it would involve more than two individuals?

We will get back to this point, but let us take a look at something else with sticking with the notion of only allowing two individuals to get married, but remember the assumption that I am working on. John would not be allowed to to marry his (1) grandfather’s wife, if they both consented to get married. John would not be allowed to marry his grandfather’s wife, who is not biologically related to him. These two people would be prohibited from getting married. John would not be allowed to marry his grandmother’s husband, either, even if they both consented to get married. These two individuals would still be prohibited from marrying, and in both scenarios these people are heterosexual or homosexual marriages. So “equality” and “fairness” would not be exercised with this “civil right”. Makes you even wonder if it is a “civil right” as Julian Bond says it is.

Let us get back to the idea of more than two individuals. Let us assume that we have three people who want to get married and see how many scenarios we can obtain, whether heterosexual marriages or homosexuals marriages. Heterosexual: (1) male, male, female or (2) female, female, male. Homosexual: (3) male, male, male or (4) female, female, female. We notice with each of these scenarios, these people cannot be married since they are prohibited from marriage in the state of Maryland. The state of Maryland prohibits both heterosexual and homosexual people, who love each other and make a commitment to one another, while also consenting to marriage arrangement, are prevented from being treated equally and fairly and being denied their civil right.

Julian Bond plays his hand in his ad, though. This is because he brings up that the homosexuals share the same “values”. So basically he is implying that since they share the same values, they should have same rights. But think of this, those who do not share the same values, i.e. marriage is more than two individuals, should not have the same rights apply to them. This is ridiculous that because they share the same values they should have the same rights. Point blank, even if they don’t share the same values they should have the same rights. But those who support Question 6 appear to not care about heterosexuals, let alone homosexuals, who do not share the same values.

Think of it like this: There are some who propound that question 6 is about marriage equality for homosexuals. But this potential law still discriminate against some homosexuals from getting married, AND discriminates against some heterosexuals from getting married. So this law is not about equality, because it does not grant equality at all. It continues discrimination, it continues to deny equality, it continues to deny fairness, it continues to deny people who consent to marriage from getting married. It prevents people from making a life-long commitment to one another.

A homosexual male would be prevented from marrying their grandmother’s spouse, and prevents a heterosexual male from marrying his grandfather’s spouse (remember my key assumption). Same holds with heterosexual, or homosexual, females. Take all 26 prohibitions of marriage that were listed, and keep in mind that I am excluding marriages between biologically related people. This means that people who want to marry one of these people of the 26 listed, they are not allowed the civil right of marriage. They are not allowed marriage equality. They are not allowed marriage fairness. They are not allowed to form a life-long commitment with one another because the state will not recognize their civil rights.

It is hypocritical to say that Question 6 is about marriage equality for homosexuals when it discriminates against homosexuals at the same time (i.e. those who consent to marry 2 other homosexuals as well). This law is not about marriage equality for all homosexuals, it is only about marriage equality for some homosexuals. How is their fairness or equality when every homosexual in Maryland is not allowed to get married but only some homosexuals in Maryland are allowed to get married? Those who speak of Question 6 as Marriage Equality speak with forked tongues.

Question 6 is not about equality, civil right, or fairness for all homosexuals in Maryland who want to make a life-long commitment by getting married. It is only for some homosexuals.

A Wasted Vote

Let’s talk about voting, since we have Federal elections coming up, especially for President of the United States of America. You always hear people saying that voting for a 3rd party candidate is “Wasting your Vote”. In some sense, your “wasted vote” is no better than not voting at all.

But there is now a common theme popping up by some talking heads on American politics. One of them has to deal with the Electoral College, and more specifically with the Electoral Vote. Let us take a look at this with one test case, which is the state of Maryland. I bet you will find that people wast their vote, like with a 3rd party candidate, either in the popular vote or the electoral college, i.e. wasted vote in electoral college translate into wasted vote in popular election and vice versa.

One of the necessary conditions to become, or be, President of the United States, is that you win the majority of the electoral college. The electoral college currently, as of 2012, has a total of 538 votes. A candidate needs the majority in order to win, which is sometimes stated to be 270 electoral votes.

In the American political system, you have the popular vote for POTUS and have the electoral vote for POTUS. The majority of the popular vote does not necessarily imply the winner of the Presidential election (as previous historical examples provide). However, The majority of the electoral vote does necessarily imply the winner of the Presidential election.

Before I continue I need to make one thing clear: States decide the processes of how electoral voters are decided, as long as it is consistent with the US Constitution, Federal Law, the State Constitution, or State law.

Now 48 states, like Maryland, out of 50 states have a “Winner Take All” system. The winner take all system is basically that the candidate that obtains the majority of popular vote within the state will obtain all of the electoral votes that the state has. In Maryland, each party has their own primary or caucus to decide who the registered party affiliates vote for that they believe represents the view of the majority of registered party members in that state. Once this is done, that political party in that state that had their candidate win the majority of popular votes in the state, will have 10 selected party members, because Maryland has 10 electoral votes, i.e. 2 Senators and 8 Representatives, who cast their votes for President of the United States of America.

(1) Let us just assume we only have two Presidential candidates on the state of Maryland ballot, (even though it is impossible to have a “fair election” with more than two candidates on the ballot). We have Candidate John and Candidate Jane. (2) Let us also assume that John and Jane belong to two different political parties, and (3) also assume that there are a total of 100 popular voters in Maryland and 10 electoral voters in Maryland. (4) Let us also assume that the political party that wins the popular election always votes for the political party candidate on the ballot.

John gets 51 votes from the popular vote, and Jane gets 49 votes from the popular vote. So John won the popular vote and his political party in that state will decide who the 10 electoral voters will be for the state of Maryland in the election for President of the United States. This also means that Jane’s political party will not be able to decide who the 10 electoral voters will be for the state of Maryland. So candidate John wins the state of Maryland and obtains all 10 electoral votes by winning 51% of the popular vote in the state of Maryland and losing 49% of the popular vote in the state of Maryland. Jane loses out on 10 electoral votes because she lost the popular election in the state of Maryland.

Now here is where something interesting happens. John wins the election regardless of what the rest of the voters in Maryland thought. At the end of the day John only needed 51 people to vote for him and it didn’t matter whether the other 49 people did vote or didn’t vote. In other words, those other 49 people do not matter when it comes to electing President of the United States in their state. The 49 people’s  popular vote does not translate into 10 electoral votes. The 51 people’s popular vote, however, did translate into those 10 electoral votes. Those 49 people might as well have not voted at all, since their vote did not count for anything, let alone count for who becomes POTUS. Those electoral votes go the way that 51% of the population voted. Those 49 people that voted in the 2 party system, i.e. the loser in the race, wasted their vote just as much as the person who votes for the 3rd party candidate.

Now some people do not like how the Electoral Vote allows for those 49% to have their vote not counted. This is because once one of the two candidates hits 51% of the popular vote, there is no need to keep counting the popular vote. Image, for instance, that we bring in two boxes. Each of the boxes have 100 ballots. We open the first box and find that all 50 of the votes are for John. We now know that we only need to open the box and find one other person voting for John, and than we can stop counting votes. We open the second box and first ballot we open is a vote for John. We now can stop counting the rest of the ballots in the second box. We now know who won the state’s popular vote, and thus now know who won the states 10 electoral votes. We can dump the rest of the popular votes, i.e. those 49 popular votes. Those 49 votes do not count towards their candidate, i.e. Jane, or even towards who the states electoral votes go to.

Some people do not like how this type of winner take all system in the electoral college makes it so that almost half of the people who vote do not have their vote counted. But the problem is that the same problem shows back up if we only do the popular vote and get rid of the electoral vote.

(1) Let us just assume we only have two Presidential candidates on ever person Presidential ballot, no matter what state you live in, (even though it is impossible to have a “fair election” with more than two candidates on the ballot). We have Candidate John and Candidate Jane. (2) Let us also assume that John and Jane belong to two different political parties. (3) Let us assume that one only needs 51% of popular vote to win POTUS. (4) Let us assume that we have 100 people voting.

Out of 100 popular votes cast, 51 of those votes went to John and 49 of those votes went to Jane. This means that John won POTUS. We still find ourselves in a strange situation. We would be going through the same processes with the example of going through the two boxes full of the popular vote ballots. We would still stop counting once we reached the second boxy and found the first vote to be pulled out was for John. Immediately we find that we can ignore the rest of the ballots since they have nothing to do with who becomes POTUS. With the electoral college having a winner take all system, or a popular vote system with a winner take all, 49% of people waste their vote when they vote for POTUS. Those people are no better than someone who wastes their vote on a 3rd party candidate.

The problem becomes it is not the electoral college that is at fault, or even the popular vote that is at fault. What is at vault is the very idea of a “Democracy” where it is based on majority opinion, i.e. 51%. Half of people’s opinions or votes will not matter to the bottom line who becomes POTUS. They might as well have never voted.

But let us explore this idea of the popular vote a little more, and see how it has its own problems as the electoral college, which was set up to give states with small populations to have equal say as states with a big population, i.e. equal say with states with a big population and small population.

(1) Let us just assume we only have two Presidential candidates on every person Presidential ballot, no matter what state you live in, (even though it is impossible to have a “fair election” with more than two candidates on the ballot). We have Candidate John and Candidate Jane. (2) Let us also assume that John and Jane belong to two different political parties. (3) Let us assume that we have total of 100 popular voters. (4) Let us assume that we have only 2 states where the 100 popular voters live. (5) Let us assume that state X has 51 people and state Y has 49 people.

John wins the popular vote by obtaining 51% of the popular vote. But John did not win the state of Y but won the State of X, i.e. everyone in the state of X voted for John in the popular election in that state.. John won POTUS because he won the state of X, which had the largest population. Jane lost the election and only obtained the popular vote in the state of Y. Basically, the people who live in the state of Y should not have voted, since their vote did not count for anything. It was only the people in the state of X who’s vote counted for anything. State of Y might as well voted for a 3rd party candidate, because they would have obtained the same result. In other words, the state with the most people decided the election of POTUS by popular election, while the state with the least people did not decide the election of POTUS. So the people who lived in the state of Y might as well as not vote, since the state with the smallest population had no affect on the outcome of POTUS.

As should have been noticed by now, when we have the idea of “Winner take all”, or “the candidate with the majority of votes is the winner”, leads to almost half of peoples vote being as good as those who do not vote at all. It makes no difference whether this “Winner take all” idea is implemented in the popular vote or the electoral vote. But this “Winner take all” idea is the basis of “Democracy”, which is that the majority of people decided for things to be this way or that way.

Almost half of those who partake in voting for either of the two major candidates end up, whether electoral vote or popular vote, end up doing as well as those who vote for a non-major candidate, i.e. third party. They both end up voting for the loser in the election, whether done by electoral vote alone, popular vote alone, or a mix of electoral vote and popular vote. In each scenario we find out that people wasted their vote, or cast a vote in which it had no affect on the outcome of the election or who becomes POTUS.

This is a fundamental thing in the American voting system. It pops up no matter whether electoral, popular, or a mix of both. Think of this the next time someone talks about wanting to get rid of the electoral vote and make it strictly the popular vote. The same problem shows up no matter how it is done. You don’t like one, then you would have to dislike the other. In the end, with either form of voting, almost half of people end up doing as well if they did not vote. 49% of voters, whether vote for 2 party or 3 party system, end up doing as well as people who don’t vote. 51% of people, or states, votes count and 49% of peoples, or states, votes don’t count. During an election year and hearing about how the voting system works out and all the problems, see if you notice someone bring up this fundamental issue in the American voter system. What are their alternatives to this system? I bet they end up having the same consequences as mentioned about.