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Author Topic: Texas Prop 2: What's it do?
Zyne
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Texas Proposition 2, the "gay marriage ban", would amend the state's constitution by adding to it the following provision:

quote:
(a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.

So, how far do you think subsection (b) goes?
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javelin
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That's ridiculous. Sounds like they are trying to stop civil unions from happening - to any degree, on any level.

[ November 07, 2005, 05:10 PM: Message edited by: javelin ]

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Paladine
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Subsection {b} is very poorly written. What the hell does "similar to marriage" mean? [Frown]
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The Drake
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Yes, similarity breeds contempt. Of a law that uses the word "similar".

Is a business partnership similar to marriage? It has many of the same characteristics.

I'd like to say the Texas Supreme Court would toss it out, but... its going into their Constitution.

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
Yes, similarity breeds contempt. Of a law that uses the word "similar".

Is a business partnership similar to marriage? It has many of the same characteristics.

I'd like to say the Texas Supreme Court would toss it out, but... its going into their Constitution.

It can go in and be ignored, then - as "impossible to interpret in regards to actual law", perhaps.
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Lewkowski
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The intent is obvious. The words are obvious. You would have to delibratly stretch it to try prove some political partisian point. Of course a business partnership is not a marriage.
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The Drake
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You mean like the language in the US Constitution is obvious and has never been stretched deliberately by the US Supreme Court?
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KnightEnder
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Just one more reason to be ashamed of living in Texas. And one more example of how Baptists hurt and divide people.

And of course a business partnership is similar to a marriage. What's the difference Lew, sex? Hell, some business partners screw each other a lot more than some married couples.

KE

[ November 07, 2005, 08:45 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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Zyne
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quote:
The words are obvious.
I know, the state of Texas will be prohibited from recognizing my marriage when this passes (since marriage is, you know, identical to marriage). I have health insurance through my husband, and he's a state employee. I keep wondering, does prop 2 mean that I won't be covered on Wednesday?
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KnightEnder
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Stacy and I weren't married in a church, I wonder if we are still considered married. See Lew, that is a stretch. Although, I would be happy to call what we have had for 17 years a civil union if the homophobes in Texas would allow civil unions. I guess it is a foregone conclusion that this peice of crap will pass?

KE

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Adam Masterman
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Is there a single anti-ssm person in the entire country, besides Pete, who actually supports ssus? Or are SSUs discussed to serve the same function as making African American appointments: convincing moderate republicans that their leaders aren't complete bigots. Apparently, in Texas and in Maine, we have an answer.

Adam

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Dagonee
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quote:
Is there a single anti-ssm person in the entire country, besides Pete, who actually supports ssus?
Many, according to polls. Generally support for civil unions run 10-15% higher than support for gay marriage. Further, I know at least some people who support gay marriage oppose civil unions.

Further, look to Connecticut (who enacted civil unions) and Vermont (who could have extended marriage to same sex couples in response to their Supreme Court decision) and what the legislature in Mass. wanted to do in response to Goodrich (make civil unions).

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Adam Masterman
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Oh, I know there are some, but those people aren't the ones out to :defeat" gay marriage. Props like this one make it clear that the agenda of the anti-ssm crowd isn't preserving marriage, its preserving discrimination. Is there any other way to interpret this?

Adam

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javelin
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It means the groups supporting this measure are attempting to "sneak one by": using the anti-ssm crowd to stop any sort of marriage-like legal union to be recognized under the law.

It means that the groups supporting this measure are AFRAID that most people are okay with civil unions between those of the same sex, even though they don't support ssm.

It seems to me this measure shows that there is probably a LOT of support for same-sex civil unions, while there is still a majority that doesn't like the idea of SSM.

For some reason, this seems crystal clear to me. It obviously isn't, or alternate viewpoints wouldn't be popping up here. What am I missing?

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
Oh, I know there are some, but those people aren't the ones out to :defeat" gay marriage. Props like this one make it clear that the agenda of the anti-ssm crowd isn't preserving marriage, its preserving discrimination. Is there any other way to interpret this?

Adam

Sure. These groups feel that same-sex marriage by the name of civil unions isn't any better for people than calling it marriage. Is that discrimination? Well, there's a debate for you. Is it an attempt to "preserve discrimination"? That's reaching - the simple interpretation is as I said - these people oppose recognizing same-sex marriage, and they don't care what you call it - they don't want to see it recognized.
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Everard
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"Sure. These groups feel that same-sex marriage by the name of civil unions isn't any better for people than calling it marriage. Is that discrimination? Well, there's a debate for you"

Its definitionally discrimination, Javelin. There might be a debate about it, but such a debate would require that the side saying its not discrimination redefine what the word means.

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
"Sure. These groups feel that same-sex marriage by the name of civil unions isn't any better for people than calling it marriage. Is that discrimination? Well, there's a debate for you"

Its definitionally discrimination, Javelin. There might be a debate about it, but such a debate would require that the side saying its not discrimination redefine what the word means.

Perhaps the debate is whether it is inherent and necessary discrimination, or whether it's "bad" discremenation. Most people liken it to "racial discrimenation", but perhaps, to these people, it's like putting urinals in the men's bathroom - is it discrimination that we don't put urinals a women's bathroom? How about the idea of having separate bathrooms? Discrimination? Of course. But that's not what you meant.

It's kind of like athiesm. [Smile]

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Adam Masterman
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Jav,
Maybe we should ask if the discrimination is hurtful to the people who are discriminated against. I think you would see which kind of discrimination this is pretty quick.

Adam

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
Jav,
Maybe we should ask if the discrimination is hurtful to the people who are discriminated against. I think you would see which kind of discrimination this is pretty quick.

Adam

So, bad discrimination is when it's hurtful to someone?
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Adam Masterman
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Are you arguing for the sake of argument, or can you not see the difference between, say, women's bathrooms and Jim Crow?

adam

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javelin
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No, I think you are pretending there isn't a spectrum, and, by the way, comparing granting the legal status of marriage to same sex couples to Jim Crow is asinine, and it pisses me off - it makes it very hard for me to sympathize with the other position when people pretend they are remotely interchangeable.

Getting back to a less rhetoric filled zone:

I see that not allowing same sex couples to have the legal status of marriage causes them harm. To say this is "bad discrimination" however, requires us to decide whether or not that harm is over the threshold.

Here's why the bathroom issue is rather pertinent - it is not considered "bad discrimination" to have men and women's bathrooms separated (though someday, it might be, and some people DO think it is). However, having the bathrooms separated causes harm in many ways. The fact that women are not allowed to use the men's bathroom after a movie has literal caused some women to pee their pants waiting in line for ten or twenty minutes, even though the men's bathroom is pretty much clear. Also, it creates additional burden on the buildings that are required to have both bathrooms - though this has been mitigated in many states by new laws that allow for low volume buildings to have multi-sex bathrooms.

This harm is not as difficult to get around as not being able to be legally recognized as married. However, the harm here is generally (unless you want to talk socially) due to legal rights that are not assigned to the partner. The thing is, most of these legal rights CAN be assigned, and I know several lawyers that have packets you can buy cheap (and in some cases for free) that, once filed, give most of those rights. That leaves things like the fact that some states require businesses to offer healthcare to spouses, etc. - which would require the law to change. However, these are law changes - the concept of marriage doesn't HAVE to extend to same sex partners in order to ameliorate the harm.

When it comes to my position on this issue, I am fully in favor of overhauling all of the legal code, completely ridding it of the term "marriage", and using various civil unions that don't pretend there are no differences in a civil union between a man and a woman, a man and a man, and a woman and a woman - we must review all the laws on the books BEFORE making the changes to be sure that we don't have laws that apply poorly in situations that they weren't intended to cover.

However, when it comes to the argument of "bad discrimation"? I don't agree, though I think there are certainly problems. But, to reiterate, I don't agree with the idea that having marriage be "between a man and a woman" is "bad discrimination" against same-sex couples - the ramifications can be hurtful, but not to the degree where I feel it is unjustafiable. Thus, when I here that people don't want marriage or civil unions extended to cover same sex partners, I don't agree with them, but I also won't agree that they are "discriminating", in the "bad" sense we've defined.

[ November 08, 2005, 02:30 PM: Message edited by: javelin ]

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
No, I think you are pretending there isn't a spectrum, and, by the way, comparing granting the legal status of marriage to same sex couples to Jim Crow is asinine, and it pisses me off - it makes it very hard for me to sympathize with the other position when people pretend they are remotely interchangeable.

Look, if someone wants to quibble over use of the word marriage, thats fine, but to entirely deny the legal and social benefits associated with marriage to anyone who is gay is EXACTLY like Jim Crow: not murder or slavery, but systematic, state sponsored discrimination against a specific group who can't help being what they are. If that makes you angry, maybe its because it hit close to the mark.

Adam

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
quote:
No, I think you are pretending there isn't a spectrum, and, by the way, comparing granting the legal status of marriage to same sex couples to Jim Crow is asinine, and it pisses me off - it makes it very hard for me to sympathize with the other position when people pretend they are remotely interchangeable.

Look, if someone wants to quibble over use of the word marriage, thats fine, but to entirely deny the legal and social benefits associated with marriage to anyone who is gay is EXACTLY like Jim Crow: not murder or slavery, but systematic, state sponsored discrimination against a specific group who can't help being what they are. If that makes you angry, maybe its because it hit close to the mark.

Adam

See, this is where you lose it:

"to entirely deny the legal and social benefits associated with marriage to anyone who is gay"

This isn't happening. Feel free to read my previous post. I grant, without exception, that I can understand why someone would consider this "bad discrimination". I believe that, legally, it can not be found to be "bad discrimination". If you want to discuss HOW these "legal and social benefits" can be claimed by "anyone who is gay", let's do so. But first, read the my ENTIRE previous post so I don't have to repeat myself.

If I'm proven wrong, and your statement of "to entirely deny", then I'd agree with you - it's as bad, if not perhaps worse, then the Jim Crowe laws. So, hit me.

[ November 08, 2005, 02:53 PM: Message edited by: javelin ]

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JohnLocke
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I believe he's putting this under the Jim Crow heading rather than your post, jav:

quote:
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.


[ November 08, 2005, 02:59 PM: Message edited by: JohnLocke ]

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by JohnLocke:
I believe he's putting this under the Jim Crow heading rather than your post, jav:

quote:
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.

I can see what you are saying - I guess if someone were to go ahead and get all the legal rights that a married person normally enjoys, it is possible that someone could use that section to make those agreements void.

I think that's pretty "out there" however, and I sincerly doubt that's the actual intent, in most cases - otherwise (IMHO [Wink] ) it would be worded differently.

That damn "recognize" really makes this even worse of a mess - if create was the only word used, this wouldn't even be an issue.

[ November 08, 2005, 03:02 PM: Message edited by: javelin ]

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javelin
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On the subject of my last post:

I was asked if I could see another interpretation - and again, I can see another interpretation - that this law isn't INTENDED to keep same sex couples from contracting the same rights as a married couple - the intention is to keep the state from passing new laws (or changing existing) to automatically confer that state to same sex couples through a civil union or marriage.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
I guess if someone were to go ahead and get all the legal rights that a married person normally enjoys, it is possible that someone could use that section to make those agreements void.
It's even worse than you realize, javelin. Because the wording excludes anything "similar" to marriage. So even gaining most legal rights would void any legal "status" to the relationship.

It's an obvious attempt to ban any type of gay "civil unions" in the future.

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sfallmann
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My rights, your rights, and gay person's rights are exactly the same. Saying that this is exactly like Jim Crow is a joke. There were seperate rules for whites and blacks. Gay and straight people are subject to the same law.
No one can marry anyone else of the same sex.

You may think the current laws are unjust because it doesn't allow people to do something that they were never able to do, but no one is being singled out or discriminated against.

Instead of exaggerating and using over the top rhetoric (" but to entirely deny the legal and social benefits associated with marriage to anyone who is gay is EXACTLY like Jim Crow"), you should try convincing people of how it's something that needs to be changed.

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
I guess if someone were to go ahead and get all the legal rights that a married person normally enjoys, it is possible that someone could use that section to make those agreements void.
It's even worse than you realize, javelin. Because the wording excludes anything "similar" to marriage. So even gaining most legal rights would void any legal "status" to the relationship.

It's an obvious attempt to ban any type of gay "civil unions" in the future.

Yes, and I agree it SUCKS BIG TIME - but I DON'T think it's intended to stop, for example, the legal packages I've mentioned - where things like visiting rights, inheritence, etc. are assigned to another person through a series of legally filed documents (not through a state law allowing these things to be packaged).

Think about it - if a judge ruled that this covered those packages, many adult children would be unable to assign those rights to their parents, including ME! Argh! And hell, it would possibly screw up parent/child legal stuff too! I doubt that was the intention.

[ November 08, 2005, 03:26 PM: Message edited by: javelin ]

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Zyne
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quote:
I guess if someone were to go ahead and get all the legal rights that a married person normally enjoys, it is possible that someone could use that section to make those agreements void.
How many rights enjoyed by marrieds do two gay folks get to have before their relationship is "similar to" marriage and the right(s) prohibited? Since provision also bans state recognition of things "identical to" marriage, it MUST mean less than all rights married folks have when it says "similar to."

Maybe it means that a gay couple can't have ANY right that accrues to straights when they marry. Maybe it means that unmarried straights can't have ANY of those rights. I'm afraid that a vocal minority of hateful people (including the KKK, which recently held a rally in Austin in support of Prop 2) want to achieve both goals, and won't stop until they get that interpretation.

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javelin
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Maybe, Zyne, maybe, but check out my last post for why I think that's not exactly right - or at the very least, to see even MORE consequences, of which are very likely to be unintentional.
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Zyne
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Jav, the arrangements that you're speaking of aren't really "similar to" marriage. And you distinguish them easily when you say that it would screw up all sorts of intrafamilial arrangements used for purposes other than the emulation of marriage between two individuals of the same sex.

IMO that's how the legislation to enact this train wreck would go,* something like: "If an arrangement has as its primary purpose a reason other than the emulation of marriage between two individuals of the same sex, then the arrangement is not similar to marriage. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, the following arrangements are/are not deemed to have a primary purpose other than the emulation of marriage between two individuals of the same sex..."

(*Assuming there's any marriages allowed in Texas at all on Wednesday.)

(Ed: I mean, that's how it SHOULD go. As evidenced by the language of Prop 2, those idiots can't draft their way out of paper bags.)

[ November 08, 2005, 03:44 PM: Message edited by: Zyne ]

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Richard Dey
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Y'all? Ah've solved thee-is problem heah?

(a) Marriage in thee-is Gray-ate Stay-ate o'Texas shall consee-ist only of the Christian union of one may-an and one woman, y'heah?

(b) Thee-is Gray-ate Stay-ate o'Texas nor any political subdivision of thee-is Gray-ate Stay-ate o'Texas yippee! may not create nor recognize? any legal status identical to or similar to marriage noways nohow, y'hee-ah?

(c) And any o'them quee-ah couples from any o'them firrin stay-ates comin' down hee-ah to the Gray-ate Stay-ate o'Texas, except may-aybe aroun' Austin and them fancy play-aces, is gonna get tarred and feathered and run outta town with turkey feathers up their butts, y'heah?

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Zyne:
Jav, the arrangements that you're speaking of aren't really "similar to" marriage. And you distinguish them easily when you say that it would screw up all sorts of intrafamilial arrangements used for purposes other than the emulation of marriage between two individuals of the same sex.

IMO that's how the legislation to enact this train wreck would go,* something like: "If an arrangement has as its primary purpose a reason other than the emulation of marriage between two individuals of the same sex, then the arrangement is not similar to marriage. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, the following arrangements are/are not deemed to have a primary purpose other than the emulation of marriage between two individuals of the same sex..."

(*Assuming there's any marriages allowed in Texas at all on Wednesday.)

(Ed: I mean, that's how it SHOULD go. As evidenced by the language of Prop 2, those idiots can't draft their way out of paper bags.)

ARGH!
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Lewkowski
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The point behind this is because it will prevent liberal judges from doing an end run around the will of the people. Like they often do.
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JohnLocke
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The "will of the people" is not the same thing as "outcome of a particular vote"; not by a long shot.

Of course I don't have much use for "the will of the people" anyway, but, Lewkowski, you could just as easily state that 'the point behind this is to make sure their philosophy is truly present in the law before the "will of the people" has any chance to change. Like it often does.'

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Zyne
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quote:
ARGH!
Okay, I'll shut up.
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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Zyne:
quote:
ARGH!
Okay, I'll shut up.
No - I appreciate what you've said. The whole thing just makes me upset - this is a really stupid thing to try and pass.
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KnightEnder
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quote:
I think that's pretty "out there" however, and I sincerly doubt that's the actual intent, in most cases - otherwise (IMHO ) it would be worded differently.
I had copied and was about to paste and point out the word "create" before I read your last sentence. However, you should add "similar". It's obvious they used those two words because that is exactly "their actual intent". They intend to deny homosexuals the same rights as heterosexuals.

KE

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Lewkowski
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"Of course I don't have much use for "the will of the people" anyway, but, Lewkowski, you could just as easily state that 'the point behind this is to make sure their philosophy is truly present in the law before the "will of the people" has any chance to change. Like it often does."

Its not like amending the United Constitution its far easier. If the majority want it, it will be changed by a new prop.

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