Bob Ellis over at Dakota Voice tries to explain how the so called "marriage amendment", though it has nothing to do with marriage other than trying to force people to get married, will not restrict heterosexual couples in non-traditional relationships.
First off, if this isn't geared towards preventing gay marriage and therefore threatening the "sanctity of marriage", which it isn't because gays already can't get married in South Dakota, what exactly is the purpose of this amendment? More gay bashing? Or an attempt to wipe out all non-traditional relationships. Yes on both accounts!
Some opponents claim heterosexual couples living together outside marriage would be without legal protection in the event of domestic abuse. First, if they really believe that, this should be a good incentive for them to do the right thing and get married. But the argument is a red herring; laws against assault have not been repealed, and restraining orders are available to people regardless of their marital status. Empty argument.
If it doesn't affect the non-traditional relationships, i.e. heterosexual domestic partners etc., why does the Amendment C description include the following text which doesn't mention anything regarding the the sex of the parties involved?
§ 9. Only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in South Dakota. The uniting of two or more persons in a civil union, domestic partnership, or other quasi-marital relationship shall not be valid or recognized in South Dakota.
If people that are in these types of relationships have no rights now anyway which is basically what Mr. Ellis is using as his argument, why legislate against something that doesn't exist? And if it does affect gay couples in some way, what is the difference in the definition listed above that wouldn't affect heterosexual couples in the same situation?
Ellis closes by saying:
They also argue that this law might prevent companies that offer domestic partner benefits from being able to do that in South Dakota. I honestly don't know if that would be affected or not, but even if it is, so be it. We shouldn't be giving unmarried couples (homosexual or heterosexual) the same benefits accorded to those in a matrimonial relationship. It's legitimizing a relationship that isn't legitimate.
So basically what he is saying is that if you aren't married you should be and if you're not too bad. Does anyone really think this legislation will stop the non-traditional relationships? Snowballs chance in hell of that happening but it will provide more hurdles for these folks to overcome.
No matter how you interpret Amendment C, one thing that you cannot dispute, it is an open attempt at finishing up what they started a few years ago when they banned gay marriage, they are legislating against every other type of relationship that doesn't fit the religious right's idea of morality.
Be prepared, can legislation making adultery, divorce and premarital sex illegal be too far behind? Nice message of tolerance from the God fearing conservatives in the "Big Tent Party" and if that is your point of view, feel free to vote to pass the Amendment but quit preaching about tolerance and "loving thy neighbor", it just doesn't fly anymore.