What is that pink equal sign about?

Jessica Cuffman
Mar 26, 2013

"News" comes from anywhere and everywhere these days.

Maybe a better word for it is information.

Early today, several of my friends changed their profile pictures on Facebook to a red background with a pink equal sign, and my curiosity piqued. Perhaps you saw it, too.

Quickly, I learned it was a movement from the Human Rights Campaign, which lobbies for LGBT equal rights — which made sense for the friends I saw posting it on their profiles.

They're friends who have always made their stance on the matter abundantly clear. Props to my former ruggers, my roller derby teammates, and dozens of others, former roommates, co-workers and classmates. These are friends who don't flippantly change their profiles to support the cause of the week. These are people I know and respect.

And I'm so glad to see them united, many strangers to each other, but speaking out clearly for a cause they believe in.

So why today? Because today is the first day of two for arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on California's Proposition 8, a historical event in what will happen with same-sex marriage in this country.

Comprehensive coverage from many sources:

• First, the LA Times on the likely votes of the court.

• Then, the New York Times on the intersection between Catholic schoolchildren, an Ohio lesbian couple, and a drag queen HERE.

• Bullet point breakdown from USA Today HERE.

• Click HERE for more on the Human Rights Campaign.

• A blog on the best social media images supporting same sex marriage. I particularly love the rainbow house (I want one!), and an image illustrating the similarities between protestors who once opposed equal rights regarding race to another group opposing equal rights for LGBT.

So. Where do you stand?

Sidenote on roller derby: SRG played Gem City Rollergirls for our season opener last weekend. We lost 208-142, not a horrible spread for a bout, especially considering they obliterated us last year. It also means when we host them next month, on April 27, you're guaranteed to see some great derby action. More information and updates HERE.



Sorry, Big Dog, I was unclear. "Marriage" is a sacrament. A "civil union" is not, though both are usually called "marriage" as far as the law is concerned.

If churches determine to bestow the sacrament of "marriage" on same sex couples, the government has no business interfering, nor has it any business discriminating against those churches or individuals who partake.

My point isn't that anybody who doesn't marry in a church of some kind shouldn't have the marriage recognized, but just the opposite.

I think one big argument here (largely a straw man, but they have a point) is the definition or the REdefinition of "marriage." So stop redefining it. Leave "marriage" to churches, and let the government consider ALL legal partnerships between consenting couples to be "civil unions."

My concern remains the effective prohibition of marriage that some churches have determined doesn't contradict their beliefs. To me, that seems clear interference in religion, just as much as the opposite — demands from some religions that the government recognize only THEIR particular sacrament and definitions. Neither is okay if freedom of religion is respected.

Me? I don't like the government's discriminatory positions concerning marriage. This isn't just about gay marriage, but about single people who can't get the same tax benefits, etc. If the government MUST formalize some kind of a contract, then it's my opinion the 14th Amendment SHOULD apply! But I've also long believed that such contracts should be able to be entered into by ANY consenting adults. For example, if an older woman wants to engage in a contract with her brother so he automatically inherits, makes her medical decisions, etc., she ought to be able to do so. (Yes, I know you can have such documents specially drawn up, but why pay all those extra legal bills that other contractors DON'T have to pay?)


{{Thumbs up}} Sam


@Sam...well stated and absolutely spot on. Marriage is something that is controlled by the churches and not by the federal government. Why the federal government is being asked to stick it's nose into this is for the benefits of insurance and legalities that go far beyond the ramifications of what the churches can control: nothing more/nothing less. And that is unfortunate.

When you ask the government of any country to start taking the place of legitimatizing something that is not secular in nature, you run into all the problems that we see now over this matter. Had the churches stuck to addressing this on an individual matter, this would not be such a great burden. You cannot make a law that will satisfy the masses with something like this. Other types of marriage are not condoned by the US government, why should gay and lesbian marriage be?

When we got married, we didn't apply to the Federal government for permission, we got a marriage license from the county, had our blood tests and got married by a judge in a park. The Feds didn't come down and "bless us" with their permission to be married. They stayed out of it. The license fee went to the county, the hospital got paid for the blood test and the judge got paid to do the ceremony. That was the extent of their involvement. Big deal.

Why make so much of all this? I agree with Sam and with Justice Sotomayor. What's next?


Marriage is not controlled by churches. You yourself were married without church involvement. Your marriage is recognized by the gov't. I think what you are saying is it should be up to the local gov't and not the federal gov't right?

The Big Dog's back

The county is the Gov wired.

BW1's picture

Exactly, and why should they be involved either? The role of government is enforcing contracts, not dictating their terms in a one-size-fits-all fashion. For the first 2/3 of this country's history, there were no such things as marriage licenses. I thought the whole idea here was that one's relationships are one's own business, and here they're trying to EXPAND the role of government in sanctioning relationships when they should be ELIMINATING it.

Mime Bloggling's picture
Mime Bloggling

Here's another article if you have the courage to read it:


‘Gay Marriage’ and Religious Freedom Are Not Compatible


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights) and Remarks that discriminate based on age, race, religion, disability, etc..

I guess how the federal government allocates our tax dollars during a sequester violates the Register's policys. Whose agenda is the Register is in bed with. Typical lamestream media where good reporting is judged on how well they support Obama.

The Big Dog's back

Big Dog's Law has been invoke.


You mean that whenever someone states a fact against your messiah you have to change your diaper? I hope you have a good supply.

Second Opinion

No surprise here. This paper has consistently taken sides against those fundamental teachings of morality in the scriptures. If anyone posts anything that is remotely negative against homosexuals the register deletes it, even when the posts are factual and contains specific facts. It's no secrete that this paper is anti family structure. Less than 2 percent of the population are gay but the news beats the subject to death. I do not respect Matt or many who write for this paper, their pompous attitude that they know everything but have they themselves never read the Bible and then treats Christians as second rate humans.


{{Thumbs up}} Second


This wouldn’t be the first time that humanity is out of sync with transcendent moral law. Nor will it be the first time that such blatant disregard of it ends in catastrophe.


Shouldn't it have a diagonal bar on it?



Farrrr right wing propaganda site.

Nuff said.....


Really Kimo, reporting events that the liberal state run media like the SR refuses to run so as to not hurt Obozo makes said media a right wing newspaper?

The Big Dog's back

Yes! Any other questions?


Trollin, Trollin, Trollin Down the River


It doesn't matter what you think about the whole issue, times are changing and there's not much that will change that fact. You can pick and choose whatever website or bible verse suits your beliefs, but the world is moving on. With all of the very serious problems that we face in an increasingly uncertain future, is this really something that we should care about? If someone can reasonably explain to me how this will disrupt the fabric of "marriage", I'd be happy to listen. Leave religion out of the argument, because, the separation of church and state is still the law of the land.


marriage is a legal and binding contract. you do not need a church to get married. if two people want to complicate their relationship with a contract I say let them do it. gays should be allowed to learn from mistakes too..


Well said mikey!! That IS it in a nutshell. Marriage is an act under the law, not religion. If it were just a matter of religion, then it would be easy enough to click your heels together three times and say "I am not married any longer" and it would be over with. This whole debate is due to a lesbian couple, together for years. One died, the other had to pay over $300,000 in estate taxes--something a "man and wife" would not have had to do. That is just not fair--plain and simple.


I agree as well. Marriage is both secular and religious. When a clergyman says "by the power vested in the me by the state of Ohio..." that is obvious. Some marriages are just secular and a church may or may not recognize them as legitimate. And that is ok. Marriage exists because married couples create the best foundation for productive families that are self sufficient. Statistics show that is still true. So now we have same sex committed couples creating households and raising families. Whether you like it or not. They should recieve the same legal benefits and protections that opposite sex committed couples do. Religions and individuals within those religions are and should be free to refuse to recognize those marriages. Marriage has never been defined before because it was assumed to be between a man and a woman. It didn't have to be defined. So now it does, and it should be defined as a legal union between two people.

Eph 2 8-10

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

Romans 1:24-28 NIV

I wonder how long this will be allowed to remain up?


Not that you are responding to me, but regarding my post, I may or may not think same sex marriage is moral. But I think it should be legal. I think adultry is immoral. But it shouldn't be illegal. I think lying is immoral. But it shouldn't be illegal (except under oath). Lots of things are immoral but not illegal. If the bible (which I believe in by the way) always defined law, lots of things would be illegal.

And by the way, I'm sure your post will stay. No one is trying to take away your freedom.

Eph 2 8-10

My post was not directed at you or anyone. God teaches us to love the sinner and hate the sin.

And, I fully agree with you.


Really? I thought "Two Lines" meant she's pregnant.

Mime Bloggling's picture
Mime Bloggling


A very interesting read...

There seems to be much confusion in the current debate over marriage. Hopefully it's not being done on purpose to cloud the issue. Let's make one thing very clear: those of us who support marriage as it has been since the dawn of time respect the liberty of others to live their lives as they choose. But governmental redefinition of marriage is a power grab that attacks civil society

That's right. We cannot hope to limit government if we do not stand up for marriage. Marriage is the foundation of America's cultural stability and economic prosperity. As the Supreme Court considers two cases challenging marriage as the union of a man and a woman, it should resist a ruling that would usurp authority from citizens and their elected officials, which would be the biggest power grab of them all.

Without strong families grounded in marriage, we cannot hold back the ever-expanding power of government. As the marriage culture weakens, Big Government grows. Just look how the welfare state has expanded as the unwed childbearing rate has grown from single digits in the 1960s to more than 40% today.

Marriage policy exists to encourage a man and a woman to commit to each other permanently and exclusively as husband and wife and to be father and mother to any children. Sound marriage policy strengthens civil society and reduces the role of government.

The erosion of marriage costs taxpayers. And it's not just conservatives who say this. Even the left-leaning think tank, Brookings Institution, attributed $229 billion in welfare expenditures between 1970 and 1996 to the breakdown of marriage.

Marriage is our best anti-poverty program. As the Heritage Foundation's welfare expert Robert Rector has pointed out, marriage reduces the probability a child will be poor by 80%, dramatically diminishing the odds of ending up on welfare.

Even President Obama agrees that the facts about family breakdown are well-established. As he said in his 2008 fatherhood speech: "We know the statistics -- that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it."

Fathers matter, and marriage helps to connect fathers to mothers and children.

But how can the law teach that fathers are essential if policy redesigns marriage to make fathers optional? Redefining marriage would reject the ideal that a child needs a mom and a dad.

Decades of research show that children generally do best when raised by a married mother and father. If marriage policy teaches a lie about what marriage is, and delinks childbearing and rearing from marriage, it would result in liberals advocating for more state intervention to pick up the pieces of a broken marriage culture and cause welfare programs to grow even more.

Redefining marriage does not simply enlarge its scope to include more people, as some suggest. No, it rejects the twin realities at the heart of the institution: marriage is based on the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman and children need a mother and a father. It replaces it with an entirely new principle: that marriage is whatever emotional bond the government says it is.

We can treat citizens fairly and fix policy problems without redefining marriage. The lawsuit before the Supreme Court on the Defense of Marriage Act, for example, involves a woman in a lesbian relationship who was forced to pay more than $350,000 in federal estate taxes when her partner passed away because she didn't qualify for a marital exemption. This is why we have argued for eliminating the estate tax for more than 15 years.

The death tax is bad tax policy, period -- for all Americans. We can remove this burden without rushing to abolish marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Everyone is free to love whom they want but no one is entitled to redefine a foundational institution of civil society that has existed for centuries.

Whatever anyone thinks about marriage as a policy matter, unelected judges shouldn't try to settle this question for the entire country. The Supreme Court should uphold marriage and restore to the American people the authority to determine marriage policy. It's time to restore constitutional government and that means standing up for our most fundamental, pre-political institution: marriage, the union of one man and one woman.

The Big Dog's back



I hold several issues with this argument.

Marriage today does not look like it did in the "dawn of time." Marriage has historically been shaped and reshaped to address changes in society and structural issues within the institution itself. I won't dive into a long-winded version of the history, but initially marriage was between a man and a woman and the woman was essentially chattle. Then marriage was just for white people. While these are just two examples of how "traditional" marriage was defined and executed, they demonstrate an evolution of the institution of marriage, given that women are no longer legally considered property of their husband's and minority races are permitted to marry including interracially. For a more in depth historical/feminist analysis on marriage, I'd be happy to recommend at least one book as soon as I can find it (I can't recall the title at the moment as I read it over a year ago).

Therefore, your point that further evolving the institution of marriage will somehow give incomprehensible amounts of power to our government is moot. In crude language and simplified logic, I'm pretty sure allowing black people to legally get married never caused catastrophe or allowed the government to take more power. Again, marriage among minority races wasn't allowed in "traditional" marriage structures.

I can agree that marriage is a strong institution for the society that we have created. Having two people make a legal and fiscal commitment to one another is productive for our current society; having neatly organized family structures is productive for our current society. Notice that I don't bring in the spiritual commitment, because that's not what this case is about. The spirituality component is entirely independent of the legal commitment of marriage, with their only shared aspect being the vocabulary that we've given it (i.e. the word "marriage" itself). But, in the vein of this line of thinking, wouldn't that make opening up marriage to be more inclusive of same-sex couples a good thing for this country? It would create more opportunities for stability and to create the types of family structures that this society is allegedly relying on as a backbone. Just food for thought, and here is a Newsweek article that better articulates that argument than I'm currently able to:

I'm unconvinced on your point that marriage is "our best anti-poverty program", given that I'm sure many people around this country could easily turn their personal stories of poverty despite marriage into relevant political rhetoric.

Furthermore, I feel as though we need to look beyond the statistical analyses of the lack of a father and delve deeper into the true meanings of those numbers. Firstly, I think it's dangerous to take the words literally and to only take away that "fathers are important" ergo "fathers shan't be optional." The deeper issue appears, to me, to be sociological and possibly even psychological. Having an absentee father may make it statistically more likely for you to end up in jail or become a teen parent, but you can't divorce the potential issues that rise out of parental abandonment from the possible end results listed in that quote. Trying to tie the lack of a patriarch in a family structure to those results without looking at the steps in between creates a slippery slope.

Finally, I'm going to steal the rhetoric already introduced in the legal case at hand and point out that if the legal terms of and right to marriage is decided simply on "biological fact", then infertile individuals of all ages - most especially post-menopausal women - should not be allowed to marry either. Even if said post-menopausal women are marrying a John as opposed to a Jane.