Politics & Philosophy

Black Lie

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by Kristie LeVangie

 

Newton’s 3rd Law taught us that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Rensis Likert trained us that any collection of responses has two opposing sentiments at either end of the continuum.

And I trained my children to always look at both sides of every situation.

So am I surprised when my daughter asks me thought-provoking questions out of the blue? I mean she IS a researcher’s offspring, you know? She has a knack for getting to the core of understanding. It makes her both brilliant and intellectually dangerous…in a VERY good way.

Last week, she hit me with this question:

“Mom, is there a such thing as a ‘black lie’? I mean there is a ‘white lie’, but I’ve never heard anyone use the term ‘black lie’. Is there such a thing and what would that even look like?”

I put on my serious contemplation face and started the wheels a-turnin’.

sunburstWell, I’ve never heard anyone use the term “black lie.” But it goes to reason that it must exist. We have black and white magic.   In Western culture, Black and White represent the dichotomy of good and evil. Black-and-White in visual art is expressed in monochromatic shades of gray from very light (white) to very dark (black). Some people “look” at things in black and white. This naturally assumes there is a polarization in thought.

First, as all researchers would do, I went in search of the term’s origin.

I discovered it was first referenced in The Gentleman’s Magazine in 1741.

“A certain Lady of the highest Quality … makes a judicious Distinction between a white Lie and a black Lie. A white Lie is That which is not intended to injure any Body in his Fortune, Interest, or Reputation but only to gratify a garrulous Disposition and the Itch of amusing People by telling Them wonderful Stories.”

A black lie would then need to be an opposite on the continuum from a white lie. Choosing the right scale can make all the difference.

To dissect the definition, we may wish to classify a black lie based on its intention. If a white lie is not intended to injure, then a black lie must be one that is intended to injure. It must be a lie to hurt someone’s feelings, reputation, chances at success, or even one’s emotional well-being?     A black lie would require a total disregard for another’s feelings. “Black” would seem to imply an absence.

This line of thinking would naturally lend to the assumption that there are shades of gray (no reference to the book…lol) all along the continuum as well. Gray lies would then also have that capacity oftentimes be very hurtful.

But…so can white lies, should the person lied to find out they were indeed lied to.

Degree of injury would be quite a subjective measure. Some people tend to have a softer disposition than others, and further emotional injuries will often fade in time. Devastation now may equal growth at a later moment in life.

Should the continuum then be result? According to The Gentlemen’s Magazine, a white lie would be created for the purpose of entertainment or “amusing others”. By this, a cocktail exaggeration would be a white lie meant to amuse guests with stories of wild ridiculousness. A black lie then would mean to sadden or bore guests?

Perhaps the continuum isn’t result at all, but instead the amount of exaggeration. If a white lie is an exaggeration for amusement, would a black lie be void of exaggeration at all and therefore seeded in only truth?

By modern definition, a white lie would imply that the falsehood is intended to spare another’s feelings. Should the continuum be motive? Rather than a small trivial mistruth to spare another, would a black lie seek to tear them completely down? Would it be the most serious aggression imaginable?

In my professional life, I run into these philosophical dilemmas every day. If research is to seek the ultimate truth, science teaches us that the measure by which to get at that truth must be objective. But the real world is not necessarily confined by absolute truths.   Humans and their behavior are most certainly not confined by absolutes. And sometimes it takes human insight and philosophy to ponder the deeper issues in social science. The science of classification then gives way to the art of discernment, and while we may never know if we are right, we will know we have applied a level of thinking and evaluation that merits a fresh view.

A Not So Gentle Reminder

By Jeffersen Sylvia

“In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.” (John Stuart Mills)

US_Flag_Backlit

pa•tri•ot [pey-tree-uh t, -ot] –noun
1. a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.
2. a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, esp. of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.

pa•tri•ot•ism [pey-tree-uh-tiz-uh m] –noun

1. devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty.

All right everyone… Fair warning… This one may really hack some people off, but please bear with me. There is a reason I’m going here. A while ago I was involved in a very deep, sometimes heated, but friendly debate with a group of people evenly spread between military and non-military backgrounds, and the Service folks were again, evenly split between combat and non-combatant vets. The discussion was between Patriotism vs. Politics, Beliefs vs. Support, Support vs. Activism…

Let me tell you the conversation circled the globe about three different times, and we got a LOT of conflicting opinions and elements of the same issue from a lot of different perspectives. I left the conversation, and remembered an old article by Mark Twain c. 1905, that is a really good place to start, so I’m going to add an “abridged” version here because some of the conflicts and poplitics would be too deep to discuss without going into British and French Imperialistic politics from the turn of the last century (I figured I’d save you the pain)

**[start]**
“IT IS AGREED, in this country, that if a man can arrange his religion so that it perfectly satisfies his conscience, it is not incumbent upon him to care whether the arrangement is satisfactory to anyone else or not. In some other countries this is not the case. There the state arranges a man’s religion for him, he has no voice in it himself.

Patriotism is merely a religion — love of country, worship of country, devotion to the country’s flag and honor and welfare. In absolute monarchies it is furnished from the throne, cut and dried, to the subject; in England and America it is furnished, cut and dried, to the citizen by the politician and the newspaper.

The newspaper-and-politician-manufactured patriot often gags in private over [what he is to consider to be patriotic]; but he takes it, and keeps it on his stomach the best he can. Blessed are the meek.

Sometimes, in the beginning of an insane shabby political upheaval, he is strongly moved to revolt, but he doesn’t do it — he knows better. He knows that his maker would find out — the maker of his patriotism, the windy and incoherent [editor of the local newspaper] — and would bray out in print and call him a traitor. And how dreadful that would be. It makes him tuck his tail between his legs and shiver. We all know — the reader knows it quite well — that [at many times large portions of the populace] in England and America performed just that act. Which is to say, nine-tenths of the patriots in England and America turned traitor to keep from being called traitor. Isn’t it true? You know it to be true. Isn’t it curious?

Yet it was not a thing to be very seriously ashamed of. A man can seldom — very, very seldom — fight a winning fight against his training; the odds are too heavy. For many a year — perhaps always — the training of nations had been dead against independence in political thought, persistently inhospitable toward true patriotism manufactured on a man’s own premises, patriotism reasoned out in the man’s own head and fire-assayed and tested and proved in his own conscience. The resulting patriotism was a shopworn product procured at second hand. The patriot did not know just how or when or where he got his opinions, neither did he care, so long as he was with what seemed the majority — which was the main thing, the safe thing, the comfortable thing. Does the reader believe he knows three men who have actual reasons for their pattern of patriotism — and can furnish them? Let him not examine, unless he wants to be disappointed. He will be likely to find that his men got their patriotism at the public trough, and had no hand in its preparation themselves.

Training does wonderful things. It moved the people of this country to oppose the [Wars]; then moved them to fall in with what they supposed was the opinion of the majority — majority patriotism is the customary patriotism — and go there and fight. Before the Civil War it made the North indifferent to slavery and friendly to the slave interest; in that interest it made Massachusetts hostile to the American flag, and she would not allow it to be hoisted on her State house — in her eyes it was the flag of a faction. Then by and by, training swung Massachusetts the other way, and she went raging South to fight under that very flag and against that aforetime protected interest of hers.

There is nothing that training cannot do. Nothing is above its reach or below it. It can turn bad morals to good, good morals to bad; it can destroy principles, it can recreate them; it can debase angels to men and lift men to angelship. And it can do any one of these miracles in a year — even in six months.

Then men can be trained to manufacture their own patriotism. They can be trained to labor it out in their own heads and hearts and in the privacy and independence of their own premises. It can train them to stop taking it by command… I hope…
**[end]**

Bottom line people… We live in a bubble-gum-flavor-of-the-minute-pop-culture-multi-media-only-know-what’s-told-to-me-while-I-catch-cnn-before-heading-to-Starbucks world… We all saw the lines of flags hanging from every house in the months following September 11… Where are they now? Did the love and support for the Nation as a whole, and the troops go away? No! they got “lost” as background noise in the political coverage between the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, of the Nationalistic in-fighting between the members of the UN security council.

I’m not saying that you have to love this country… you don’t even have to like it as far as I’m concerned (but honestly, if that’s the way you feel, please leave)… I’m not really happy with some of the ideals and political ideas that are being bantered around right now. I’m not really happy with the economic status in many states. I’m not happy with many of the social programs that are not being implemented correctly.

BUT…

I’ve been around the world a few times, and I have truly seen the best and worst in human nature, and the different governmental systems that are out there, and WE, as Americans still have the best game going! The system isn’t perfect, it’s broken, and mis-managed in many places, but honestly, we as individuals have the unique opportunity to affect change. That is a rare and wonderful gift in this world.

Patriotism is NOT following a political line, Patriotism is NOT supporting a conflict that you do not believe should be fought, Patriotism is NOT blindly following the media to tell you when it’s OK to show you’re patriotic.

Patriotism is remembering that whether you believe in a conflict or not “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” Conflicts happen for economic and political reasons, and young men, and women, die daily for that. It’s been that way for Thousands of years, and is not likely to change. Please remember that young men and women volunteer to serve, but once they do, they have little choice on their lot in life after that. Love them for that. (If you can’t do that, at least respect them) Please remember that WE as individuals have the RIGHT to Vote, and to speak out against issues that we do not agree with, and we have the opportunity to affect change through activism, and volunteering for the things we hold worthy. Love this country for that.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” (Theodore Roosevelt)

All I really want to say is that you do not have to be a “Flag Waver,” or die for your country to be a Patriot. You don’t have to Love a lot, but if you hold something worthy of love, you’d DAMN sure better love it a lot… Listen, be attentive, learn, and if you do not like what’s going on around you, do what you can to affect changes… THAT is what being a Patriot is. If you are not willing to get off your ass and do something about what bothers you… Then I have not the patience, energy, or time to deal with you…

I have changes I want made, and I’m busy.

Fresh Eyes for Your Mind

by Jeffersen Sylvia 

“The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” (Bertrand Russell)

I had a great conversation the other day that generated a whole tangential discussion on knowledge, perception, and opinion, that I’d like to share with you. I am a firm believer that all knowledge is a dangerous growing process. Dangerous, because once a truth is learned, and becomes a personal axiom, if it is not taken out and dusted off occasionally, and tested against who, what, where, when, and how YOU are today, you just might find that the truth as you knew it is no longer valid.

All knowledge begins in steps: Instinct, Observation, Experience, Knowledge, Perspective.

“Those who forget good and evil and seek only to know the facts are more likely to achieve good than those who view the world through the distorting medium of their own desires.”(Bertrand Russell)

Knowledge-Reid-HighsmithWhen anything happens around us, we have an instinctual reaction to that instance good/bad, fight/flight, etc. [Instincts can be tempered, trained, or altered, but it takes a LOT to do it]. We can see someone from across a room, and there is an “instinct” there, attraction, repulsion, curiosity, anger, a whole host of possibilities. However, when we run into someone/something that says, “Danger” we usually listen. If the hairs on the back of our neck stand up, we usually listen, and we should… It’s an instinct that goes back a LONG way in our genetic code.

From there we observe people and situations from the outside, and try to place that shape into the corresponding keyhole. If it’s an easy choice, we’ll usually move on fairly quickly, problem solved. We now think we know what’s going on around us, and DAMN! We didn’t even have to think about that one. Then we run into those that don’t neatly fit into the current observation base. Uh Oh! **Danger Will Robinson! Danger!**

Well! Now we actually have the choice to leave this one as an unknown, or dig a bit deeper and go for the experience of it. Sometimes this is because everything up to now is not throwing off any alarms, seems safe, and you’ve seen it a dozen times, just never “done” it. Hell, every three year old riding a tricycle looks at a two-wheeler as something familiar yet unknown.

So… Now we throw a toe in the water, because we have to see whether the experience is worth digging deeper still. OK.  Seems fine, we have a little bit of experience under our belts. Was it warm, cold, pleasant, unpleasant, this is the point where we can either say to ourselves, I NEED to know about this, or I can easily live without knowing this.

If we NEED to know… Damn! The Human mind is a needful thing, by nature. it wants to learn, and fill, and experience, and record. So now we have to dive in, and figure it all out. This is where the fun starts! The more life experience, and the more knowledge we acquire, and aspire to, the more difficult it is to not let any new knowledge or experiences be colored by our past. Think of how difficult it is to not let your past get in the way. If you had a bad experience in an elevator, you probably get nervous today. This goes with every aspect of every new experience we encounter, ESPECIALLY people.

Every new bit of knowledge that we ingest, on whatever subject needs to be tempered with the perception of who we are, why we are, and what we are trying to gain knowledge of. More importantly, we need to realize that when we apply our experiences and current knowledge to something new, we may end up changing it to suit what we already “know,” and not looking at it from the perspective of this is “new” and I need to see whether it fits into where I think it fits, or elsewhere… If we give the process a ghost of a chance, we usually see new and exciting things everyday that can enrich our lives, and we can gain good and fair ideas that will suit where we are today.

You’re alive. Do something. The directive in life, the moral imperative is so uncomplicated. It could be expressed in single words, not complete sentences. It sounds like this: Look. Listen. Choose. Act. Learn.” (Barbara Hall)

Something To Think About

by Kristie LeVangie

The Human BrainThe U.S. military announced this week in a July 8th news conference that it has chosen two universities to help develop brain implants to help veterans who suffer from brain injuries restore their declarative memory. The universities chosen were UCLA and the University of Pennsylvania in Philly.

The initiative, called Restoring Active Memory, or RAM, will attempt to develop wireless neuroprosthetic implants to help vets recall memories from before their injury and aid in their ability to form and retain new memories.

TBI, or traumatic brain injury, affects more than 270,000 U.S. veterans and almost 1.7 million civilians each year. There are currently very few options for the injured, but the use of implanted electrodes has shown success in treating Parkinson’s as well as other brain conditions.

According to LiveScience.com, “The UCLA team will focus on studying memory processes in the entorhinal cortex, an area of the brain known as the gateway of memory formation. Researchers will stimulate and record from neurons in patients with epilepsy who already have brain implants as part of their monitoring and treatment. The researchers will also develop computer models of how to stimulate the brain to re-establish memory function.

The University of Pennsylvania team will focus more on modeling how brain circuits work together more broadly, especially those in the brain’s frontal cortex, an area involved in the formation of long-term memories. The university is collaborating with Minneapolis-based biomedical device company Medtronic to develop a memory prosthesis system. [Flying Saucers to Mind Control: 7 Declassified Military & CIA Secrets]”

As I read the coverage, I can’t help but think we are on the verge of Gattaca or perhaps, Men in Black.

While THIS research focuses on restoring memory, if successful, I can see follow-up research to alter or even destroy memories.

Think about it.

Would you pay to forget your last relationship? How about to erase a traumatic childhood? Or a traumatic rape?

Conversely, would you pay to access certain memories that may lay dormant?

Imagine the power for a minute, and what if it fell into the wrong hands?

What if you could alter someone’s memory to take the blame for something they didn’t do? Or at the very least to provide yourself an alibi?

These scenarios are far from fruition as so much mystery still surrounds how the brain actually functions, but these are all things our grandchildren or even great-grandchildren may have to deal with.

I was shocked to learn that the RAM program is part of a broader BRAIN Initiative launched by President Obama in 2013. With $4.5 billion in backing and a 12-year plan, it’s either going to be a horrible waste of money or a monumental technological leap.

…But it’s definitely something to think about.

“Filling In” Social Media and Your Other Online Profiles

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by Kristie LeVangie

It never ceases to amaze me about the assumptions I get from people based on who I am and what I do.

“I heard you are a lesbian.”

“You have sex all day.  What do you think?”

“Ask Kristie what that is.  She knows all about that freaky sex shit.”

“So how do you successfully juggle multiple men?”

It took me some time to uncover where these assumptions were coming from.  How did these assumptions get attributed to me? And what do I do about setting these people straight?

I’m a straight (but gay supporting) monogamous woman, who has the same relationship challenges and woes as other women.  I may be more promiscuous than your average woman, but I’m not running amuck humping everything in sight.

Then…Like a grand epiphany, it dawned on me what was REALLY going on here.

Mind_the_gap_2

There’s a theory in psychology called “filling in.”  “The brain uses our surroundings to literally make up what we cannot see, covering the holes with its best guess as to what’s there,” explains The Weekly Show’s website.  (If you follow the link to the website, there are some great visual exercises to help explain the phenomenon.)

I propose that this process of “filling in” is the same process we use  in regards to social profiles.

Bear with me for a minute here…I’m about to get all psychological, philosophical and logical all up in this bitch.

Most of us have two “personas”: our true life one and our online/virtual one.

In most cases, it isn’t our intent to set up our online personas falsely.  We pick the best or most interesting attributes about ourselves and publish them for the world to see.  It would be impossible for us to include each and every detail about ourselves, and in an effort to make ourselves appear more happy, more confident, more secure with the public aspect of it, we omit our worst parts and craft a careful virtual image of ourselves for everyone to see.

It will never reflect our “true life” self, but in our eyes, it crafts the gist of “who” we are.

This part we can control.

What we can’t control is the “filling in” of our virtual friends, potential partners and, sometimes, as in my case, fans.

Perusers of our online profiles will have a natural inclination to take what they do know about us (the things we put out there in our profiles) and fill in the remaining details based on their assumptions, experiences or expectations of what information is missing.

For example, I post a lot of sexually-based news posts about freaky shit going on out there in the world.  (Like this one.)

Now, I may not participate in any type of Looner play, but because I posted this article and even went so far as to research it, I’m automatically attributed an “expert” of fetish because that is what is filled in by my readers.  Or for some, I’m just a downright freak.

This phenomenon especially plays out in the dating world when it comes to online profiles.  The judgment is higher and acceptability among peers is more sensitive.  This could explain the consistent disappointments of “they were nothing like their profile” so often reported by online daters.  Perhaps the tendency to “fill in” based on our previous dating experience is even stronger, so we dupe ourselves by creating an even more distorted view of potential suitors.

(I will note that there are genuine liars and scammers out there.  I am not addressing the deliberate misleading profiles here.  Let’s assume I’m talking about the average Joe or Josephine.)

I haven’t seen any research on this phenomenon being applied to social media profiles, so this is really just my hypothesis.  But I think it makes sense.

Does it to you?

 

 

What is a “BIKER” Really???

by The Heart Wrecker

A while back while contemplating my future with an MC (motorcycle club, for you newbies) and being inspired by my market research girlfriend, I posted a question to Facebook.

What is one word you think of when you think of a “biker”?

Since I have such a wide variety of friends, the answers ran the gamut and led me to reflect a lot about my own question.

As a Motorcycle Enthusiast (to be politically correct)– Oh wait, who am I kidding? I couldn’t be PC if I was sitting in the White House!– as a Biker of about five years, I have ridden a lot of different bikes and hung with people from all walks of life.  I hesitate to mention my almost being born on a pool table at a biker bar all those years ago.

Needless to say, I know a thing or two about this “biker” issue.

And today, I am gonna respond to a lot of the answers I got on my Facebook post as well as break down some of the stereotypes associated with bikers as I progress through these responses in my unprotected noggin.

When a lot of people think “biker,” they think LEATHER.

This is one of the fashion sides of riding. The leather vest actually plays two roles: 1.) The most important is body protection to protect your mid-section if something happens and you end up going down. Leather against the road is much better than skin any day!  2.) The vest also carries your “colors” (if you belong to a club) and patches to show everyone things about you.

One popular patch is DILLIGAF (Do I look like I give a fuck?).  This one is actually VERY popular with bikers.

 

While a lot of patches are unisex, there are a lot of female-specific patches that range from ones that signify “women only” clubs to things like “Biker Bitch” or “Biker boys make good toys” and so on.

Another popular piece of leather is CHAPS. I have heard people talk about how they like assless chaps, but BREAKING NEWS…ALL chaps are assless!

Chaps are pretty much a jacket for your legs. They protect you from rain and cold, but I may add they do look HOT as hell on a woman with tight jeans…or, you know, a thong.

Okay, getting distracted. Must press on.

These are the two important leather clothing items for a biker, but there are many others like leather pants, leather underwear, and, of course, leather jackets.

Jackets, like most fashion pieces, come in hundreds of different styles for riders. They also are available with padding and plates to protect vital organs in case of a crash.  A lot of bikers also put patches on their jackets and wear them even when they aren’t riding.

Last but not least in the clothing area are boots. Leather boots are important because of the moving parts and heat of the motor and exhaust that can bother your feet.  Additionally, boots are your first line of defense between you and the road.  (Sorry to keep harping on this safety issue, but it IS an issue!)

One of the most popular responses to my short one-question survey was “HARLEY DAVIDSON.”

Some people think that to be a Biker you have to have a Harley between your legs.  These people are American-centric, and don’t perhaps recognize that there are bikers outside of the U.S.

Well, to that I respond, Harleys are not an all-American-made bike, and for a few years were actually owned by an overseas company.   So to those American-centric respondents, maybe if you own a Harley Davidson made only during certain years, you are a true biker…but what about INDIAN and VICTORY?  Those are brands of American-made bikes as well.

So is ownership of these an exception to the rule? (I better note here, before you start sending hate mail, that I am not a Harley hater. I would own one if I could find the right one.)

A funny observation however is that along with owning a Harley Davidson, you are somewhat expected to buy Harley clothes.   This would include t-shirts from every dealer you pass from all over the country to show that you have shopped at their store and sent even more money to Harley corporate.

There is everything Harley from shirts to pants to baby clothes…

shopping

Not to mention all the other  Harley products that you are pressured into owning and displaying in every aspect of your life.

HD Bed

 

You can even get a Harley Davidson-themed Ford pick-up truck or Harley-themed International semi tractor.

f350_harley_2

I should also point out here that there are Motorcycle clubs out there where you have to own a Harley to be a member…and vice versa, clubs that you have to own a metric bike or other certain brand to be in them, but this leads to one of the other answers I got on my survey…

that when you think biker, you think FREEDOM.

When it comes to a motorcycle, regardless of the manufacturer, FREEDOM of the open road is definitely what hooks you, and it was a pretty popular answer.

The first time I was out in the country rolling through curves on my first bike, my Kawasaki Ninja, I was addicted.  The wind in your face, the air against your skin, and the adrenaline coursing through your veins is indescribable if you have never experienced it.  But for some, this is where the FREEDOM ends.

It’s sometimes the natural progression of riding, and it drags you in.  First, you get the bike and learn to ride.  Then, you do a few runs with other people and start hanging out with groups and enjoying the camaraderie . Then, comes the draw to become part of the group and join a club.

For some, this is where the freedom part ends. You get a leather vest and buy all kinds of patches that fit your attitude and personality. Then, you are told by your club which patches you can or can’t have, and depending on the colors of your patches, where you can or can’t go because your “colors” represent your area and affiliation.   (The rules between clubs can be quite complex.)

For a lot of people, this is great, and they spend their lives in the MC world without a second thought.  For others, they go back on their own, or go from club to club trying to find the right fit.  (I guess the best way to describe it is switching from the Lion’s club to the Jaycee’s….just with a shit ton more rules.)

I myself have been a member of a motorcycle club and really enjoyed it and will probably join another one in the future if the open road leads me there.

The answers to my Facebook survey ran from some of what I have covered here to things like TRUSTWORTHY, BROTHER, and “us.”   Regardless of your idea of a biker, a lot of true bikers are generally VERY trustworthy and loyal people, and they will go out of there way to help anyone in need.   It is thrown around a lot that bikers give more to charity every year than most people, and that statement could not be more true.  From charity rides to just helping random people in need, it is a biker code to help others.

I love being a biker and will continue to be until the day I die. If you have never hung out with bikers, you definitely should, and you will never be the same.

Until my next blog topic or flash Facebook poll…

 

 

I Now Pronounce You – Mrs. & Mrs.: Ohio’s Same-Sex Ruling

by Kristie LeVangie

Ohio is the latest state in line for legislature recognizing same-sex marriage performed in other states.

Last Monday, Judge Timothy Black ruled in favor of same-sex couples rationalizing that refusing to do so is a violation of constitutional rights.

But before we, Ohioans, start jumping for joy, the state is planning to appeal Black’s ruling.  Let us not forget voters overwhelming rejected acknowledgement in the 2004 vote.  Could things have changed so quickly?

Of course, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is speaking out against gay marriage expressing his antiquated views of marriage being between a man and woman.

Heading the charge seems to be Al Gerhardstein, a Cincinnati civil rights attorney who has filed 3 gay marriage lawsuits in the state of Ohio since June.  He stated, “The ultimate goal is full marriage equality.”  And we applaud him for this stance.

Attorneys on both sides of the current legal battle will present arguments on the issue tomorrow, and Judge Black will then decide whether to issue a stay on his ruling.  If he does issue a stay, that means Ohio would have to recognize the marriages of the four gay couples serving as Plaintiffs in this case and these four couples alone.  This would include property rights, the right to make some medical decisions for their partner, and both parents being listed on the birth certificate.

If he declines the stay, that would mean that married gay couples from other states would have the same benefits as any other married couple in Ohio.

Here’s hoping to progress, Ohio.