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Posts published in “Day: December 19, 2007”

Private domestic definitions

Of course this was going to be a lawsuit - the people in Moscow should have (and maybe they did) seen this coming. This is exactly the sort of thing the Idaho Values Alliance and its allies live for.

On Monday, the Moscow City Council passed an ordinance detailing provisions for the health insurance it provides, through Regence Blue Shield of Idaho. Among other things, it allows for coverage of household members including "domestic partners" - Regence's language. The ordinance adds that "A City employee who files the Affidavit Of Qualifying Domestic Partnership acknowledges to Regence that the information provided in such Affidavit is for the sole purpose of determining eligibility for the related Regence Blue Shield of Idaho benefits and, therefore, is not an establishment of a 'domestic partnership' or of a 'domestic legal union' prohibited in the State of Idaho."

Not good enough for Bryan Fischer and the Idaho Values Alliance:

This action cannot go unchallenged, and cannot be allowed to stand. If Moscow gets away with granting domestic partnerships – including same-sex partnerships - equal status with one-man, one-woman marriages, the state’s marriage amendment will become meaningless.

The IVA will immediately begin to explore ways to trigger an investigation by the state Attorney General’s office into the blatantly unconstitutional conduct of what even locals call “The People’s Republic of Moscow.”

Fischer to the Spokesman-Review: "What Moscow did was to say that co-habiting and same-sex partnerships are legally and morally equivalent to the marriage of one man and one woman, and that is very bad public policy." Actually, Moscow's resolution said nothing of the sort (as you can tell by reading it). But that hardly matters:

And a new battle in the culture wars is underway.

Larson and Novick

Toward the end of his interview this morning with Democratic Senate candidate Steve Novick, Portland radio host Lars Larson said he'd like to invite Novick back. Sounds like a plan: Given time, this could turn into a neat point-counterpoint.

This morning's had its awkward moments. That may be partly because Novick was on phone rather than in studio (and it does make a difference; these kind of conversations can flow better when you have the visual cues in front of you). Probably too these two strong personalities were still getting the hang of having a discussion.

But they were right on the edge of something pretty good, real engagement between distinct world views, put by two highly skilled talkers.

Some of it was just some easy jousting: Novick tagging Larson for calling it the "Democrat" party instead of its proper name; Larsen saying he'd be glad to put the "ic" back in; Novick rejoinding the he wouldn't want to start calling Larson's party the "Repubes."

Most of the talk, what Novick came on to talk about, was Republican Senator Gordon Smith's praise of Senator Trent Lott for his praise of former Senator Strom Thurmond (specifically, Lott's statement that the country would have been better off if Thurmond's 1948 pro-segregation campaign had won the presidency). Larson didn't seem to take great issue with a lot of Novick's comments on this, though he did say the complaints would have more resonance with him if Lott himself had a segregationist past. To which Novick responded with some relevant background about Lott's close relationship with a number of white supremacist groups over the years.

Other subjects got less discussion. (On global warming, Novick: "Oh, good Lord, get with the program!" Larson: "I think I am with the program.") More would be good.