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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 6, 2000)
Editor Sarah Baker
Opinion Page Editor Samuel McKewon
Managing Editor Bradley Davis
Amendment includes more
than just gay people
Over the summer, some of Nebraska’s most
conservative and Christian citizens worked on
getting signatures in support of the Defense of
The amendment states: “Only marriage
between a man and woman shall be valid or
recognized in Nebraska. The uniting of two
persons of the same sex in a civil union,
domestic partnership or other similar same
sex relationship shall not be valid or recog
nized in Nebraska.”
\No matter how people feel about the topic
of gay rights, this amendment is flawed.
And these flaws will most likely translate
into a Nebraska Supreme Court case if the
amendment passes. •
After talking to three lawyers in private
firms and the Nebraska American Civil
Liberties Union, one major
problem with the amendment
The term “domestic partner
ship” has already been used in
Nebraska state law, but its
meaning is very different from
two gay people living together.
Instead, it refers to two peo
ple within the state of Nebraska
who have formed a partnership
to run a business.
In most cases, this form of
domestic partnership occurs
between a father and a son who
enter into a partnership to run
the family farms.
Technically, the passing of
the Defense of Marriage
Amendment would nullify such
partnerships. So the conserva
So the con
may in fact
have to go
to courts to
the part- i
that runs .
tive farmers who signed onto the petition to
keep marriage pure may in fact have to go to
the courts to fight for the partnership that runs
their family farm.
Another possible court appeal could come
from a student at this university.
Currently, the University of Nebraska
Lincoln offers students the option of purchas
ing insurance that would cover their domestic
If this amendment passes, the contract the
student signed with the insurance company
could be deemed illegal. Lawsuits could ensue
from that breach of contract.
This amendment would most certainly bar
public institutions such as UNL, the city of
Lincoln and Lancaster County from offering
domestic partner benefits to their employees.
But the impact that this amendment would
have on private businesses is unclear.
Qwest, one of Nebraska's biggest telephone
companies, currently offers its employees
domestic partner benefits. If this amendment
passes, they could potentially be banned from
providing such benefits.
That could cause Qwest to lose some of its
workers and hinder them from hiring apt
The Chicago Tribune recently reported that
nearly one out of 10 businesses around the
country offers domestic partner benefits to
attract the best workers. Businesses need to be
competitive, and this amendment could hin
der their ability to compete in Nebraska.
Regardless how strongly people oppose gay
relationships, the flaws of this amendment
cannot be ignored.
Sarah Baker, Bradley Davis, Josh Funk, Matthew Hansen,
Samuel McKewon, Dane Stickney, Kimberly Sweet
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antee their publication. The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to edit or reject any material submitted.
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Submit material to: Daily Nebraskan, 20 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St Lincoln, NE 68588-0448. E
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of the Fall 2000 Daily Nebraskan. They do not necessarily
reflect the views of the University of Nebraska- Lincoln, its employees, its student body or the
University of Nebraska Board of Regents. A column is solely the opinion of its author a cartoon is
solely the orinton of its artist The Board of Regents acts as publisher of the Daily Nebraskan; poli
cy is set by the Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. The UNL Publications Board, established by the
regents, supervises the production of the paper. According to policy set by the regents, responsi
bility for the editorial content of the newspaper Ires solely r the hands of its employees.
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Letters to the editor
Read the cartoon in the August 31 edition of the
Daily Nebraskan. I read it five or six times, and I just do
not get it Is Neal Obermeyer trying to make fun of Jay
Mohr, the university or huskers.com?
Jay Mohr is a first-class comedian. He was a cast
member on SNL and currently is the star of his own
sitcom “Action.” He is the only act that UNL has
brought to campus that is capable of exciting stu
His imitation of Christopher Walken is legendary,
. and mocking his brilliance is far from comical.
It seems like a good idea to broadcast Jay Mohr’s
show on the Internet. If UNL wants to become a first
class university it has to try new technologie;, this
seems like as good an opportunity as any.
For one, I am incredibly excited that UPC has
stepped up to the plate and brought in a top flight act,
and I can’t wait for Oct 24.
The biggest joke in Neal Obermeyer’s Aug. 31 car
toon is his poor, confusing, pathetic sense of humor.
In the dicir
Is America truly a democracy? How can we feel
free when there are so many "Americans” doing all
that they can to suppress those who are different? In a
democracy, civil rights do not depend on whether
one’s beliefs or policies are a matter of choice, nor do
they depend on how popular those beliefs are.
If one’s religious beliefs were ridiculed and sup
pressed the public would be outraged. However, pun
ishing someone based on his or her sexual orientation
must still be morally acceptable.
Same-sex sexual behavior has existed throughout
. history; however it wasn’t until the nineteenth centu
ry that homosexuality became a “problem” to be stud
ied and corrected.
The ancient Greeks believed that the only true
love was a homosexual love, one shared between
equals, neither partner having a controlling role.
Historically people who are hostile toward homo
sexuals will use any theory to justify their wish to elim
inate homosexuality, but I never thought our govern
ment would take steps to condone these actions.
The anti-same sex marriage bill that will be voted
on during this year's election is an issue that shouldn’t
even be on the ballot. How can we possibly justify
denying someone the right to legally marry because
we as a society don’t approve of whom they have cho
How many heterosexuals would not marry the
one they love because society didn't approve? The
refusal to allow gay marriages is just as bad as not
allowing two people of different races or religious
beliefs to marry. If those people were discriminated
against society would be outraged.
Throughout my life I have been taught to be toler
ant of those who hold beliefs different to my own. This
includes people of different races, cultures, and
creeds. In our fight against prejudice there seems to
be one group of people that are consistently over
looked, or worse, are being suppressed.
If there is ever to be equality everyone must
receive the same basic rights, privileges, respect, and
opportunities. Vote AGAINST the ban on same-sex
marriages and take a?step in the right direction.
r I Freshman
Fruits of anger and Prozac
She wrote a poem called
"Sister Prozac and Carousel
It was a long poem about
dealing with depression.
Ever since I heard her read
it I've been scared.
I’ve been having problems _
with depression. I get negative Dan©
and sad. Stickney
But the worst part is the
I hit walls and slam doors when I can’t take getting
hurt, when I can’t take life’s ignorance.
But I never get help because I don’t want my par
ents to see my depression because I'm still innocent to
So her poem had extra meaning.
It didn’t make sense.
It had extended description, and it flowed like a
meandering stream, through rocks and vegetation,
eventually reaching a cliff where it dropped into the
It scared me, partly because it hit close to home
and partly because I didn't understand.
So when the creative gray head began overanalyz
ing a book report that overanalyzed some poet who
committed suicide, my eyes turned to Sister Prozac.
The big plate-glass window was positioned
behind her, the cheap drapes flung open. The incom
ing sun caused her face to look like a shadow, but I
could still see her face. The first time I'd seen it without
ane nas a porniea nose, snarp cneeKDones ana
stringy red hair. She’s not ugly, she’s just different And
Her eyes shifted quickly looking side to side.
She was fidgeting with some sort of paper. It
ripped and she held it high above a plastic container,
which safely guarded a warm pink object
Out of nowhere, an explosion of crystals fell from
her hand. Each particle of sugar caught the sunlight as
it fell into the plastic container.
I was riveted to the scene. How bizarre, how surre
The explosion seemed to last forever, leaving me
anxious. I felt like I was aboard a roller coaster plung
ing down an enormous drop.
I wanted to scream to make it stop, but I wanted it
to last forever.
By now, I had figured out that the warm pink
object was a grapefruit.
I could smell the bitter sweetness purely on mem
It took me back to mornings at home. The simple
mornings during weekends, Christmas break and
I’d crawl out of bed to smell muffins and coffee,
and there would always be a grapefruit cut in half with
a thick layer of sugar on top, made with love from
And I'd eat the fruit and celebrate my days of inno
That was before the depression.
When I came back from my memory, Sister Prozac
had picked up a spoon and was planning her opera
She tilted her head gently to the left and examined
the lifeless pink heart in front of her.
Like a surgeon, she quickly thrust her scalpel into
the organ and turned it around, scraping out its
I squirmed. But she looked to be enjoying it
She got a quirky little smirk on her face, which dis
appeared each time she paused to look back at the
After the surgery, she lifted the sample to her
mouth and quickly swallowed it
How could she swallow such a powerful piece of
fruit, so quickly?
She then moved in for another and yet another
sample until she was satisfied.
She then picked up a blue lid and sealed off the
contents of the container, leaving a hollowed out cav
ity. As I came back to life, I looked to my right at the
gray head, still analyzing poets. But he had missed the
Sister Prozac had just done something incredible
with such precision, such detail. But he missed it
I looked to my left and the student with earphones
missed it, too. He had his eyes closed.
I looked back at Sister Prozac, and she was looking
at the gray head’s paper.
She had missed it, too. \
They had missed the moment of beauty that
keeps the aging star of life from collapsing on itself,
causing a black hole - a gaping space of nothingness.
They had missed one of life's
beautifully subtle and
blatantly honest g \
moments. \f i it \
rance made me
want to hit a wall j
or slam a door.
as an excuse
friends, your par
ents and your
children, all have
one purpose in
io live ior
It’s as if there
was an IV directly
from your young,
vital veins, into the arteries of the failures
of society- the old, the poor, the sick. The
government takes money from every
paycheck you earn and gives it to others
- others who haven’t earned it, who don’t
deserve it. And you simply don’t have a
The ethic of the unearned runs
through our society as an unsaid social
more: What, you don’t think children
deserve health care? You don’t think the
elderly deserve to have their debts
repaid? And we nod and we nod, yes, yes,
implicitly giving into the ethic because it
comes as second nature.
That’s how politicians get away with
their promise packages; that’s why we
elect diem into office. We believe, secret
ly and deep down, that we live for the
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the liberty of the individual. It does not
care so much any more about ensuring
the sovereignty and security of person
and property, upon which any rational
set of laws must be based.
Now it serves as a way to take your
money and give it to other people, that
can’t or don’t have as much money as
they “need.” The only question politi
cians face these days is, how severely can
they restrict your rights while bleeding
you for society’s dregs?
They get away with it because we
have accepted the ethic of the unearned.
We think that individuals “deserve” a cer
tain base-level quality of living. All
deserve an education, health care, to
have enough to eat, regardless of their
ability to pay or their commitment to
taking on personal debt It is a part of our
everyday mind; the elimination of
poverty, by whatever means, is seen as
What we don’t think of is the price of
this “goodness.” Poverty among the eld
erly is bad, its elimination is good, so we
build a large entitlement program called
But at what cost? A seventh of every
paycheck, a day out of every week, a
month and a half out of every year.
Hundreds of millions of vital, working
Americans have no choice but to give a
portion of their life to the old, those that
have come before, that have shaped the
system to their own optimum advan
People scoff. They say: “It ain’t that
bad.” But the assumption at the base of it
is supremely atrocious. No one deserves
to be shackled into slavery from birth for
the unearned benefit of others. No one
should be taught that he or she has an
inherent original debt which cannot be
erased, cannot be fulfilled. Indeed, for
our generation, our debt to society will
increase as a generation retires.
Jefferson was onto something, but he
stopped short of what could have
assured us liberty to this day. I hold this
truth to be self-evident: No man should
live for the means of another man; no
man should live in a system of unre
quitable debt and interminable servi
tude. Where Jefferson stopped short,
government has blossomed, like the egg
white through the cracked shell of a
nv nave me ucuuum ui apccui — iu a
point. We have the freedom to bear arms
- to a point. These freedoms are con
stantly infringed upon by our govern
ment because we have accepted the fun
damental assertion that we live for the
Your freedom to earn, which is fun
damental to a free society, is already
The constitution was never meant to
delineate our rights - it was meant to
limit the government’s. But now we are
pushed constantly to the final borders of
the Bill of Rights, fooled into thinking
that our stranded isolation to these few
amendments constitutes “liberty.”
It does not, and we must speak now
before this country is destroyed under its
own gluttonous weight. We tap the rich
to help the poor - we bleed the healthy to
feed the dying. And this process will lead
to this country’s collapse.
When are you going to wake up to it?
When our nuclear subs begin to crash on
the Pacific Ocean floor? When we can’t
put out a fire on top of the Sears Tower?
When Microsoft is replaced by a bunch
of sniveling software companies in a
approved antitrust move in the realm of
the “free market?”
The only way to avoid the grim future
the Republicrats are leading us to is to
vote and to become active. The only way
to ensure your freedoms is devote your
self to them, and to notice when they’re
being infringed upon.
We must do it, if we want to live.
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