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  • Senator Dabakis responds to Peculiar State demands
    by kcsg.com news
    Published - 01/11/14 - 08:37 AM | 3 3 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    (SALT LAKE CITY, Utah) - On Friday, the U.S. Attorney General said that the United States would recognize as lawful the marriages of 1,300 same-sex couples in Utah, even though the state government is refusing to do so. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said that the federal government would grant federal marriage benefits to the same-sex couples who obtained marriage licenses after a federal judge last month struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage.

    Derek Miller, a staffer for Governor Herbert, put more than 1,300 Utah gay marriages 'on hold'. The method of putting same sex marriage equality 'on hold' was not a legal opinion, but rather a 'memo'. Peculiarly, not from the Utah Attorney General or from the Governor himself, but from a staffer.

    Senator Jim Dabakis from SLC responded, "The practical issues are monumental when a Herbert staffer decrees that there are two levels of marriage in Utah. For example, the state tax commission has to deal with our states non-recognition of marriage equality. Since the basis of state income tax is the federal return, the state now demands married same sex couples separate out the joint federal tax returns. This effort has led to some very peculiar results. The Tax Commission has decreed that legally married same sex couples must file with Utah a "mock" federal tax return that separates the couple’s income.

    “I will file a 'mock' federal tax return for the state – and I will pay in ‘mock’ dollars," Dabakis joked.

    Senator Dabakis continued, "Last week, legally married gay state employees, who were offered the same insurance benefits offered to other married state employees, were told today that the state will 'review' their spouse’s health insurance."

    “Apparently, every other married member of the Utah legislature can offer health insurance to their spouse--except me. I would like a personal guarantee from the Governor (or his staffer Mr. Miller) that I and, more importantly, all other state employees will be treated equally and that our married spouses will be respected, whatever the Governor's personal feelings.”

    Comments
    (3)
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    Angry Citizen
    |
    January 13, 2014
    This article makes me angry… not the issue… the article.

    Let me right up front give you who I am… I’m a heterosexual LDS male who is inactive on both accounts (not married or in a relationship or attending church and no plans to change any of that any time soon).

    My first preference for the situation being impossible (that government should have nothing at all to do with marriage and everyone should be taxed on their own income) my second choice would be that Utah should allow and recognize same sex marriages.

    But what really burns me up is when people who have a responsibility to handle this situation on our behalf are making such a ungodly mess of it… people like the Senator Dabakis here, or Judge Shelby’s, or the so called new outlets purposely misreporting the facts or only giving us those facts that support their own political agenda.

    Judge Shelby

    First let us start with Judge Shelby… I’ll admit that I don’t know the details about the case and the decision but I bet that if we gave the information to a couple dozen district court judges we would find that 1) Judge Shelby had the right to make that decision, 2) a fairly split decision on if Sheby's decision was the right one, 3) That making it at the end of the day on a Friday before the holidays without attaching a Stay was grossly irresponsible of Shelby and that 3) Refusing to hear the State’s petition for a Stay was wrong, perhaps even criminal.

    Shelby, by all appearances, is doing some grandstanding and was intentionally denying the rights of the State of Utah and many of its citizens in HOW he handled the decision. He should have made his decision and at the same time Stayed it to allow the other side to be heard as well. Judge Shelby should have been just one voice in a chain of decisions and appeals to give same-sex couples their rights… he had no right to try to make himself the FINAL voice in that process.

    Senator Dabakis

    Next is dear Senator Dabakis. First off, if this article is accurately quoting him then the man is an idiot and should leave office.

    I hope everyone here believes, as I do, that state employees, especially those making our laws (like the Senator) and those enforcing them (like the employees of the Tax Commission) have an even greater obligation to abide by those laws. To publically suggest, even in jest, he isn't going to pay his taxes, and their by imply that other people shouldn't either… This person has no business being in our legislature.

    And then there is this whole thing about “Mock.” Evidently Mr. Dabakis does not understand the concept of quotation marks. After reviewing everything on the Utah State Tax Commission’s website I found nowhere were the term Mock was used. If your going to quote someone as saying "Mock" shouldn't you check to see if they actually said that? Instead what is actually said, in many different places on their website, is that if you are a same sex couple and filed a married federal return you must also prepare a separate federal return “AS IF” you were not married to base your Utah return on.

    Oh, and the whole thing about the state ‘reviewing’ their spouse’s health insurance to catch our poor oppressed same sex couples... its a lie. Utah’s public employee’s insurance is handled by PEHP. Many months ago PEHP requested an independent audit be conducted to see if state employees were incorrectly claiming dependents on their state health insurance. The initial purpose of the audit was to find if any state employees had forgotten to remove their CHILDREN who were no longer dependents from their insurance coverage. While this audit may catch people claiming spouses they don’t really have (ex-spouses, insurance fraud, and yes... even same-sex couples) that was never the point of the audit and the audit that started long before Judge Shelby’s ruling was made.

    Irresponsible News Coverage

    That KCSG elected to give Senator Dabakis a forum for his uneducated remarks without any balancing opinion or corrections isn’t news. KCSG apparently isn’t in the business of actually reporting news but rather in trying to shape their reader’s opinions into what KCSG’s editors and owners believe we should believe. But at least KCSG isn’t as bad as KSL who a few months ago published an opinion piece that told people to actually go out and file fraudulent tax returns as a form of protest.

    While news editors and owners have a right to have their opinions, and even reflect them in their publication, they also have an obligation to the public to present both sides of any issue, or at least not give a pulpit to people like Senator Dabakis when just a little fact checking can find that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    Michael Haskins
    |
    January 11, 2014
    SPECIAL RIGHTS - The Tyranny of the Majority LDS population wish to have the "Special Right" to discriminate against people.

    The Church is the handmaid of tyranny and the steady enemy of liberty.

    -- Lord Macaulay, from Ira D Cardiff, What Great Men Think of Religion

    Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

    -- Robert F Kennedy

    "Religion is based...mainly upon fear...fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand.... My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race."
    UTAH RESIDENT
    |
    January 11, 2014
    There are still some who consider same sex relationships as unnatural and perverted. This does not necessarily involve religion or the LDS Church, but moral values which have deteriorated over the years. If this is all about tax and benefits then argue for a civil contract to be recognized for those benefits and leave marriage out of it as that seems the contentious part, but appears to me that it is contention that most seem to be seeking after as the LDS Church has said for many years that members should respect those with different beliefs to their own. They are just wanting to protect the sanctity of what they believe marriage was established to be.
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