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Somehow, "Just Registered" Doesn't Have the Same Ring To It

Justregistered

Second-class citizens celebrate their second-class status in Olympia, Washington. Washington's domestic partner law, which allows new hospital visitation and inheritance rights for same-sex couples, went into effect yesterday.

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  1. honey, you'd better be grateful for what rights you get, never mind the labels, it doesn't matter whether you call it marriage or registered or whatever!

    Posted by: the queen | Jul 24, 2007 9:30:05 AM


  2. Something is better than nothing. Did anyone read the news story related to this about the woman who left her husband for another woman. They registered for domestic partnership so the ex-husband stopped paying alimony sighting her new status. Well the ex-wife took him to court to keep him paying alimony sighting that she wasn't technically married.

    Posted by: Matt | Jul 24, 2007 9:34:33 AM


  3. Sorry, but my glass is half-empty.

    I don't mind if they call it by another name so long as all of the special privileges afforded straight couples in a religious marriage or civil marriage are available. They most certainly are not in Washington's example.

    Hallelujah for 2nd-class status!

    Posted by: Rey | Jul 24, 2007 9:58:53 AM


  4. "Something is better than nothing."

    Tell that to the civil rights pioneers who integrated public schools. The US Supreme Court found that "separate but equal" was not only a farce, but was unconstitutional. Creating a special category for gay people is stupid and serves no one. A "civil union" is not marriage. Not in a legal context, nor in a cultural context.

    There is no reason that same-sex couples should have to register as domestic partners or whatever breeder euphemism de jour you want to use. Forget civil unions, forget domestic partnerships. Don't settle for anything less than MARRIAGE.

    Anything other than marriage - equal in the eyes of the law to heterosexual marriage - is accepting the notion that we are so different, so alien from breeders that we can't possibly really truly love one another the way that a man loves a woman and vice versa. Either we are equal under the law, or we are not. We either follow the US Constitution or we don't.

    (Just why, do you think, that the anti-gay forces are dead set on amending the Constitution? They *know* that the Constitution protects our rights and the only way they can "win" is by changing the rules of the game.)

    I am indeed happy for these couples and don't want to take away from their joy, but it just seems hollow to me to celebrate one's second-class status. I guess in some ways any progress towards marriage equality is a victory, but it just tastes bitter to me.

    Posted by: Jonathon | Jul 24, 2007 10:16:10 AM


  5. Jonathon,

    If I'm offered civil unions, am I suppose to say, "Thanks but no thanks. I'll wait for marriage to come along?" My point is we should take what is offered to better our lives instead of waiting on something that may or may never come.

    Posted by: Matt | Jul 24, 2007 10:32:42 AM


  6. A woman I worked with in college about 15 years ago had been with her husband at the time for 8 years and they were not going to get married until it was available to gay people.

    That kind of commitment really impressed me and still does today.

    But I wouldn't advise anybody to reject registering for a domestic partnership - especially if they can't afford to make the arrangements to get similar benefits without it. But I would encourage them as well to look this gift mule in the mouth and continue to fight for true equality instead of keeping quiet and settling for 2nd class status.

    Posted by: Rey | Jul 24, 2007 10:42:08 AM


  7. Matt, I disagree.

    The point is that we don't have to be "offered" civil unions. We have a civil right and a human right to marriage. Right now, we are being prevented from exercising that right (outside of Massachusetts, of course) but that doesn't mean that we don't already have it.

    Creating separate institutions for gay and lesbian people, distinct from those for heterosexual people, is wrong and unnecessary. We've been down this path in a racial contect. The SCOTUS determined that "separate but equal" doesn't pass Constitutional muster. Why is marriage any different?

    The "offer" of civil union is seen by some as a "compromise", but it is really a placebo to placate us and to get us to shut up. Civil unions and domestic partnerships are meant to maintain the distinction between heterosexual love and same-sex love, elevating the former over the latter. I maintain that we are equal (under the law) and that anything short of equality is unacceptable.

    Should we take advantage of the limited protections that civil unions and domestic partnerships provide? That is really up to each same-sex couple to decide, based upon their own situation and needs. Some protection is better than none, but we should never lose sight of the true goal: equality.

    Posted by: Jonathon | Jul 24, 2007 11:08:05 AM


  8. Amen to Jonathan! My bf and I felt so strongly about the our right to marry that we had TWO ceremonies - 1 here in Texas for friends and family (and a fabulous party!) and the OFFICIAL ceremony in Vancouver. We are very proud of the fact that we are married (at least in the eyes of the government of Canada). We are not shy about telling everyone here that we are a married couple.

    It saddens us that we had to leave our own country to get that done. (unless we were Massachusetts residents which we are not). It is unfathomable to me that in the 21st century our country continues to deny basic citizenship rights guaranteed under the constitution for all. It is wonderful that Washington residents can now have civil unions. We pray that someday they can be legally married HERE as well!

    Posted by: JonathanF | Jul 24, 2007 11:42:28 AM


  9. Anything that is not full equality is not something..it is more of NOTHING.

    It doesn't matter to what degree, inequality is not acceptable.

    Separate but equal is NOT equal.

    Lets actually learn lessons from the United States Civil rights movement.

    Take a look at the 1986 PBS Documentary Eyes On The Prize. I think it is available at libraries.

    Coretta Scott King said it best when she said originally they were not going to ask for equal treatment during the bus boycot, just for better treatment (they had to get on in the front pay money then get off and get on again in the back). They wanted to be able to walk to the back and for the bus drivers to be nicer.

    They discovered the powers in authority at the time were not interested in giving them anything.

    The rest is history.

    I am a person of color and this marriage equality is the single most important human rights issues since the South African Aparthide and the United States Apartide aka (Jim Crow).

    It amazes me that people are so willing to live in relative comfort as a 2nd class citizen instead of FIGHTING for their HUMAN rights.

    Posted by: T. Zac | Jul 24, 2007 11:44:20 AM


  10. We'll least now they getta ride the bus!

    But y'all still gotta sit in the back...

    Posted by: Vinny | Jul 24, 2007 11:49:36 AM


  11. This is a good example that seperate doesn't equate to equal. However, those few rights afforded to me and my partner are better than what we had to begin with, although we're no where near any type of fairness.

    Now continuing the struggle to get the other 1100 or so rights still denied...all that could be granted with a simple licence.

    Posted by: W.D. | Jul 24, 2007 11:58:30 AM


  12. It's very simple:

    Separate is not equal.

    AND

    Take what you can get. Then demand more.

    Posted by: karashi | Jul 24, 2007 12:53:15 PM


  13. As a Washingtonian, I can tell you that we'll take any recognition from the state we can get AND keep pushing for more. My partner and I of 20 years are not settling for 2nd-class status.

    Posted by: Michael | Jul 24, 2007 2:21:08 PM


  14. In this case, domestic partnerships were not offered as a "a placebo to placate us and to get us to shut up." The legislators who introduced and promoted the dp bill in WA were clear that it was an inadequate response to a split ruling by the state's court that reaffirmed LBGT second-class citizenship.

    The legislators and activists who backed this have all used the dp law to point out how unequal things remain in the state.

    Posted by: Robinev | Jul 24, 2007 2:24:32 PM


  15. I agree with several points being said, but I think that we should not over look the small steps and to celebrate them as a step towards the progression to the ultimate goal. I hear couples around me saying they are not going to register because it isn't equal yet if all the couples did imagine the strength and presence it shows with those kind of numbers. Register, use it, show them how many couples are out there. It may not be equal but if every couple did it and made a presence those numbers can only help us in attaining the real goal of equality. Just my little opinion.

    Posted by: Brandon | Jul 24, 2007 3:39:53 PM


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