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Elton John Says Gays Should Want Separate But Equal

Elton John and David Furnish (and, according to USA Today, their cocker spaniels Marilyn and Arthur), in New York for Monday's annual benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, told the paper that gays and lesbians should be happy with civil partnerships and forget the fight for marriage equality.

Furnish_eltonSaid Elton: "We're not married. Let's get that right. We have a civil partnership. What is wrong with Proposition 8 is that they went for marriage. Marriage is going to put a lot of people off, the word marriage...I don't want to be married. I'm very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership. The word marriage, I think, puts a lot of people off. You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships."

However, as folks in New Jersey in civil partnerships have discovered, separate but equal is not equal. Seems those in Connecticut felt the same way.

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Comments

  1. Simply make ALL couples, gay or straight, civil unions and that will be acceptable. The "marriage" can become a quaint religious tradition that some choose to observe, but as far as the government is concerned, ONLY civil unions have recognition.

    Posted by: Rich | Nov 12, 2008 4:28:35 PM


  2. I suppose this is how he positions to Furnish about why they didn't get married in Toronto, and opted for a British "civil union" instead.
    It would be interesting to hear Furnish's take on this debate if he was able to speak candidly.

    Posted by: A.J. | Nov 12, 2008 4:40:33 PM


  3. Dear Miss Elton,

    Please, shut............ the fuck up!

    Posted by: Godfrey | Nov 12, 2008 4:40:58 PM


  4. Yeah like we need to take advice from a man who said he was only BI Sexual until his career turned to Musical commedies!

    And perhaps if he advocated civil unions for ALL and leave marriage to the churches I'll agree but this Servant to the Queen (of England) doth not know what she means when applied to the colonies.

    Posted by: MCnNYC | Nov 12, 2008 4:41:55 PM


  5. Can we please stop using the Separate But Equal line?! Comparing Civil unions for gays to separate but equal for blacks is RIDICULOUS. (Andy, I'm surprised at you.)

    There were two problems with separate but equal. The first problem was the fact that it condoned a separation of the races. Ok, that's bad. But, African Americans did not think that was the major problem. At the time, the primary problem was the fact that things WERE NOT EQUAL. The Civil Rights Movement was not about being able to hang around with white people. It was about being able to have money so that black kids could get the same education as white kids. It was being able to use public facilities (like libraries, parks, and pools) that your tax dollars went toward on the same terms as white people. It was about having enough books and teachers in schools that weren't falling down. In short, it was about the SUBSTANCE.

    I don't give a "bleep" what we call state recognized gay relationships. If calling things civil unions will allow gay people the rights they deserve, let's use that term.

    People get hung up on marriage because of the religious connotation. I'm single, but I don't want to see my coupled gay friends lose rights over jargon.

    This is one of the reasons why I, as an African American, dislike the comparison of the gay civil rights movement to the African American civil rights movement. This IS NOT because it's an insult to blacks. It's quite frankly an honor that the struggle for African American liberation is inspiring to so many people.

    The problem is that it results in the use of outdated language and methodologies without a FULL appreciation of the context.

    If you don't know people who really lived through separate but equal, couldn't get served at restaurants and had to go to the back, etc. (like my parents), it's just a set of words. Don't use it like a catch phrase for a British sitcom. (And when I say if you don't know people, I don't mean that you have to be black to understand or learn what black people were thinking at that time. Please, do some research on separate but equal and see what states and localities tried to pass off as equal. You'll understand why separate WAS NOT equal.)

    I've read some of the literature by the Freedom to Marry folks and I'm not convinced that you cannot write state and federal statutes in such a way to provide civil unions, domestic partnerships, etc. the same rights as "marriage." If there's no other way to get there than marriage, ok. Otherwise, let's use a different term and make sure that we start getting the rights that straight people get.

    Hugs, B,

    Posted by: Brandon | Nov 12, 2008 4:42:23 PM


  6. Can we please stop using the Separate But Equal line?! Comparing Civil unions for gays to separate but equal for blacks is RIDICULOUS. (Andy, I'm surprised at you.)

    There were two problems with separate but equal. The first problem was the fact that it condoned a separation of the races. Ok, that's bad. But, African Americans did not think that was the major problem. At the time, the primary problem was the fact that things WERE NOT EQUAL. The Civil Rights Movement was not about being able to hang around with white people. It was about being able to have money so that black kids could get the same education as white kids. It was being able to use public facilities (like libraries, parks, and pools) that your tax dollars went toward on the same terms as white people. It was about having enough books and teachers in schools that weren't falling down. In short, it was about the SUBSTANCE.

    I don't give a "bleep" what we call state recognized gay relationships. If calling things civil unions will allow gay people the rights they deserve, let's use that term.

    People get hung up on marriage because of the religious connotation. I'm single, but I don't want to see my coupled gay friends lose rights over jargon.

    This is one of the reasons why I, as an African American, dislike the comparison of the gay civil rights movement to the African American civil rights movement. This IS NOT because it's an insult to blacks. It's quite frankly an honor that the struggle for African American liberation is inspiring to so many people.

    The problem is that it results in the use of outdated language and methodologies without a FULL appreciation of the context.

    If you don't know people who really lived through separate but equal, couldn't get served at restaurants and had to go to the back, etc. (like my parents), it's just a set of words. Don't use it like a catch phrase for a British sitcom. (And when I say if you don't know people, I don't mean that you have to be black to understand or learn what black people were thinking at that time. Please, do some research on separate but equal and see what states and localities tried to pass off as equal. You'll understand why separate WAS NOT equal.)

    I've read some of the literature by the Freedom to Marry folks and I'm not convinced that you cannot write state and federal statutes in such a way to provide civil unions, domestic partnerships, etc. the same rights as "marriage." If there's no other way to get there than marriage, ok. Otherwise, let's use a different term and make sure that we start getting the rights that straight people get.

    Hugs, B,

    Posted by: Brandon | Nov 12, 2008 4:46:48 PM


  7. Obviously, he doesn't understand how this country works.

    That might be fine for HIM, and for Brits who actually HAVE the right to get civil partnerships, we we have neither and are certainly, certainly, not equal here.

    You know, I've never liked his personality, and now I like it even less.

    Posted by: Donovan | Nov 12, 2008 4:48:00 PM


  8. Sorry for the double post. My computer froze.

    Posted by: Brandon | Nov 12, 2008 4:48:01 PM


  9. In his defense, he's from England and doesn't understand how our courts found the whole 'separate but equal' thing to be inherently unequal. Also, he did a LOT of drugs when he was younger. That would explain his inablility to reason. That said, he should quit acting like a battered housewife and actually educate himself on issues before speaking out.

    Posted by: Matt | Nov 12, 2008 4:51:21 PM


  10. first he fails to be able to sing, then fails to use any rationality whatsoever...

    ...why is the media still paying attention to his rants anyways?...to shame homosexuals? ("look at what these crazy fags are saying!!")

    Posted by: Samuel | Nov 12, 2008 5:05:35 PM


  11. Brandon, STFU. Separate but (not) equal may not look the same, but the spirit that srives to deprive another person of their civil and human rights is the same, whether or not we're talking about salves, gays, women, jews etc. You don't think that the reasoning behind the fear of little black boys sitting next to little white girls in school is the same as the fear of gay marriage? or equality in general. Yes, gays now in most places do not have to sit in the back of the bus, but in too many places they must remain in the closet, which again is the same in spirit if not form. I think you need to broaden you mind and educate yourself.

    Posted by: busytimmy | Nov 12, 2008 5:06:20 PM


  12. Hey, Miss Bitch (Elton),

    It is not about whether you and your significant other want to marry or have a civil ceremony. It is about the right of each man or woman to CHOOSE what will work for them, marriage vs. civil union. Just how self-centered are you? OK, so you don't want to marry. Mazal tov! It's about everyone and not just you. Gosh, such a broad thinker, so accepting, so forward-thinking. What a jerk. But, didn't we know that already?

    Posted by: noteasilyoffended | Nov 12, 2008 5:20:25 PM


  13. To me Elton is like the Bush of the gay community, completely out of touch as he undermines our civil rights.

    Posted by: Rafael | Nov 12, 2008 5:20:27 PM


  14. F**K Elton.


    This is the same man who appeared with Eminem at The Grammy's. He's a bloated, asshole. Let's call a spade a spade.

    And before there's a hundred posts detailing his extensive AIDS work, I'm not discounting that. On that front he's been a beacon in terms of civil rights...not so much.

    Posted by: Rob | Nov 12, 2008 5:25:42 PM


  15. How do you say Uncle Tom in gay? Elton John, e.g. "What an old Elton John he is!" Use it whenever you hear these old self-loathing queers just dandy with their second-class status.

    Posted by: RWS | Nov 12, 2008 5:45:34 PM


  16. Lars -- FYI, in Holland they don't have "gay marriage." They have marriage. And gay couples as well as straight couples can partake.

    As people keep saying, terminology matters. We're fighting for MARRIAGE EQUALITY, not gay marriage.

    My husband and I aren't gay married, we're married. People came to our wedding, not our gay wedding.

    Posted by: tjc | Nov 12, 2008 5:54:23 PM


  17. Brandon- excellent post, and I agree completely.

    It is possible for us to have full equality of marital benefits without the ability to be legally "married". And chances are, that's where we're headed. And I'll give you:

    It's not enough
    It's not satisfactory
    It's not okay, and
    it's not *really* equality until we can walk into First Baptist Church of Anywhere, USA, and ask the pastor to marry us, and get no hesitation or resistance or discrimination whatsoever. That'll be the day.

    HOWEVER, to equate our legal inability to use the word "married" with America's 20th century racial segregation is downright absurd. "Separate but equal" was then, of course, a perverse misnomer. Nothing was even close to equal.

    If I can have everything but the name "Married" with my man, I hardly feel victimized. Is it based on ignorance I'll fight my entire life? Absolutely. Is it cruel and demeaning discrimination? Hardly.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Nov 12, 2008 5:58:51 PM


  18. it kind of sounds like he doesn't understand gay marriage was already legal in california

    Posted by: C | Nov 12, 2008 6:01:48 PM


  19. BUSYTIMMY: did you read and THINK about my post. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to throw insults than to address the substance of posts. I am saying that I don't care what we call things as long as the rights are the same. I am also saying that despite King's public declarations, it wasn't really about little black boys holding the hands of white girls. That was calculated window dressing. It is why King et. al. started with kids because it was less threatening. (If you read anything about the civil rights movement, you'll learn that.) My ultimate point is that gay people (and I AM gay) have to be pragmatic in getting rights. Far too many people are using the words separate but equal, without understanding what they TRULY meant. I am hoping that gay people are open to a variety of strategies in getting rights for gay couples. If that's by calling it civil unions, let's do it. I was having a conversation with a guy the other day who said civil unions are separate but equal as if that was a trump card in our discussion. When I asked him why you couldn't draft a statute saying that civil unions have the same rights as "marriages" he didn't have a response. He hadn't THOUGHT about that. He just used the terms without thinking about them. So, my point isn't to suggest that the spirit of wrongfulness isn't the same. It is to make sure that we put all the options on the table and learn from the civil rights movement to advance gay rights. Hilariously, the Freedom to Marry gays KNOW this. While I disagree with them, they use the phrase SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL to describe the civil union vs. marriage debate because if civil unions were equal to marriage, they'd have no argument that gays need to have marriage.

    Posted by: Brandon | Nov 12, 2008 6:06:00 PM


  20. JEFFROB is an old Elton John.

    Posted by: RWS | Nov 12, 2008 6:27:31 PM


  21. The big problem is that the minute you say "gay marriage", all a lot of folks - who otherwise totally support LGBT equality - can see in their mind is a dude in a dress, and they stop listening right there because they think you're making fun of their daughter.

    There is a huge difference between equal rights, which can be legislated, and social acceptance, which cannot.

    Step 1: Pass a Federal Civil Union law, open to same or opposite sex partners, with fully equal rights to "marriage".

    Step 2: Show respect for marriage as the religious ritual historically performed for opposite sex couples that it is, by removing the term from all public laws.

    Civil Unions for All.

    Posted by: Leo Schuman | Nov 12, 2008 6:29:14 PM


  22. OK...Sir Elton chose a civil union. He could have chosen a marriage as his husband/partner is canadian. I have no idea why they went this route...but that was their choice.
    Before we start dumping on Elton...we should all take a deep breath and remember what he has done for people with HIV/AIDS. His Elton John AIDS Foundation has raised millions to provide funding for educational programs targeted at HIV/AIDS prevention and/or the elimination of prejudice and discrimination against HIV/AIDS-affected individuals, and for programs that provide services to people living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS.
    That being said, I am all for equality and same-sex marriage. The Civil Marriage Act became law in Canada on July 20, 2005. The sky has not fallen and support for same-sex marriage continues to rise.
    Keep up the good work, it is heartening to hear of the support for equality in certain states. It is a matter of time.

    Posted by: excy | Nov 12, 2008 6:29:22 PM


  23. Oh, yeah, and Elton also thought we Americans should elect Hillary Clinton as our President.

    Hahahahahahahahahaha...

    Remind me again why we should give a fuck what Sir Elton thinks is best for America?

    Posted by: Allan | Nov 12, 2008 6:34:44 PM


  24. thank you jeffrob, i agree with you...

    and elton is right, leave marriage to the hetties, and let us have our civil unions, domestic partnerships or whatever ... all this nonsense of attacking the churches is not going to help anyone's cause believe me..

    Posted by: the queen | Nov 12, 2008 6:35:12 PM


  25. Yassa, We'll jess take us one of dem civil unions or one of dem do-mestic patnaships, since its jess about de same as dat der marriage y'all got, jess a diffarent name. Yassa, y'all sho is real good to us now.

    Elton John aka Uncle Tom

    Posted by: RWS | Nov 12, 2008 6:36:39 PM


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