Elizabeth Hasselbeck | Gay Marriage | News | Portia de Rossi

Portia de Rossi: Civil Unions Vs Marriage on The View


Portia de Rossi discussed civil unions vs marriage on The View together.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck, typically, struggled with the concept: "Take men and women. Women want all the rights of men, but they're not asking to be called men. Do you think...is the word [marriage] more important than the rights?"


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  1. I guess she has a problem understanding "separate but equal" are not truly equal.

    Posted by: Ben | Dec 5, 2009 11:17:27 AM

  2. Go Portia!

    Elizabeth, your statement doesn't make sense. marriage is the name of an institution, not a gender. Having the same rights of a male doesn't make you a male, but having the same rights as marriage makes it a marriage.

    Posted by: kybarsfang | Dec 5, 2009 11:23:10 AM

  3. I'm no fan of Elizabeth, but in the context of what Joy had said, her question made perfect sense. And Portia answered it beautifully.

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 5, 2009 11:42:32 AM

  4. Hasselback is an idiot, but I think there's a point there. Part of the reason we're having such a hard time getting our rights is that some straight people are freaking out over semantics. They hear the word "marriage" being used for something DIFFERENT and they get scared. (Remember, straight people are scared of change).

    I think we wouldve been better off fighting for civil unions that gave us all the rights of marriage without using that hot-button word. In very short order, everyone would call in marriaged anyway--no one would say their cousin got "civil unionized" last month. Then once everyone was more comfortable with things, we could have it changed to marriage.

    I know that sounds demeaning to gays, and maybe it is, but sometimes you have to suck it up to get what you want. Do you think Blacks or Women got full equality in one step? So you think blacks said, "if we can't marry white women, we won't accept the right to vote"? No, they accepted what they could get and kept on fighting. And thats what we have to do.

    Posted by: dizzy spins | Dec 5, 2009 11:44:20 AM

  5. Without the word "marriage", all of the laws that are already on the books (re: taxes, rights, adoption, visitation, insurance, property, death, etc.) which pertain to marriage will never view a gay civil union equally if that's all they give us. That's why the wingnut right doesn't want us to have that word, they know it makes us equal.

    The words "marry, marriage, married, marries," - or any derivatives - are important words that should be kept in the conversation BECAUSE of the laws. Our laws are written with specific words. And those specifics are the bottom line in our court system.

    Elizabitch is now and will always be a dumbass.

    Posted by: johnny | Dec 5, 2009 11:51:59 AM

  6. As a man, I cannot speak for women about what they want to be called. But the fact is that Elizabeth does not understand the clear deliniations she is trying to reconcile. (She is also giving us the current talking point against legalized same-sex marriage.) The point for me is that these are human rights and civil rights. They are not men's rights or heterosexual rights, even though both of those groups have more rights legalized so they seem to Liz to be the norm.

    Posted by: Liberal Protestant | Dec 5, 2009 11:55:38 AM

  7. Dear Elizabeth,

    Your equation is terrible. We are not asking to be called 'straight', just as women weren't asking to be called men. We are asking to be called equal, just like women where, and are.

    But sometimes when you open your mouth I'm not sure if I believe all people are equal, because you seem like a dumbass.

    Love James

    Posted by: James | Dec 5, 2009 12:22:11 PM

  8. Although I do not agree with Hasselbeck's argument, she is essentially giving us the summarized version of what supreme courts in several states - New York, California, Washington, Maryland, Oregon, etc. - have said.

    "Domestic partnerships and civil unions are definitely not equal to marriage because this court has identified several rights which same-sex couples have no access to. But the people are sovereign, so you gays better shut up and do as you are told."

    If only LGBT people went after these judges with the same ferocity as they do right-wing media personalities like Hasselbeck. When the California Supreme Court upheld Prop. 8, a full 200 - 300 people showed up in San Francisco to protest.

    That's not even a Star Trek convention.

    Posted by: John | Dec 5, 2009 12:29:42 PM

  9. Being called a 'Man' is not a right. Can Elizabeth can shove her cross up her ass.

    Posted by: New Jersey Girl | Dec 5, 2009 12:29:44 PM

  10. As a PERSON, I want the same rights as everyone else. I am a woman, but that is a gender identity, it doesn't make me any less or more of a person than a man. I think PEOPLE deserve equal rights. Perhaps people like Hasselbeck would like to be called IDIOTS. American apartheid needs to end and giving in to the Religious Right who want to be the moral arbiters for the rest of us by calling it "civil unions" or by keeping apartheid in place means that ALL Americans are one step further away from true freedom and equality. Hey, Hasselbeck, the evangelical idiot brigade will come for women next. Or weren't you in class for all the history on Puritans.

    Posted by: Cat Martini | Dec 5, 2009 12:40:07 PM

  11. If I'm not mistaken the law does not make a distinction between men and women. They are both people under the law. We do not have different laws for men and different laws for women. So why do we have different laws for heterosexuals and different laws for homosexuals?

    Posted by: Observer1000 | Dec 5, 2009 12:44:41 PM

  12. What if women were given the all the same rights and benefits of voting as men in 1920, but it was called "opinion-sharing?" Would that have been OK? Could you imagine if Hazzieback made her analogy with blacks and whites in regards to segregation, suggesting that we call black people white. The sh*t would hit the fan!

    Posted by: Matsy | Dec 5, 2009 12:46:48 PM

  13. @ Dizzy: What's with this "it's just semantics" crap? Semantics have a moral side to them, too. Examples: "nigger," "faggot," "kike," "spic," etc.

    None of us should have to, nor be willing to, sit at the back of the semantics bus any more than we would job discrimination.

    Further, Your Dizziness, except for random acts, virtually every campaign for marriage equality has been preceded by fights for civil unions/domestic partnerships. In some instances we've gotten them and then have moved for the EQUAL OPPORTUNITY to call our relationships the same and have them legally recognized no less than straights, and, in other instances, we've failed at both.

    It is your constitutional right, I guess, to crawl on your belly and accept your own second class citizenship but buy a vowell and get that demanding others do the same is less free speech than the right to appear stupid and cowardly.

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Dec 5, 2009 12:49:30 PM

  14. Dizzy - no one is stopping you from fighting for civil unions. The glaring problem in your statement is that you, like so many of us, are waiting for someone else to get the work done for us.

    Don't fault the gays who are willing to stand up and fight for what they believe in - equal marriage rights. At least they are doing something.

    Posted by: Caleb | Dec 5, 2009 1:00:32 PM

  15. I actually think that the push for gay marriage before some sort of "confirmed association" has hurt the battle in the States. In Iceland, we have staðfest samvist which translates as "confirmed association" for us gays and lesbians. It's the same, but it has a different name. The only legal part that is left for us in Iceland is to have the term "confirmed association" abolished. By taking smaller steps, you give the straight people a time to adjust. The same thing can be said of a lot of other European countries. I really think the first focus should be the rights, and getting something giving that's basically same thing as marriage, but without the name. Then we can focus on getting to use the name too.

    What's happening in Iceland, is that all the people who have this "confirmed association" still say that they are married and their families refer to them as a married couple. So by allowing culture to be ahead of lawmaking is a good thing, because then people [conservatives] don't feel like anything's being pushed on them that they don't want.

    Posted by: Kári Emil | Dec 5, 2009 1:01:28 PM

  16. Civil Unions, the marriage that dare not speak its name. Here in Vermont, been there, done that. We had them for 9 years and they are not equal. It would be great if we could get all the rights nationally, but equality requires an identical name. Maybe if all straights give up the word "marriage" and also get only civil unions from the state, then we can agree to it.

    Courts in CA, CT, and IA have found that the only justification for having a separate status (civil unions) for gays is to codify second class citizenship and endorse discrimination.

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Dec 5, 2009 1:15:49 PM

  17. AMEN!

    When will someone have the balls to ask any of those straights pretending there's no difference [INCLUDING Obama] if they'll trade their marriages for our civil unions?

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Dec 5, 2009 1:46:32 PM

  18. I would have really appreciated it if Portia would have replied to Elizabeth by asking if she feels the same (fucked up) theory could be applicable to water fountains or public telephones as they were 50 years ago.

    Surely hASSelback would agree that in a public accommodation comparison perspective there is much more weight on the side of marriage than there is on access to a fountain or a phone. How could she - with any integrity - defend the right to extend access to water fountains as MORE reasonable than the right to be granted the status of a legitimate and fully recognized/accepted relationship status?

    Civil unions / Domestic Partnerships / 'colored only' accommodations are created to cater to bigots not to make minorities feel better. The logic that there is some kind of betterment gained from accepting the less than real brand OF ANYTHING is completely false - not to mention cowardly and corrupt.

    When will we learn to show our teeth? The Maggie Gallaghers / hASSelbacks of the world do not hesitate to bear their salivating sharp fangs at us at every opportunity and we continue to think that it is not in our best interest to FULLY turn the tables on their lies, distortions and manipulations which only enables their continued notion of supremacy.

    Posted by: patrick | Dec 5, 2009 2:03:17 PM

  19. Rights are added to marriage all the time. If gay couples get civil unions you can bet that over time because of neglect from lawmakers that the differences between civil unions and marriage will be enormous. That is one reason why only marriage is acceptable for gay couples.

    Posted by: Bill | Dec 5, 2009 2:29:27 PM

  20. Portia speaks very eloquently about the marriage equality issue. It's fantastic that she's so likable; I have a feeling she could get through to some of the more moderate conservatives who are on the fence about gays and the "marriage" word.

    Posted by: sparks | Dec 5, 2009 2:31:47 PM

  21. @Dizzy Spins, you said:

    What you're saying is different, IMO.

    I don't think blacks called their marriage "mixed unions", did they? They were fighting for the right to vote, and the right to marry. TWO rights.

    We're fighting for the right to marry. We already have the right to vote. ONE right. If we want the right to marry, then we shouldn't "settle" for a union.

    The thing is, marriage and civil union would be separately defined. It's one thing if civil union is a part of or a kind of marriage, but it's not, and it won't, as long as marriage is between a man and a woman.

    Posted by: RP | Dec 5, 2009 4:22:51 PM

  22. Sorry. The first line should've read:

    @Dizzy Spins, you said: 'So you think blacks said, "if we can't marry white women, we won't accept the right to vote"? No, they accepted what they could get and kept on fighting. And thats what we have to do.'

    Posted by: RP | Dec 5, 2009 4:24:16 PM

  23. All the people who say we should just be trying to for "civil unions" also forget that civil unions have been granted as a consolation prize because we were fighting for marriage. If we had just been asking for civil unions we would have been granted the right to go steady.

    Posted by: jeffrey | Dec 5, 2009 4:38:29 PM

  24. "I think we wouldve been better off fighting for civil unions that gave us all the rights of marriage without using that hot-button word."

    No, you fight for full equality because anything less isn't equality, it is second class citizenship. If we had fought only for civil unions, they would have wanted to give us less, because that is the whole point of separate categories: to make once class of people less than another. If CUs and civil marriage are the same, then the only reason to distinguish between them is to honor prejudice.

    That isn't to say that we won't have to make compromises along the road to full equality, as we did originally in VT, as they have in WA etc. But you don't fight for compromise. Compromising in the interest of giving a greater number of people some protections instead of none may be a necessary step but if we make that our ultimate goal then we will never get what we deserve.

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 5, 2009 4:39:15 PM

  25. A more appropriate Hasselbeck analogy would have been calling women, "Legal Equivilants". The words "Man" and "Woman" have existed long before the women's suffrage movement, they have been built into our culture and our understanding of what those words mean whereas "civil union" is a new term, and new terms are only created for new concepts. Love between two people isn't a new concept, and the title "civil unions" (aside from being invalid in a lot of federal laws) is demeaning to those relationships.

    Posted by: Henry | Dec 5, 2009 5:12:19 PM

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