Gay Marriage | News

Watch: Civil Unions are a Joke

Civilunions

They're certainly not the same thing as marriage, which this web video cleverly points out.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via ben smith)

Feed This post's comment feed

Comments

  1. clever. I like it.

    make it shorter...

    Posted by: pete | Nov 29, 2010 11:00:54 AM


  2. Americans really need to get over this issue.

    You can hold out for marriage, and get it eventually, but in the process thousands of people will lose out. People with real lives, and careers, and families to support.

    Or you can support civil unions, which work just as well, and would undoubtedly be granted far sooner.

    The name is irrelevant. What's important are the rights it bestows. I will HAPPILY have a civil union here in the UK.

    You are HURTING people by pushing for a pointless semantic difference.

    Posted by: Brian Fielder | Nov 29, 2010 11:18:39 AM


  3. Brian: NONSENSE. Nobody is advocating for not having civil unions where they have nothing. But there are many places -- like the UK -- that still don't have marriage. Instead they have marriage-lite, the marriage that dare not speak its name.

    A few states, including mine, have already moved on from civil unions (unequal) to marriage (equal except at the federal level).

    No one is harmed by pointing out the difference.

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Nov 29, 2010 11:26:52 AM


  4. Brian may not understand the underlying connotation of the idea of "separate but equal" in US history.

    Posted by: jon.luddite | Nov 29, 2010 11:31:24 AM


  5. Sure Brian you can ride in the back of the bus....its still a bus and it still gets you there. Your just not good enough to sit in front.

    Posted by: major707 | Nov 29, 2010 11:31:43 AM


  6. Although cute and effective in pointing out to non-gay people that the term 'civil union' does not have nearly the same cultural resonance as 'marriage,' it sells short the enormous commitment that couples who enter into civil unions and domestic partnerships (where those are the only options available) are making. Civil unions are not the answer, but they are not, in fact, a joke. In California, for example, registered domestic partners are subject to the same property rights and responsibilities as married couples. Community property law is not something to be played with casually. While we continue the campaign for marriage, we have to remember that the civil unions of our friends and family (and ourselves) are indeed worth celebrating.

    Posted by: Gianpiero | Nov 29, 2010 11:41:29 AM


  7. The point is we are not equal until we have equal rights. Period. The fact that I live in Canada and can get married means a lot to me. It makes me just as equal as everyone else.

    Posted by: jamesintoronto | Nov 29, 2010 11:52:59 AM


  8. "Americans", indeed. Brian, you're clearly not paying attention to what's happening in your own country. Once you're educated, then you can talk to -- and not down -- to others.

    The marriage rights movement in the UK kicked into full swing IMMEDIATELY after civil partnerships were introduced. It has never abated. It continues to this day and it will continue until the fight is won.

    Civil partnerships are inherently inferior, unequal, and morally wrong. If you're happy living that way, good for you. Also good for you is that people with more sense will get your marriage equality for you, anyway, even as you mock them and do nothing for yourself.

    Posted by: ohplease | Nov 29, 2010 1:14:05 PM


  9. "You can hold out for marriage, and get it eventually, but in the process thousands of people will lose out. People with real lives, and careers, and families to support.

    Or you can support civil unions, which work just as well, and would undoubtedly be granted far sooner."

    I'm sorry, Brian, but this is all false. CUs most certainly do not "work just as well." For whom? Not gay people, unless you enjoy being a 2nd class citizen for no good reason. But--and this is a crucial but--it's not like gay Americans are being offered civil unions and are turning them down. In many states CUs are no more feasible than civil marriage, and the right will fight just as hard against them. And several states where marriage equality wasn't feasible (or was taken away, as in CA) do have CUs. They have been and may continue to be an important step on the road to equality, but they are not equal, period.

    Full equality is always the ultimate goal. There is not one rational reason why gay couples should not have marriage equality, as Judge Walker found in his eloquent decision, and as this video points out in a lighter fashion. CUs aren't a joke, because they have been an important part of gay civil rights progress, but two categories for the same thing is stupid and silly.

    So, no, we don't "need to get over this issue." What gay people need to get over is that we are somehow less deserving of the full rights and responsibilities of marriage than straight people are, or that marriage is somehow owned by the churches. We aren't, and it isn't.

    Posted by: Ernie | Nov 29, 2010 1:30:53 PM


  10. @BRIAN Horseshit! Civil Unions in the U.K. take on an entirely different meaning and logistically are the same as a marriage there. That is not the case in the U.S. and it would take a lot more legal battling to secure the same rights. You know it, I know it and everyone else knows it too. Don't presume to think you've got one iota of a clue as to how it would work here in the states.

    Posted by: Nanny McBone | Nov 29, 2010 1:42:43 PM


  11. Both Brian and his detractors are partially right and partially wrong. Civil unions are not equal to marriage in important ways, in particular in the social status accorded the two concepts. So the distinction is not irrelevant and we should not settle for civil unions.

    However, civil unions can be an extremely useful transitional stage for jurisdictions that will not support full marriage. States that have had CUs, such as VT and NJ, experienced a significant uptick in support for marriage equality. CUs allow gays and lesbians to enjoy the rights of marriage during a period in which the rest of the citizenry can see for themselves that all of the scary predictions of NOM and Frank Schubert's campaign ads are false.

    So bottom line: push for full marriage where we can, such as RI and MD. But where we can get CUs but not full marriage, let's take CUs on a temporary basis. If we had taken this approach, NY likely would have enjoyed the rights and status of CUs since 2006 and we would now be in a much better position to get the real deal.

    Posted by: John | Nov 29, 2010 2:58:24 PM


  12. My partner and I have a British Civil Union (Partnership) and it is great- with ALL the rights enjoyed heterosexual married couples. But I still look forward to the day (and it won't be long) when I can call our relationship a marriage.

    Posted by: Paul | Nov 29, 2010 3:08:58 PM


  13. For all the haters beating up on Brian, I still fail to see how CP's are inferior to marriage. In America you are fighting for equal rights. My UK civil partnership GIVES ME EQUAL RIGHTS to marriage. I don't care what it's called. My partner and I had a ceremony acknowledged by the govt, we have tax priviliges, automatic wills, pension rights, share a surname, and I sponsored him to live here (from America) as my spouse. You can't do any of that in the States. After all these years (and fuck knows how many more) while you won't consider civil partnerships, good luck with your fight for "marriage".

    Posted by: Luke | Nov 29, 2010 3:35:51 PM


  14. @Brian ; What part of "absolute equality" do you disagree with ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Nov 29, 2010 3:53:08 PM


  15. "civilly unionizated"

    That's a keeper.

    Posted by: BobN | Nov 29, 2010 4:12:26 PM


  16. I have to say, I kind of agree with Brian in that it's just a word. If it's 100% the same exact thing, I'd still say I was married. I'd still say he is my husband. And I think eventually it would just evolve into "marriage." As Americans, we're too stupid to say something as drawn-out as Civil Union or Domestic Partnership. We can't even say "best friend" or "oh my god" without abbreviating them anymore.

    The problem is, while I find it a cute clip, it's not addressing the big issue. Civil Unions are not equal to marriage, it's not just the name. If that was the only issue, there would be a lot less people complaining. CUs or DPs only exist in a handful of states, are only recognized in those states, and are not in any way recognized by our government on a federal level. Oh, and hetero couples can usually get them too, so it doesn't cut both ways and everybody's seems to be okay with it.

    Posted by: Morgan | Nov 29, 2010 6:26:09 PM


  17. I have to say, I kind of agree with Brian in that it's just a word. If it's 100% the same exact thing, I'd still say I was married. I'd still say he is my husband. And I think eventually it would just evolve into "marriage." As Americans, we're too stupid to say something as drawn-out as Civil Union or Domestic Partnership. We can't even say "best friend" or "oh my god" without abbreviating them anymore.

    The problem is, while I find it a cute clip, it's not addressing the big issue. Civil Unions are not equal to marriage, it's not just the name. If that was the only issue, there would be a lot less people complaining. CUs or DPs only exist in a handful of states, are only recognized in those states, and are not in any way recognized by our government on a federal level. Oh, and hetero couples can usually get them too, so it doesn't cut both ways and everybody's seems to be okay with it.

    Posted by: Morgan | Nov 29, 2010 6:26:16 PM


  18. I always cry when I watch "Monsoon Civil Union". The scene when the father sticks up for his niece always gets me.


    I don't know if this is still the case, but I know after NJ got Civil Unions, The NYTimes reported people having major issues getting them recognized by entities outside the government who only recognized marriages. I know in the UK, some of the benefits that are associated with marriage in the US are simply the rights of citizens. Health insurance is the main one that comes to mind. Some people where having trouble getting their employers and/or insurance carriers to recognize their civil unions even though the state of New Jersey considered them identical to marriages. There is no NHS here so being able to cover a spouse though your employer's insurance carrier is a big deal here. The thought of having to go though extra hoops to gain access to the services you're entitled to sounds like a major buzz kill. Granted, this may no longer be the case in NJ.

    Posted by: Charles | Nov 29, 2010 6:39:35 PM


  19. "After all these years (and fuck knows how many more) while you won't consider civil partnerships, good luck with your fight for 'marriage'."

    @LUKE: You, like Brian, misunderstand how the process is working in the US. It's not that gay people won't consider civil partnerships. Several states have or have had them, including my own, Vermont (since 2000--10 years later they were found inadequate and legislatively we transitioned to full marriage within the state). As John also says, they can be an important transition towards marriage in practical terms (benefits) and in paving the way societally, because CUs show people that the sky doesn't fall and that the idea of gay couples marrying is no biggie.

    BUT, at the federal level, there is no CU legislation to consider or not consider--it simply hasn't happened. While we proceed at a state by state level (which has severe limitations since in many states CUs are no more feasible than marriage), there are also court cases working their way through the system that involve states where full marriage equality within those states already exists. The cases are based on marriage not CUs.

    So it's NOT AT ALL the case that if we'd only fought for federal CUs we'd have them already. The situation here is not comparable to yours in the UK. If we fought for CUs, they would want us to have less. Our role model should be Canada, where there is full marriage equality--achieved through the Court there. And there is simply no logical reason not to demand full civil marriage equality. (Anyone who knows of one, can shout it out.) I can get married in my state. Every gay person in the US deserves that federal right--CUs may or may not play a part in achieving that goal, but the goal should never be less than full equality.

    Posted by: Ernie | Nov 29, 2010 8:35:39 PM


  20. Civil Unions are not marriage they are not the same they don't act the same look the same quack the same walk the same they are not the same, if it was marriage we'd call it marriage. YES it's that simple.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Nov 29, 2010 9:43:24 PM


  21. Luke in the UK, sweet you have a partnership that your Gov sees, but what they ALSO see is that you are NOT equal to your Hetero fellow UK citizens. IF you were equal, you would have a marriage certificate or license or what have you. But they see you first as GAY and hence NOT worthy of a marriage (like the Hetero folks get). They treat you differently Luke. Yeah they do. Go ahead Luke, ask to be treated equally just like your Hetero friends and ask for a marriage license or certificate. See if it's REALLY the same.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Nov 29, 2010 9:49:32 PM


  22. It's a strategic issue. Once the polls showed the public supported civil union, we should have fought for that and put our real strength into enda. Instead, the self destructive, self righteous crowd took over again and forced us to put all our resources into a battle for marraige that we can't win right now.
    Thanks. Great call.

    Posted by: Wilberforce | Nov 30, 2010 1:19:22 AM


  23. I think Wilberforce put it more eloquently than me.

    Of course I think we should be allowed to marry. And I appreciate that Civil Unions in the USA do not grant the same rights.

    However - if America could get CU's for its gay people that grant the same legal rights as marriage at a federal level... then you should go for that.

    Win the battles you can win, and the war will eventually be won too.

    But by demanding equality in name you are forcing real people to suffer in the short term.

    And for those who deigned to tell me that people who have Civil Unions in the UK are viewed differently - Not they are fucking not.

    In Society here - CU's are treated as marriages. People NEVER say "CU Partner", and always use husband or wife.

    I don't care for marriage. In reality ALL state unions just should be "Civil Unions" - because that's the function they serve.

    Posted by: Brian Fielder | Nov 30, 2010 4:53:16 AM


  24. "But by demanding equality in name you are forcing real people to suffer in the short term."

    How does demanding equality force people to suffer? Once again, Brian, you are making baseless statements. There is no evidence in the US that demanding full marriage equality is somehow ruining our chances to have federal CUs. On the contrary, demanding full equality is not only the right thing to do, it is only rational thing to do. If anything, it will push the US towards federal CU legislation more quickly than demanding some illogical separate/unequal marriage-lite would. (That is, if the Courts don't get there first. And as I already pointed out, the cases in the Courts involve marriage because some states already have marriage equality. CUs make no sense in the context of the Court cases.)

    Whatever we demand, those who want to maintain their heterosexual privilege will want to give us less. Demanding full equality in no way closes the door on compromise CUs, yet misinformed people keep insisting it does based on zero evidence. All the major progress in the push towards equality thus far in the US has involved demanding marriage. Whether all civil marriages should be called CUs is a separate question, one that should be posed to gay and straight people equally, not just as a knee-jerk response to the idea of gay couples marrying.

    Posted by: Ernie | Nov 30, 2010 12:47:55 PM


  25. What is truly at issue is the benefits that are tied to marriage, not necessarily the emotional and certainly not the spiritual issues tied to marriage. Civil unions would be fine as long as all of the benefits of marriage are included. Fact is that there is a penality with the CU, at the federal level, so that any benefit that is drived from marriage/one man one woman does not translate to the same benefits for same sex couples, i.e., health benefits for partners from insurance companies are taxed at the benefit amount--like COBRA--from the benefit holders pay. In addition to paying the insurance company, they also have to pay tax on the benefit as income. If this inequality were fully explained in this discussion and leave "marriage" out of it, there would be little disagreement...IMHO but I tend to be a little naive...

    Posted by: Mary | Aug 3, 2012 7:14:49 PM


Post a comment







Trending


« «Broadway's Spider-Man Underwent Rigorous Crotch Analysis« «