Thursday, July 27, 2006

A More Perfect Union

So... I agree with everyone who says that, in a more perfect union, the government would simply stop calling it "marriage" and start calling it "civil unions," thereby allowing anyone to "buy in."

It makes sense. Divorce it (so to speak) from the issue of gender or religion for a minute. Two people are stronger than one, more productive, more profitable, and that's better not just for them, but for all of us. It's better for the general welfare.

But--as may be apparent from the news--we don't live in a "more perfect union." And it’s not union singular. We're not dealing with just one government here. Matrimonial law is state law. Marriage licenses (which, as a practical matter, no longer have any reason for being) are issued by counties, municipalities--local governments.

So when we talk about reforming marriage laws, we're talking about getting hundreds of governments and their competing laws to agree.

Plus, "45 states have laws banning gay marriage or limiting marriage to between a man and a woman."

So the only way this is ever gonna happen is with a SCOTUS ruling--which seems less and less likely despite the fact that the landmark Lawrence v Texas was handed down just last year. That ruling declared unconstitutional the practice of having one set of sodomy laws on the books for gays (criminalizing it) and another for straights (declaring it hunky-dory).

Think about it--one set of laws for gays, another for heteros--'cause that’s what’s wrong with civil unions: it's the colored water fountain solution.

Though... (and I hate myself for what I’m about to say)... as an interim step... if that's what gets us equal protection under the law... if that’s what gets us next of kin status so bigoted relatives can’t keep our loved ones from our sick beds, et al... Isn't that more important than what they call the law?

After all, no law is gonna foce me to call my wedding by anything other than its proper name. I don't get homos who have "committment ceremonies." Just call it what it is. (And I especially don't get the idea that doing so is somehow less offensive to bigots--as if bigots need a reason to be offended.)

So--for now--can’t we all just agree to fuck semantics, so long as the force & effect is the same?


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