Civil Unions are real and available, at least in Vermont.
Civil unions with the exact same rights as marriage aren't real, not even in Vermont. The Federal government has no recognition of such unions, and thus, more than 1000 rights avaliable to married couples are unavailable to Vermont's civil-unioned pairs.
Is this appropriate in the case of Gay Rights?
Sure. Why wouldn't it be?
At any rate it seems a little ridiculous to me to fault gay people for refusing to settle for a solution that, at this point, is completely theoretical. (Can you imagine the "lack of grace"? I mean, really - what's next? Starving people complaining even after we've imagined all this food for them to eat?)
On the contrary, almost everybody who is bitching about it on this thread is heterosexual. I DO want the right to marry the person of my choice, without anybody looking under his/her skirt to check his/her qualifications.
Why wouldn't a civil union for same sexes work? If you wanted to say you are "married," fine. But why does the law need to say it, especially if it were to provide for equivalent civil-union rights?
This has been repeated over and over and over and over....
The law needs to treat people as equals.
If the law can prescribe a different "relationship" between same-sex couples, then it can prescribe a different "relationship" between mixed-race couples or different-religion couples or different-age couples, or....
Equality is just that - equality. Everybody treated equally. If you get to choose who you marry, so does everybody else.
But why does the law need to say it, especially if it were to provide for equivalent civil-union rights?
I see this being put forward a lot and I am still confused by it. The equivalent question goes unanswered: If the two states of affair (marriage/civil-union) are legally equivalent, why should the law give them two different names?
I hear hopeless linguistic pleas to tradition and stuff, but given the fact that language usage changes that kind of argument seems hopeless.
Other than the perceived "stigma" of "separate but equal" from US racial history, are there other objections to Civil Union as a solution?
No. Civil unions are an excellent solution, if you are willing to ignore piddling little perceived stigmas like "segregation" and "institutionalized bigotry".
Other than that, they're great. Hooray for that comfy seat in the back of the bus.
I understand this is an emotional issue. I see no one separating Gays at the water fountain, the back of the bus or in separate schools. Devoid of the emotional hyperbole Civil Union seems an appropriate solution. It seems to work well throughout most of Europe and other nations around the globe.
Without the stigma of US racial history Civil Union may have been welcome to the US Gay community at least as a step in the right direction. With our history, and the hyperbole within both the Gay and religious communities, Civil Union appears to not be an option.
Do to the power grip certain religions have on the psyche of this nation, it also appears that Civil Marriage is not going to be an option for Gays either, let alone religiously sanctioned union.
Is this a matter of semantics? If "marriage" is defined as a "union between a man and a woman" and "civil union" as a "union between members of the same sex" is there really an issue? Assuming that all applicable "rights" such as confidence, inheritance, etc. are legally enforced as in Vermont, does an issue still exist?
Assuming that all applicable "rights" such as confidence, inheritance, etc. are legally enforced as in Vermont, does an issue still exist?
Since they aren't enforced, not even in Vermont, what does that do to your argument?
First, Frog, I have no argument. Just inquiring.
B: If such rights are not enforced then Civil Union is not an appropriate institution...yet. Having Civil Union recognized with equal force in court would be where the battle is.
My research into Vermont Civil Union and the reading of their statute does extend the same rights as marriage to Civil Union. If Vermont courts are not enforcing the statute then there is an issue for the ACLU. Are you sure of this?
My research into Vermont Civil Union and the reading of their statute does extend the same rights as marriage to Civil Union.
Since the state of Vermont is not the sole entity responsible for extending the rights of marriage to anybody, Vermont's civil union statutes can't extend the same rights as marriage to those in civil unions. There's over a thousand federal rights associated with marriage that Vermont doesn't have the authority to extend, and are denied to civil union partners because civil unions aren't recognized by the federal government.
So, civil unions offered by the states can't be the solution, because the states don't have the authority to make civil unions equivalent to marriage.
Yeah, I'm replying to myself here. These posts are coming so fast I can't type fast enough. The federal issue didn't dawn on me till I went back and saw one of Frog's posts. Without federal legislation enforcing recognition of Civil Unions performed in Texas having legal force in Utah there is indeed an issue.
As for the semantics of the situation, I fail to see where a separate word with a separate definition for a separate union is such a problem. It's almost like saying "citizen" and "resident alien" should have no distinction. There is a difference between same-sex and different-sex unions that, to be accurately described, require separate words. But, I see the emotional rejection of having a separation in semantics. It doesn't matter to me, but then I don't have to live it.
I see no one separating Gays at the water fountain, the back of the bus or in separate schools.
Are they being denied those specific rights? No. They are, however, being denied marriage, which is a fundamental right guaranteed to all Americans. This is the moral and legal equivalent of separating them at water fountains, buses, and schools.
This is why the same amendment that struck down school segregation also later struck down bans on interracial marriage. They're the same issue; they're both segregation.
Without the stigma of US racial history Civil Union may have been welcome to the US Gay community at least as a step in the right direction.
Without prejudice, we wouldn't have to dither about steps in the right direction. We'd just go ahead and treat homosexuals as equals.
Making concessions to bigotry by putting something less than equality into place, instead of just enacting equal treatment, is not a good thing.
It certainly is. It's a bit like the abortion-rights debate, in that those who oppose abortions want their opinions to apply to everyone. Abortion rights DO NOT mean that a woman must get an abortion even if she doesn't want one. The outlawing of abortion means that no one can get an abortion, legally, whether they want one or not. Same's true in a parallel way in this gay-marriage debate: If civil union is effectively available to gays then they have a choice to be civially united, or not. But why should gays insist that "marriage" must legally apply to everybody who is civilly united or otherwise, whether or not he or she wants it to?
(Yes, it's a lame one, but it's the best I got right now.)
Civil Union or Marriage, without the force of law they are nothing. I quibble over the semantics game, but semantics in this case is emotionally loaded and, apparently, for good reason given US history and the lack of federal support for the equality of the two.
Religionists, Gays, Shaveheads, democrates, lefthanders, unionists, non-unonists, redheads, baldies...everyone has an emotionally charged problem somewhere with someone. People are a strange breed. I guess that's just life.
Maybe I'm not intollerant enough. I'm missing out somehow. If everyone used common sense and tollerance for human differences like me (for god sake I even like creationists!)then we wouldn't have these problems. What a dull world that would be.