Guest Author - Jason P. Ruel
Is there really a difference when it comes to civil unions and gay marriage? What is in a simple word? Is there really a case that one is better over the other? Why should it really matter if we get the rights we want in the end? I will tell you why it matters.
A Gay Marriage is essentially MARRIAGE! There is no way to get around the meaning of the word. A marriage is a marriage is a marriage is a marriage. Plain and simple, and to the point. You have all the rights and responsibilities of any other married person. However, you will not be recognized by the Federal Government because of DOMA of course. Maybe someday, but not now! You also have to remember you can only get married in Massachusetts. Lonely life there in good ole Mass!
A Civil Union is not a Marriage. It is like comparing apples to oranges or salt to sugar. It is like oil and water; they do not mix and cannot be used interchangeably. What is it really? Simply enough a civil union is a simple contract recognized by the state (if your state has it) that gives you the “feel” of being married. In that state, and that state alone, unless of course your state also recognizes out-of-state issued civil unions, you will have the “honor” and “privilege” of being in an almost “marriage”. You will be responsible for each other. You can file joint state taxes. You can have children together and be responsible for them if your union is dissolved. You can go in your partner’s room and make medical decisions for them if they are incapacitated. An almost marriage, but not a “real” marriage.
There really is a difference between the two. One does not equal the other. You cannot sit back and say that this is not the case. How can we as a community sit for anything less than equal? There have been many attempts to get marriage laws changed. In California the legislature has passed for two years in a row a marriage equality law. The Governor has vetoed them both even though the will of the people has been expressed via their elected officials. Sometimes the will of the people is not listened to obviously. When political candidates advocate the lesser of the two choices it makes you truly sit back and think about who they are looking out for. Are they looking out for the bottom line – you – or are they looking out for their bottom line – electability?
In the end what is important is your rights. Are you truly equal with a civil union as you are a marriage? If you are then all is well and good. If you are not, then shame on them, and shame on you as well for settling for something less than equality.