Thursday, December 16, 2004
by Wayne Besen
To say civil unions are analogous to marriage is like saying a date with Andy Rooney is the same as a date with Tom Cruise. Yet, many people, even in the gay community, erroneously believe that civil unions are simply marriage by another name. Civil unions are not a synonym for marriage, but second-class citizenship by another name.
On substance, civil unions leave same-sex couples lacking the same federal rights and benefits married couples enjoy. Without marriage, same sex families are not eligible for 1,138 federal benefits including Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, tax relief and immigration rights. With civil unions, you aren't even covered under federal law to take off work to care for a sick domestic partner. When it is time to display family values, the law does not fully value your family unless you are married.
Civil unions also lack portability from state-to-state. In the global economy, it is cruel and unrealistic for families to have their legal status dissolved simply because they cross state lines. Imagine having to choose between keeping your family "legal" and providing for them by accepting a higher paying job in another state.
The big losers in this absurd game of relationship roulette are kids. The 2000 census showed 594,000 same sex couples, in which 28 percent had children. If a civil union family leaves the state in which they are protected, their children are left vulnerable and in legal limbo. How do you tell a 10 year old that his non-biological mother can't see him in the hospital because the state in which he is injured wants to punish his parents by not recognizing their civil union?
I can understand that people are rattled after eleven Constitutional Amendments banning marriage passed on Election Day (and in eight states civil unions too). Reasonable people are looking for a middle ground and civil unions seem like an attractive option.
Indeed, a May 2004 USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll showed that 49 percent of Americans thought, "Homosexual couples should be allowed to form civil unions" while only 48 percent opposed them.
Exit polls showed that while 25 percent of voters favored marriage inclusion for same sex couples, 35 percent were in favor of civil unions. More than half of those who are for civil unions voted for Bush. This means that a mere 37 percent of people are anti-gay values voters. Or is it vicious voters?
The reason, however, that civil unions poll so well is because activists have fought for the freedom to marry. By advocating for full marriage equality, civil unions have become the fallback position. But the moment the freedom to marry is abandoned, Neo-Puritan groups will launch equally devastating assaults on civil unions, thus bringing the poll numbers down.
"We think marriage should be protected, not just in language but in full effect," Shannon Royce, executive director of the Marriage Amendment Project told the Christian Science Monitor.
"A civil union is same-sex marriage under a different name," said Michael Heath, executive director of the Maine Civic League.
"Civil Unions are a Trojan horse for gay marriage," Bob Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute wrote in USA Today. They are "counterfeit marriage."
It is crystal clear that anti-gay activists will ensure that the public sees marriage and civil unions as virtually the same thing. It is naive to think that they don't have the money and organization to blur the line. Therefore, it is a wiser strategy to defend marriage rather than what fundamentalists will dub "counterfeit marriage.
Finally, it is important that we don't lose sight of the purpose of the gay movement. It is not simply to win a narrow, if incomplete, package of benefits. It is to erase all barriers that stigmatize and dehumanize, while ensuring that gay people are treated as equals in every way.
Civil unions woefully fail this crucial moral test by creating an ugly caste system where same-sex families are labeled inferior by law. This "separate but equal" second-class citizenship demeans our love and sends a terrible message to young gay men and lesbians. Civil unions do not solve our problems - they simply make it a little easier to defer the hard work we must do until the next generation.
That said, gay people are a small minority and can't afford to be obstinate and reject civil unions as a last resort. Our families need protections today, and idealism won't get them hospital visitation rights. However, fair-minded people should always push forward and be wed to the idea that America should never settle for a system that doles out different rights to different people simply for who they are.
On one point I'll agree with Neo-Puritans. Civil Unions are indeed "counterfeit marriage."
posted by sex, at
People steal these accounts via installing old-fashioned key loggers — Trojan Horses attached to downloaded Warhammer Online Gold software that monitor the user and steal their password when they log into WoW. Generally these keyloggers are attached to fake WoW cheat programs with names like “WoW stat changer“, or modern recreations of some early real cheats that no longer work (the “speed hack” and “teleport hack.”Warhammer Gold) Aspiring cheaters download and install these applications and are disappointed to find they don’t work, but don’t realize that their account has been stolen when the app was run WAR Gold.
posted by mara1129lz, at
posted by chenlu, at
Even if you know how to farm rs money , you have to prepare enough runescape gold
first to buy runescape money Items, to level your runescape gold characters.
posted by chenlu, at
posted by Sexy喵, at