Alex Blaze

Question for a Tuesday

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 10, 2007 9:47 AM | comments

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If given the legal opportunity, would you get married? For single folks, take that as a hypothetical question implying that you already found someone you'd be ok with marrying, if in fact you are ok with marrying.

Would civil unioning be any different?


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Ellen Andersen | April 10, 2007 10:36 AM

Of course I'd get legally married! My partner and I have been together for 14 years and we've got an almost-five year old daughter. We *are* married as far as we're concerned, but it'd sure be nice to have the myriad of legal protections that come with a marriage license.

Would we get a civil union if that were the only option available. Yep. Legal protections matter.

In a heartbeat. While I would prefer the term "marriage" to "civil union," as long as the legal incidents are identical, the semantics wouldn't bother me for long. The lack of legal protections is what has kept my long-term partner and me from even having a commitment ceremony, because it feels like something little better than playing dressup.

My partner (of 8 years) and I are "legally" married - in the eyes of Canada, at least. Though this conveys no rights for us, it is nice to have the validation under the law, somewhere. And talk about a commitment - this is one we can't undo without becoming Canadian citizens, so, fortunately we're stuck with each other until death do us part. Yes, is the answer. I'd love to have the rights - and responsibilities - currently offered to my heterosexual peers.

Marriage does not mean a relationship will last. Marriage does not make a relationship acceptable to others. Marriage does not prevent a person from being lonely or even dying alone.

But it does provide legal protections. So I would take marriage, civil unions, whatever.

In 2000 (on our 3rd anniversary) we did have a civil union in Vermont. At the time, it was the only place in the US and there were questions about if the law would last. The "civil union" at the Justice of the Peace was more emotional than we thought, but our intention was political. Although it gave us no rights or protections, it seemed important to us that somewhere in our country, that the goverment should document and record our relationship.

No - marriage has historically been a patriarchal institution. It used to be a contract that signified the transfer of property (aka "the bride") from one male property owner (aka "the father of the bride") to another (aka "the groom"). I agree with Margaret Cho. Instead of flocking to the patriarchal, capitalist institution, we should go on strike! If gays can't get married, the straights can't get married. If all the bridal shop owners, hair dressers, and florists went on strike, that would put an end to this debate pretty damn quick!

Yes, I would get married. Jerame and I have talked about it though - and marriage isn't important to him. Call it civil unions though and his ears perk up...

Personally, I don't care what you call it. I'd like to see the government only give out "civil union" certificates and churches do the "marrying." Then, if a church didn't want to marry gay couples they wouldn't have to. Or Catholics could exclude non-Catholics. Or whatever...

As far as I'm concerned, I am married, at least in the way that is important. I think that is the funniest part about it. No matter what they pass or don't pass, they can't take that away from me. It even drives some of them nuts that my partner and I have a better relationship than they do!

Would it be nice to only pay $20.00 for all the legal stuff instead of $2,000.00 and not coming close to the same protections? You bet! Would I care what they called it? NO!

My partner and I will celebrate our 24th anniversary this October. We had a union ceremony on our 17th anniversary, and also went to Vermont that same year for a Civil Union. We joked that we would travel around the country to whatever state would marry us and put a sticker of that state in a big map of the US (just like on the side of campers), but we haven't followed through. It seems pointless since we don't get the "incidents thereof". We probably will still go to Canada, unless they repeal it before we get there.

Having said all that, given a choice between having a state sanctioned union under whatever name they choose, or the relationship I currently have without a "blessing" from the state of Indiana or the United States of America, I'll take my partner every time. Having the "approval" would just be icing on an already extremely delicious cake!