In the wake of the discussions pro and con over last week’s Logo/HRC event (I can’t call it a “debate” by any stretch) with six of the eight Democratic presidential hopefuls on LGBT issues, I’m in the process of putting together a short series of articles concerning the overall subject or marriage versus civil unions. Hopefully my attention span will let me complete and begin to post them early next week.
In the meantime, I call your attention to this Andrew Sullivan post today. It deals with Barak Obama’s recent statements on same-sex marriage (he says he opposes it but is all for civil unions, a rather generic phrase I intend to explore in my offerings next week). It talks about his observation that back in the 1950’s, the black civil rights movement had some internal controversy over whether and how much to push against bans on interracial marriage versus other elements of the struggle such as school desegregation, voting rights, and the like. He’s been criticized in some quarters of our community for saying, in effect, that at that point in time he would have likely given the nod to the latter issues, even had it meant keeping his own parents’ marriage against the law in many states.
The same argument abounds today concerning the degree we judge candidates on whether and how hard they push toward full marriage rights versus what some see as the“cop-out” of being for civil unions with full legal equivalency. The Sullivan item should be read in its entirety to get the full flavor, so I won’t go into it further here. But the issue is relevant on a number of fronts, both nationally in locally (as in state constitutional amendments), and regardless of how we come down, the conversation ought to continue, even if it could somehow be put back in a bottle.