June 15, 2002
Civil Unions for All

While doing a little surfing today, this article in the Manchester Union-Leader caught my attention. Now, for those of you who are not familiar with this paper, it makes the Washington Times look like the New York Times; they supported Steve Forbes in the 2000 GOP primary, and it wasn't because of his position on the flat tax. I found it absolutely incredible (but gratifying) to see an article supporting gay rights in a publication of their reputation.

Although this article was written in October, I did not see the article before today. Nonetheless, it very closely tracks with one of the very first items I blogged here, after following a debate between Shouting 'cross the Potomac's Tony Adragna and Zonitics's Edward Boyd. What I wrote was:

What I propose is a radical redefinition of marriage—only marriages performed by a religious leader shall be defined as a marriage. Any other type of joining, including heterosexual unions performed by a justice of the peace, shall be considered a civil union, with the same legal privileges.

What Mr. Swayne wrote:

Enact a federal civil union law. Change the laws with property, representation and dependent protections from “marriage” to “civil union.” Eliminate penalties that keep blended families and elderly couples from getting hitched. Make civil unions available to gays and straights alike. And give marriage back to houses of worship. You want legal protections? Get a civil union. You want marriage? Go to your faith community.

While we are arguing from fundamentally different viewpoints, we arrived at the same conclusion.

posted on June 15, 2002 07:13 PM


I love the idea. It seems to make everyone happy. If so many people choose to define marriage as a joining between a man and a women, who am I to argue? Thats certainly a special and distinct union that warrents its own word. But not it's own legal protections.

I'm sure religous leaders would love to have "marriage" back, to define as they wish, and I KNOW that gays would love to have marriage seperated from legal union.

An idea that pleases the religous community, the gay community, the secular straight community, and makes good legal and logical sense, is such a rare thing that it must not be ignored.

And yet you know it will, such a measure would be seen as an attempt to destroy the legal recognition of marriage, when in fact it does just the opposite. Its sad how the immediate appearence of things takes precident in peoples minds over what it actually is.

posted by Sean Kirby on June 17, 2002 10:55 PM

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