Monday, March 24, 2008


Beyond the fact that "marriage" confers a legitimacy as to the recognition and equal sanctity of same-sex love with that of heterosexual love; beyond the fact that we can expect that when same-sex marriage becomes institutionalized that virtually all other civil and sacramental rights will accrue to Gay people, we are clearly seeing that incrementalism in the forms of such constructions as Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions are not working, and are continuing to place same-sex love in a subordinate, substandard position as compared to heterosexual love in society.

"'I’m still working at the same company, doing the same job. Why shouldn’t I be able to cover my partner in Idaho like I did in New Jersey? This would never happen to a married couple,' said [Ralph] Martinelli.

"'Konica wants everyone to think they care about their gay employees, but the way Konica is interpreting its policy is so restrictive that many employees are shut out of the coverage.'

"Typically, companies that wish to offer domestic partnership benefits to employees living in states that do not recognize same-sex relationships either accept a marriage, civil union or domestic partnership certificate from another state, or have the employee submit an affidavit attesting to the partnership.

"Monday the American Civil Liberties Union sent a demand letter to Konica's head office in New Jersey urging the company to interpret its policy on domestic partner health insurance so that more employees will have access to the insurance.

"'Konica Minolta wants all the good will that comes with providing domestic partner insurance, but they clearly don’t want to have to provide the benefits. Otherwise they would never be interpreting its policy in such a restrictive way,' said Jack Van Valkenburgh, Executive Director of the ACLU of Idaho."

[For the full article, see here]

It is essential that same-sex marriage become the highest priority in the fight for equal rights, as to settle for the indignities attendant upon incremental steps as DP's and Civil Unions only serve the purpose of highlighting how far short they fall from the rights that accrue to heterosexually married couples. It may well be that DP's and Civil Unions are useful in highlighting this discrepancy from marriage, but we don't need to have more of them to get the point that there is no substitute for the right to marriage, even if only a handful of same-sex couples should want to avail themselves of this option.

Soliciting Straight allies if possible, and then writing letters to members of Congress, and to those members who seem to be "Gay friendly" and asking them to put forth same-sex marriage legislation; writing to Governors to initiate same-sex marriage in each state; writing letters to the editor of local, regional, and national newspapers; bringing class action suits before the judiciary, are activities we can do, to help move this civil rights issue forward.

We are in the same position now that African-Americans were in in the 1950's, and there can be no mistake about that! Meaningful activism, and not sweet reason, or trusting in "the milk of human kindness," is the only way to move any civil rights movement forward, and the conferring of every single civil right that is enjoyed by Straight people must be obtained by LGBT people for this civil rights movement to be won.

No Straight person has to like it! No one has to be liked!

But the Constitution says that we are all equal under the law, and that fact must be realized for LGBT people, and will only be so realized by there being concerted pressure brought to bear to make equality under the law a reality.
Share |

No comments: