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Pastor Opposes Cleveland’s Domestic Partnership Registry With No Benefits

Jim Burroway

January 11th, 2009

Ever since we learned that Cleveland passed a Domestic Partnership Registry last month — the one which proved extremely controversial among some council members, the one that is still so controversial that Rev. C. Jay Matthews of Mount Sinai Baptist Church is trying to overturn it — we’ve been trying to figure out what that registry provides. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Connie Schultz, it’s not much at all:

The registry just guarantees that unmarried couples with none of the legal rights of marriage can pay the city a fee to document that they are unmarried couples with none of the legal rights of marriage.

It’s as if Cleveland City Council said, “Look, we know that all committed adult couples should be equal in the eyes of the law, but we just can’t bring ourselves to say that out loud, ‘kay?”

Now, the registry does arm gays and lesbians with a defense, sort of, against greedy relatives, self-righteous clergy and all sorts of official-looking people who think only heterosexuals should have the legal right to marry, no matter how many times it takes them to get it right. To be specific, the registry gives homosexual couples a piece of paper to call their own.

For example, let’s say you’re gay and weeping over the body of your recently deceased partner when her parents show up at the funeral and demand the keys to the house you shared for the last 20 years. If the house was in her name only, I’m afraid you’re still headed for a rental with a futon, but now you can whip out that sheet of domestic registry paper, wave it wildly and shout, “We are too a couple. Says so right here on this document.”

Much better, don’t you think?

This is what the fuss is all about?



Timothy Kincaid
January 11th, 2009 | LINK

When they oppose the teeny tinly little not-much-more-than-useless registration solely because gay people want it, then you know you’re looking at bigotry.

January 14th, 2009 | LINK

What’s at stake is a symbol. Symbols can be important indeed. Marriage, after all, is primarily a symbol, far long before any government gave couples special rights. For a same-sex couple to say in public, “we love and are committed to each other” is to affirm there existence and, I strongly believe, something which exists is always more valuable and righteous than something which does not exist.

I have a shirt that identifies me as trans. It doesn’t give me special rights, but by affirming my existence it affirms my intrinsic value. This is exactly the meaning of the mantra, “We’re here! We’re queer!.” It’s the importance of as many queer people as possible being out of the closet. The biggest accomplishment of the gay rights movement was in the 1860s when one gay man stood up and said, “I exist.”

Does that help?

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