Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Defenders of marriage be warned: you may be killing it

Timothy Kincaid

May 19th, 2010

Evidence from Europe suggests that those who so ardently oppose same-sex marriage need to ask themselves a question: do you want to save marriage, or do you want to be anti-gay? It appears that doing both may not be a long term option.

It is a foregone conclusion that some form of recognition of same-sex relationships is coming to every state in the union. And soon. With two thirds of the citizens supporting marriage, domestic partnerships, civil unions, or some other model – a number which is trending favorably – it is inevitable.

So the only question is whether it will be incremental, signing a register, a few rights doled out, no responsibilities, easy termination and no formality; or if it will be full marriage (or civil unions equal to marriage)? Will it be grudging and as little as they can get away with so as to keep gays in their place, or will it be all at once?

Supporters of “traditional marriage” may have to fight their instincts and opt for equality (or near equality). Because quasi-marriage, glorified “going together”, may prove to be a tempting alternative for heterosexuals. It may actually detract from marriage. It certainly seems to in France. (BBC)

A heterosexual Austrian couple have embarked on a court battle to have their relationship legally recognised as a “registered partnership” – a new form of civil union for same-sex couples.

Helga Ratzenboeck and Martin Seydl say they don’t want a traditional marriage and insist that the law should be blind to gender and sexuality.

Meanwhile, the kind of pared-down marriage they want is proving a huge hit with straight couples in France, where 95% of couples taking up the pacte civil de solidarite (Pacs) in 2009 were heterosexual.

As the number of straight French couples opting for Pacs has grown, the number of marriages has shrunk, to the point that there are now two couples entering into a Pacs for every three getting married.

Some might look at the overall picture of a cumulative increase in those who make some form of commitment (see chart), but “traditional marriage supporters” tend not to think like that.

I, of course, think it smartest just to make marriage available to all and be done with the drama. Then we can get on with the important task of bitching about who is going where for Thanksgiving.

Comments

POST COMMENT | COMMENT RSS 2.0

Ben in Oakland
May 19th, 2010 | LINK

But of ocurse they will say that this proves that recognizing gay relationships hurts marriage. Of course, if you throw in the obvious– that if only marriage is available, people will only get married– that it proves once again, both the law of unintended consequences, and that the peope who claim to be pro-family are in fact anything but.

Jason D
May 19th, 2010 | LINK

I often say that if someone truly supports the equality of gay couples, then the fastest, easiest, most complete, most fair, and least complicated way to achieve that is to simply open up marriage to gay couples.

Attempts to create parallel or lesser institutions aren’t fair, are incomplete, unnecessarily complicated and likely to have unintended consequences just like this.

Lindoro Almaviva
May 19th, 2010 | LINK

I think marriage equality will happen in the same vein as desegregation and interracial marriage. Slow attempts state by state until the supreme court decides to put an end to the charades and slices the pie evenly.

Kel Munger
May 20th, 2010 | LINK

So maybe marriage isn’t for everyone?

And maybe we need a multiplicity of ways of arranging and describing our relationships (and by “our,” I mean human adults)?

I say this as a married lesbian (one of the “special” legal marriages in CA)in a relationship of 18 years (so far) duration.

We want to be married. Nothing else describes what we are to each other; nothing else carries with it the rights and responsibilities we need.

But there are some people who only want part of that, for whatever reason. Not judging; just saying. And there’s no reason why they should have access to it.

So let’s have marriage, civil union, domestic partnership and limited legal agreements. Let everybody have access. And quit picking on people whose lives are different than yours.

Kel Munger
May 20th, 2010 | LINK

So maybe marriage isn’t for everyone?

And maybe we need a multiplicity of ways of arranging and describing our relationships (and by “our,” I mean human adults)?

I say this as a married lesbian (one of the “special” legal marriages in CA) in a relationship of 18 years (so far) duration.

We want to be married. Nothing else describes what we are to each other; nothing else carries with it the rights and responsibilities we need.

But there are some people who only want part of that, for whatever reason. Not judging; just saying. And there’s no reason why they shouldn’t have access to it.

So let’s have marriage, civil union, domestic partnership and limited legal agreements. Let everybody have access. And quit picking on people whose lives are different than yours.

Mark F.
May 20th, 2010 | LINK

I’m wondering why these couples don’t want a traditional marriage.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.