Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Civil Union Party and Nobody Came

You can join our club, as affiliate members. Oh, and you can't participate in our major activities or eat with us. Yeah, and you have to come in the service entrance. We're happy to have you. Welcome.

Well, homosexual couples in Rhode Island are less than thrilled.

The AP ran the numbers and found that that nine, count 'em nine, all the fingers on a clumsy carpenter's hands, couples got civil unions in the first month these were offered. That seems to be the level of pent-up demand for marriage ultra-LITE.

Of course, in neighboring MA and CT, the real thing has lots of takers. Civil rights and equality are kind of like that. Being "allowed" to play at second or third-class citizenship is somehow less thrilling to the oppressed and denied. The betrayal of the legislative leaders who suddenly chickened out to go for a severely restricted form of civil unions, with lots of legal discrimination built-in, instead of the marriage equality that was within reach, has not played well.

With so many courageous LGBT leaders, a few duds are bound to stumble into public office.

The article quotes Dawn Euer from Marriage Equality Rhode Island as saying, "If it had been marriage, people would have been lining up. People are holding out for marriage. They want true equality, not a made-up, bureaucratic, second-class status."

Illogically, anti-marriage-equality folk were saying this proves gay couples don't really want the rights, just the married title. That's as absurd as most of their blather and even ignores the dreadful inequality in the RI implementation.

MERI wants a quick CT-style revisit of the civil-union fiasco and then conversion to the real thing in the next legislative session. There's no need to redefine anything or make a production. The mechanism exists. It's called civil marriage.

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