All or Nothing

Three cheers to Massachusetts gays who aren’t willing to accept anything less than equality.

The Boston Herald (in a story only available for pay on the ‘Net) reports that a proposal to legalize civil unions while outlawing gay marriage in Massachusetts is getting thumbs-down from marriage-equality supporters and opponents alike.

Apparently, discussions have been under way in the state legislature’s House Ways and Means committee for about a year to try and draft a compromise plan that some hoped would appease gays and anti-gays. No formal plan has been decided at this time. But the Herald article says state Rep. Elizabeth Malia, a Deomcrat, told another paper that she opposed the idea on principle.

“I personally don’t accept a civil union with a DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act),” Malia said. DOMA refers to any bill stating that marriage can be between only a man and a woman. Rogers told the Boston Globe the
group is planning to draft a civil union bill that bans gay marriage.

“Separate but equal creates a whole separate morass of legal issues and problems,” Malia said. She said anything short of full marriage rights means gay unions would not be legally recognized outside the state.

Committee chair John Rogers, speaking on local radio station WBZ radio, defended the idea of a compromise measure: “What we talked about is codifying the status quo on marriage, but also to talk about how we can accord the benefits and liberties and rights and responsibilities to nonmarried couples, so those couples can begin to enjoy some protections and some liberties that married couple currently enjoy.”

That’s nice, and many same-gender couples and so-called progressive incrementalists would be satisfied for that. But they should knowand acknowledge the reality — and so should you and Howard Dean: Civil union is not equality. It is still an institution that is less than marriage, that keeps queers on a lower rung than heterosexuals.

For many of us, the fight is about equality, nothing less. Separate but equal is not equal: The Supreme Court decided that in the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. And the justices were correct: Equality is an all or nothing proposition. By definition, it has to be.

So, sorry: Jim Crow is just not good enough. If it is immoral for the melanin-enhanced, it is immoral for gays and lesbians too.

Late Update: The Datalounge reports that most in Massachusetts favor equality — not Jim Crow, not discrimination — EQUALITY. A new poll released by the Massachusetts Freedom to Marry Coalition shows 59 percent of those surveyed support legal marriage for same-sex couples. Jumpin’ Jehosophat, that’s great news!

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2 thoughts on “All or Nothing

  1. OK, we’ll let you pretend to be married (at least around our neighborhood) as long as you drop this stuff about actually being married for real…Obviously these people think you can throw gays a few taable scraps and they’ll be so happy that they’ll think they ate dinner.

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