Civil unions will never be enough

Civil unions will never be enough

Those who seek compromise on the gay marriage issue often advocate “civil unions” as an alternative that they think would be palatable to both sides. From my point of view civil unions are just marriage by another name, the creation of a legal institution with all the legal rights and benefits of marriage.

On the other side, most homosexuals and lesbians don’t want civil unions either, as seen in a case before Connecticut’s supreme court.

After 16 years together, Stephen Davis and Jeffrey Busch made their relationship official last spring under Connecticut’s two-year-old civil union law. They invited no guests and did not even kiss at the ceremony, they said, because the milestone seemed such a pale imitation of marriage.

“It felt like a learner’s permit instead of a driver’s license,” said Busch in an interview yesterday after a lawyer argued on the couple’s behalf in a hearing before the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Ben Klein, the attorney representing eight same-sex couples who are seeking the right to marry, argued that the state’s civil union law is unconstitutional because it established a separate and therefore inherently unequal institution for a minority group.

“Jeff Busch doesn’t want his young son Eli to have to explain to his friends that what his parents have is ‘almost’ a marriage,” said Klein, senior attorney for Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.

As marriage defenders have been saying all along, civil union and domestic partnership compromises do nothing but delay the inevitable and give traction to those who want to strip marriage of its meaning. Homosexual activists will not be satisfied by civil unions but will use the leverage created by its existence to continue pushing the envelope.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli