Saturday, June 25, 2011

A New York State of Marriage

New York will become the sixth and most populous state to allow gay marriage. State senators voted 33-29 to approve marriage equality legislation introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat in his first year of office.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an advocate for gay marriage who lobbied state lawmakers in recent weeks, said the vote was an "historic triumph for equality and freedom."
Equal marriage rights are well worth supporting. Those who most vociferously oppose use of the word marriage also oppose civil unions that grant rights identical to marriage, on the grounds that civil unions then become too much like marriage in all but name. So civil union & domestic partnership laws carry in them a separate-&-unequal status. I came to this view of civil union inadequacy rather late, realizing - after finally listening to gays & lesbians - that the only effective way to legally strengthen same sex  families, which is good for society, is by reaching all the way for marriage. One has to ask oneself, "Are there any civil  rights opposite  sex married couples have I don't want same sex couples to have?" For me the answer is none. The right whittles away  at women's rights, workers rights, & the rights of homosexuals through one piece of legislation & another piece of legislation, & they  add up after awhile. A law like New York's marriage law not only extends rights, it protects those rights from compromise. It's marriage. No semantic games. After the law takes effect, Archbishop of NY Timothy Dolan can believe all he wants that a same sex couple in NY isn't really  married in NY.

If you're against same sex marriage, maybe there's some solace in the fact that the law doesn't  make  divorce any cheaper or easier for gays.

(A New York Times article implies that Dolan was so out-maneuvered by Gov. Cuomo, who had assembled a coalition including some  Wall Street Republican heavies, that he couldn't or wouldn't put the full power of his Church to bear against the bill. Perhaps he just had the good sense not to ask Catholics to reach for their wallets on this issue while he's closing parishes & schools. )

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