In response to “What’s in a Name? A Case for Civil Unions” in Issue 461:
I just want to say that I am finally hearing someone say what I have been advocating to my gay friends for years. It is about time someone has said this in a major publication where a lot of gay friendly people will see it, I hope.
I have a friend in Germany who told me about the struggle to get gay marriage approved there. He said that the law was put to the vote to allow gay people to have the same civil union afforded any other two people and it passed easily. It allowed gay couples to pass on their assets in case one of them died and it gave them full rights to visit each other in a hospital situation and to have all the rights and privileges given to other couples.
He said that in the months after this was passed he would hear someone remark that a gay couple were going to have a civil ceremony as was now the law and someone would say, “Oh they’re getting married!” It was a natural course of things which followed the law being changed to allow gay civil unions. There is little or notice given now when this happens. It can be that way here too and we should do all we can to promote this idea.
Thank you for saying what needs to be said and get the gay advocates going on an agenda to get them all equal civil rights and not to try to force the words “gay marriage” down the throats of the far right and religiously misled extremists.
Ken L. (via website)
In response to “Outreach: A Conversation with Rep. Andrea Kieffer (R)” in Issue 462:
Ms. Kieffer used to be my representative, but redistricting gave me a better choice. I always found her a slick mouthpiece for the party line. She was one of a number of Republicans who said they supported equality but voted to put the rights of same sex couples up for a referendum anyway. I think their newly discovered embrace of civil unions is just another dodge for discrimination. We should expect more from our legislators.
–Beth-Ann (via website)
There were a number of GOP freshman legislators who had their arms twisted to vote for the marriage amendment to be put on the ballot. They didn’t believe it was right, but under pressure, they voted for it anyway. Andrea was one. Should she have stood up then? Sure, but she is standing up now, and what does the gay and lesbian community gain by rejecting her? Not a damn thing.
Understand, it is not Republicans the community should focus its anger at. Democrats have controlled the legislature for decades (last session the sole exception). They have talked a good game to the gay/lesbian community, but they never acted on the talk. They knew same-sex marriage was not a winner for them politically. Even now, coming off defeat of the marriage amendment, they aren’t really making a strong push on the issue of same-sex marriage.
Democrats might have the votes to pass something on same-sex marriage, but sincere Republican support like Andrea’s is a fast path to deserved the respect and dignity that make marriage the powerful fore that it is. Think about that before you rush to crucify her with your comments.
–Craig Westover (via website)