“What about all those laws Labor changed? You’re already equal, you don’t need marriage.”
“Civil Unions are just the same. Why do you have to take the word ‘marriage’?”
We cannot say to one couple that their love is deserving of marriage and to another that their love should only be called a partnership. ‘Separate but equal’ is never equal. Children of same-sex couples should not grow up wondering why their family is treated differently from other families
1.Goodbye “partner” – too corporate. So long “boyfriend” – so adolescent. Welcome, husband!!
2.No more envelopes labelled “Mrs.____”
3.No more having to explain that yes, he’s my next of kin, no, he has a different surname. No, he’s not a blood relative……
4.His corporate health insurance covers both of us, no question.
5.My marriage is the same everywhere. De facto or civil union status and rights are different everywhere.
6.A marriage certificate proves my legal rights beyond argument, especially in an emergency. Civil unions, de facto arrangements are easily dismissed, either through actual or feigned ignorance.
7.That’s very important when one of us dies. No need to fend off relatives, wheedle insurance companies. He was my husband. The end.
8. He gets to switch off my life support when I’m irretrievably gone.
9. He’ll get the death benefits from my super (and vice versa), automatically. Right now I have to tell my fund his name, and reconfirm it every few years.
10. I get his US government spouses pension: he gets my UK government one. As of right.
11. We get all marriage rights as soon as we marry: de facto couples must have lived together for a set time, and prove it to the satisfaction of whoever’s asking. If you didn’t share a home, you might have problems.
12. Once you’ve invested months of preparation and thousands of dollars in a wedding, and you know how difficult and expensive divorce is, you also know you’re in it for the long haul. You won’t give up at the first hurdle.
13. Marriage is the most powerful symbol that says that my relationship with my husband is fully as deserving of not just acceptance, but honour and celebration, as any heterosexual marriage. Why else would our enemies fight so desperately to deny it to us?
14. As for civil unions, Ronald Dworkin eloquently put it thus:
“We can no more now create an alternate mode of commitment [civil unions] carrying a parallel intensity of meaning than we can now create a substitute for poetry or for love. The status of marriage is therefore a social resource of irreplaceable value to those to whom it is offered…
…if there are reasons for withholding the status [of marriage] from gay couples then these must also be [same] reasons why a civil union is not an equivalent opportunity.“
It goes without saying that just providing marriage equality still won’t raise us from second class status: there are plent more things to be done as well. Click here for the rest of the agenda.