If you haven’t read this Chron editorial arguing against Proposition 2, a/k/a the Double Secret Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment, please do so now. One point to highlight:
Contrary to the giddy pictures in the press, same-sex marriage is not primarily about a ritual. Marriage — and to a lesser extent civil union — confers precious protections for two adults and the children they raise as a family. With one marriage vow, a heterosexual American gains more than 1,000 federal protections. The list makes numbing reading, but each item clarifies couples’ rights and responsibilities.
Marriage legally requires a spouse to arrange a partner’s funeral. It requires a surviving spouse to raise the couple’s children. Same-sex couples who have been together for decades and are raising children are denied both the legal duties and protections that married couples take for granted. Same-sex couples can pay for contracts ensuring rights such as child custody, hospital visitation and power of attorney, but blood relatives can and do successfully contest such agreements.
Impeding protections for relationships that are even “identical or similar to marriage” is a crude assault on an existing truth. Throughout the state, same-sex couples are thriving, raising children, volunteering in the community and supporting each other financially. Withholding protections for these family units cruelly jeopardizes their ability to take care of themselves and their children.
As someone said to me recently, while gay couples can and do hire lawyers to write all these contracts for them to protect rights that married couples get automatically, it costs them a boatload of money to do so. Those that can’t afford that expense have to take the chance that should one of these issues ever arise, they won’t be shut out by their partners’ families. That’s a battle for another day, but as I wrote before, that debate will never happen if this law gets passed. If Prop 2 becomes a part of our state’s Constitution, even the unfairly expensive option for protecting one’s rights will be mooted.
This amendment is bad on many levels. It deserves to die. Vote No on Proposition 2 in November.
(Thanks to Greg for the link.)