July 10, 2011
By Adam Bink
In the comments, Sagesse notes a well-written editorial in the Boston Globe from Sen. John Kerry. An excerpt:
But it’s not just in politics that we have come to a “better place’’ – it’s also the example of thousands of gay marriages in Massachusetts that pushed many of us along in our own journeys. In preparing for the 2008 presidential debates, I felt at times that it was an exercise in legalese to articulate differences between the civil unions I favored and marriage. But seven years after marriage equality became law in Massachusetts, it’s no longer theory, it’s reality.
Seeing is believing. Many of us who once believed civil unions were sufficient to protect legal rights because we thought of marriage as a religious sacrament between a man and a woman, have seen that no church has been forced to do anything that contradicts its teachings. But when two committed people apply for a Massachusetts marriage license, they are equal whether they are gay or straight. It’s not about a word – it’s about equality under the law.
I know a lot of people who are hung up on that one word. Folks who support all the rights, but ask, “can’t you call it something else?” I’ve always responded by asking how they would feel being forced into a separate and unequal arrangement… asking one’s partner to “civil union me” instead of “marry me.” It’s indeed more than just a word, it’s about equal respect for relationships. To many, only the freedom to marry (if you choose) brings that respect.
How do you respond to those who are hung up on “a word,” or another issue beyond rights?