Civil unions = apartheid

14 04 2007

Here’s another article, this time about +Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire.  +Gene spoke to the NH Senate about passing legislation for civil unions …

 Check it out

First of all, before saying anything, I would like to say that I have met +Gene and have heard him preach.  I believe that he is a good and godly man, and he certainly is called to the vocation of bishop.  I also realize that I don’t have a transcript of the hearings pertaining to his testimony and my opinion is going off of one article…

HOWEVER … I would like to make the following points …

[+Gene] … told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the state should embrace couples seeking civil unions because they value monogamy and commitment. ”Would that we could get all heterosexual couples to take these commitments and responsibilities so seriously,” he said

If we’re so committed to each other and to monogamy, why are we as gay people willing to SETTLE for something like a civil union which is really a “blessing” by the state?  In other words, I don’t see how civil unions give anything near the same legitimacy or sense of sacrament that marriage would.  I simply fail to understand why we are pushing for civil unions at the legal level and blessings on the ecclesastical level? 

Does anyone other than me think that civil unions and same sex blessings is basically another form of apartheid?  My point goes back to (as i stated in earlier posts) why should we have to be happy with or settle for something less than what is given to the rest of society because of Other People’s Comfort Level?  It just doesn’t make sense to me.

Diane Quinlan, who is speaking for the Roman Catholic Church has this to say in the article…

”No other form of relationship between persons can be considered equivalent to a natural relationship between a man and a woman out of whose love it is possible for children to be born,” said Quinlan.

I’m sorry, but when an organization which is run entirely by single men who are (supposedly) celibate try to tell people what God thinks about relationships in general regardless of the genders/genitalia involved, I suspect they don’t quite know what they’re talking about AT ALL.  And why are we still talking about relationships in the context of “possible for children to be born?”  What about those who for various reasons choose NOT to have children? What if they can’t have children at all?  Are their relationships less than holy or less natural because of this? 

Again, we are seeing that the ability for gay people to publicly declare before God and their country their commitment to each other’s lives as a threat to the sanctity of marriage.  For once and for all, will someone will me PLAINLY what this threat is?  Until someone comes up with what form this threat takes and how it is threatening, no one, not the state, not the church, not nobody has a leg to stand on in this argument.

I believe there is something sacramental about marriage.  I believe in it and what it stands for so much that the recognition of something less should give us pause.  Civil unions and blessings of unions is basically legitimizing cohabitation (in some circles still known as “living in sin”) , something the church has also frowned upon.   I will say it again and again, anything less than full marriage rights is tantamount to another form of apartheid and we should not even be giving the appearance of endorsing what is basically table scraps.

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2 responses

16 04 2007
Christian

I am inclined to agree with your view of civil unions.

However, I generally refrain from entering the political fray on this one, as I don’t particularly believe that queers need marriage, either.

Marriage is an outdated, outmoded concept. Western society has progressed to the point where survival of the human species, especially in the U.S., is no longer so tenuous that we are best served by this model. Population need not expand. We have the luxury of experiencing lives and relationships which are far more complex than our country’s pioneers. For some queers, this means a monogamous, long-term or lifetime relationship. For many, if not most others, this means serial monogamy, open relationships, polyamory, or many other types of possible relationships.

Should these alternative relationships be sanctioned any less than marriage? If we are being idealists and rejecting partial solutions, I would much rather see a church philosophy capable of honoring a variety of relationship types. I would rather see a state which kept its nose out of relationships entirely, except perhaps in granting those legal rights which married couples now enjoy, but without regard to the church view of appropriate relationships.

Do I know how to achieve these things? No. Perhaps marriage is the way, and this chance is what keeps me from arguing against it in the current fight. Regardless, I do agree that half-measures are insulting, at best.

14 06 2007
*Christopher

Since change often happens in reality in steps, I would disagree. Having some legal rights is better than none. Though we live in CA, because C is not a legal resident (yet) we have very little in the way of means to protect our relationship in legal matters, medical matters, etc. As one whose relationship is legally bound in Germany (my partner being German), if we had civil unions that would be some step forward. In Germany, since Lebenspartnerschafts (life partnerships) were made available, rights to these partnerships have continued to increase over time as society recognizes the value.

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