January 09, 2010

It's Not All About Marriage, It's About Relationship Rights

That's the interesting take that The Bilerico Project contributor Alex Blaze has on the Rhode Island legislature's veto override that granted domestic partner death rights in the state.  Is another way to equality diminishing the privilege of married couples, and is that a bad thing?  Here's an excerpt from Blaze's essay:

The Rhode Island legislature overrode the governor's veto to pass a bill to allow gay and straight unmarried partners to plan their partners' funerals in the case of death. I blogged about the governor's veto of this bill last November under the title "Everything is not marriage," because the governor cited the slippery slope to same-sex marriage as a reason to reject the bill.

While everyone is focusing on the same-sex couples that the bill will help, it applies to straight couples as well who might not marry for whatever reason. Elderly straight couples often don't marry so that they don't lose their deceased spouses' pensions and Social Security, younger couples are waiting longer and longer to get married (the bill applies to couples who have been together for at least a year, which isn't enough time for many straight people to get married), and lots of people just avoid the whole institution because of all the baggage that comes with being married.

This is "beyond marriage" win - it takes a right associated with marriage and opens it up to all relationships or the population as a whole. If we're saying we want to get married for the all the rights associated with the institution, another solution to being excluded from marriage is to just stop associating those rights with the institution.
Click here to read the rest of the essay.

No comments:

Post a Comment