I am writing in response to Cathy Brennan’s column “When will we be wed?” (Ladybug’s Political Smackdown, January 27). While Ms. Brennan wrote what might be an almost convincing editorial on why we should be looking at civil unions as opposed to full marriage rights, there were several flaws in her arguments.
For starters, I would hope that Ms. Brennan would realize that the petitions and referendums on same sex marriage have been designed to enforce the idea that LGBT people are somehow inferior, and we do not deserve equal treatment. Last I checked I pay taxes like any other citizen; why should I be denied the rights given to others. Last I checked the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that the right to life, liberty, et al shall not be abridged. Laws forbidding gay marriage do just that.
Going to the heart of civil unions, I would think Ms. Brennan missed what happened in New Jersey when they passed a civil union law. Simply as a reminder, then Governor Corzine (Dem) promised N.J.’s LGBT community that the new civil union law would be equal to marriage but without the word “marriage.” He then had to confront UPS when said corporation refused to extend benefits to its LGBT employees and would not acknowledge the civil union Law.
Or if I need to cite a lesbian case, there was the lesbian police officer in Ocean County who was killed in the line of duty, and her partner was unable to claim her pension. Simply put, a legislative committee in N.J. met to see what the effects of the civil union law were, and the final answer was that it was a FAILURE.
In our own state, the City of Baltimore offers Domestic Partnerships for LGBT employees and their partners. My ex was a teacher for the Baltimore City Public School System. We filed for DP benefits as soon as we were able to do so, and he gladly put me on his insurance. When he left the City school system to work for the Edison Partnership Schools in the City, we discovered that our Domestic Partnership was not even recognized by their company.
I was thankful that I worked somewhere I was able to get a policy on my own, but it was a level of the dignity of the situation. The sad thing is that initially we expected Edison Partnership to recognize the city’s domestic partnership agreement because they ran schools in San Francisco where they had to offer such benefits.
Lastly, Ms. Brennan offers the following: “indeed some of the most vocal opponents … in the GLBT community have been white gay males…Perhaps they are used to getting what they want because of their white male status?” I am hurt and offended that Ms. Brennan would stoop to racial/gender arguments that have more holes than a pound of Swiss cheese.
I am a gay white Jewish male, and I can say with a level of pride that no one ever gave me anything because of my gender, race, or other unchangeable factor. I can say that I have a college degree in History and I follow several news sources—liberal and non-liberal. I am proud that I am a member of the middle class, that I have a level of luxury to follow current events and that I am not forced to scrounge to survive. Simply put, I got where I am through my own hard work and my desire to better myself.
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