ANSWERS: 4
  • Absolutely. It gives very few of the 1000+ rights the state gives with the legal status of marriage. Didn't we already learn that "separate but equal" is only separate, never equal?
  • Of course it is. I don't know why so many people think we should "settle" for something that is just separate, but not at all equal.
  • Advocates of civil unions argue that it is just as good as marriage, but without the word. In fairness to them, same-sex marriage actually can't have all the rights that go along with marriage until the law is changed at the federal level, so civil unions may be the best next step. But there is a principle in the law that you don't call something by a different name if you intend for it to mean the same thing as another name. So civil unions, rather than settling the question, create an expectation in court cases that legislators must have intended them to be different from marriage or they would have called them marriage. Most judges would, I expect, get the argument. But some won't and this wording distinction is a loophole big enough for any nasty judge with a brain to drive a Mack truck through. As a gay guy, I have to ask the folks offering civil unions why I'm going to be expected to pay for lawyers for years of litigation to make sure that my "civil union" ends up being equal to my sister's marriage, which half of them truthfully say they mean and the other half of them will do anything to ensure that isn't how it's interpreted. I am a lawyer. But the rule that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client is true.
  • Yes it is most definitely second rate. Civil unions are not marriage. They are a separate and unequal institution that does not give the same rights to gay and lesbian people as marriage provides for heterosexual couples. In Ireland, heads of bill for civil union has been published which includes next of kin rights, succession rights and some tax benefits, nowhere in the bill does it mention the rights of children in a same couple. Equality means equal choice, equal protections, equal status, duties and responsibilities. Equal rights means having the exact same rights, not two sets of rules for two different groups. If gay people are given different rights and different options, this will only serve to continue the alienation of LGBT citizens in Irish society and in Irish law. Different but equal is not equal.

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