What I find most amusing is that the post Tinacious wrote today started as a blog comment that got too long and then I went to comment to that post, and, well... There's a reason this is The Verbosery.
SweetPea and I are registered domestic partners and have been for almost four years. WTF does that mean? Fuck if I know. I know that it means my employer can CHOOSE to allow me to put her on my health plan. Which, then, because she's not (federally recognized as) my wife, means that the money my employer pays to insure her counts as INCOME that I've received. If she were federally recognized as my wife, I wouldn't have to pay taxes on that. But because she's not, I do.
It means that we have a (very small) portion of the rights afforded to people who are legally married. It means I've got a copy of the registration with me at all times because NONE of the rights we're afforded by the registration count unless I can PROVE IT.
We were married in a spiritual, non-legal ceremony in 2002. We were married in the eyes of California law on June 17, 2008.
You tell someone you were "registered domestic partnered" or "civil unioned" and they look at you like you're batshit. But you can tell any ignoramus "I got married" and they KNOW what you're talking about.
There is a respect with that. An understanding. They KNOW what you're talking about, and they KNOW what that means. They GET what kind of commitment you're talking about, that you're talking about "this is it, forever, blending lives, building families".
I think the problem that people have with letting us have the term "marriage" is exactly that. It means granting us the respect and understanding of the solemnity of the commitment we, as a couple, are making to each other. They can't stand the thought that two women or two men might possibly be capable of the same kind of love, commitment and respect that they are.
(OMFG, talk about an out of control comment!)
Do I think we need to fight for the term "marriage"?
Damn right, I do.
We deserve it! "Marriage" is not (solely) a religious institution, and so long as America has no state-dictated religion, then I damn sure better have all the rights as any straight, white Catholic (although I'll leave to baby-banging to the Catholics).
SweetPea and I were discussing this before the Court decision came down last year in California. Neither of us is the "gold band and diamonds" type, but I'd been thinking and I'd decided that, when we finally got the right to marry, I wanted the gold band, I wanted her last name, I wanted the legal term "marriage/married/wife".
I want it all.
And I understand how some people can say maybe we should just strike the term altogether, but marriage has been around for, literally, thousands of years, and there's no reason we shouldn't have it, too.
*hands back soap box*