Thursday, May 03, 2007

Waiting for the Mail

UPS actually, and the delivery of my twenty free review copies. But the book is overshadowed by the news that as of 1137 yesterday morning, Oregon legislators voted in Domestic Partnerships for Oregon same-sex couples. The governor is chomping at the bit to sign it, and it should be effective January 1, 2008, unless anti-gay activists manage to derail this important step toward legal parity.

I looked into the details, being especially suspicious of marriage under another name, suspecting that the second class citizenship designated by a separate moniker contains second class rights, privileges, and responsibilities. But actually domestic partnerships come with serious teeth, and the r.p. r.'s are virtually the same as applied under Oregon law. They only apply in Oregon, or a state with domestic partnership, civil unions or same-sex marriage, and the 1100 federal benefits are still denied us on the principle that we are morally repugnant to the public and not to be encouraged or sanctioned by the US government, but domestic partnerships will do a lot of good for a lot of individuals and provides legal safeguards we truly need.

It annoys me that the palatable terminology used to pass SB 2007 allows us no ceremonial opportunities. You can't get domestically partnered, while you can be civilly united and certainly married in a variety of ways. We need to assign some clever gay men the job of designing a meaningful ceremony around what sounds like and is just a legal contract, not a recognized relationship. Where there is a will, there is a way.

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