For Lesbians, Vermont Comes Through … Almost?

For gays and lesbians, Vermont went through… kind of… Gays and lesbians can marry now… type of… In a manner… Well, it’s not. Confused?

After a lot of debate and sidestepping, the Vermont legislature decided they didn’t mind giving Gays and Lesbians the same state rights and marriage privileges; they just couldn’t bring themselves to give our unions the title of marriage. And don’t get too enthusiastic, the fine print makes it very clear that this legislation does not attempt to override the Defense Of Marriage Act of President Clinton, so there is no need to fear that the Gay and Lesbian unions of Vermont will compromise national marriage freedoms and protections.

If it’s like a duck, and it’s like a duck, it’s a… albatross?

Now, don’t mistake me. I am very pleased that it was time for the legislative body in Vermont to give us the same State rights and privileges as anybody else. I can’t help but wonder what everybody believes we’re going to do, the institution of marriage is going to be so sully. I think that in the establishment of marriage, the heterosexual population has done a good job of destroying any feeling of sanctity or permanence by themselves. And I can’t assist but feel some disappointment that the lawmakers have come so far to understand fundamental justice and then stumbled at the end by calling it Civil Union rather than marriage.

Is that name really important? I think that matters. Look at what happened to Hawaii’s mess. The legislative branch enacted legislation to grant Gays and Lesbians the same rights and privileges under their domestic partnership laws in order to appease the State Supreme Court. But that would apply to any two adults living in the same residence, so it wasn’t about engagement— it was about advantages. Then they started to find the real law-related expenses, so they started to chip away from those freedoms. Maybe the true response was to eliminate those self-same advantages that heterosexual couples are presently giving and expecting through marriage.

Furthermore, I see risk in naming our rights differently from what is granted on everyone. The next group of leaders— should they be more conservative— could now more readily come through and strip us of the very freedoms we are celebrating today. I don’t want to worry about the fact that tomorrow what’s mine today won’t be protected. And frankly, every election I don’t have to maintain fighting the same fight. Where is that advancement? And let’s not forget, it doesn’t always imply something identified as the same.

So if it’s like a duck, and it’s like a duck, it’s like a… albatross.

Until next time…