Civil Unions vs Marriage

Lately some sisters have been telling lesbian sisters they should settle forr civil unions that give the same rights.  These sisters have been proclaiming how they hold traditional values because they are straight.

Well I’ll forgo quoting Audre Lourde about how the master’s tool will never dismantle the master’s house.  I’ll also forgo citing Paul Robeson Jr.’s treatise regarding the difference between field slaves and house slaves.

I am a stone atheist so don’t bother citing religion to me.  We don’t live in freaking Saudi Arabia or any other theocracy and we threw the Republi-Nazis out.

You want marriage to be a religious matter.  Fine.  Everyone gets civil unions at the court house and marriage from their church with marriage in and of itself having no legal standing and only civil unions being legal.

You see I don’t believe in certain groups having special privileges.  I believe in equality.  From what I’ve seen there isn’t a single aspect of the straight community that makes them one single iota better than the LGBT/T communities.  Nothing that makes them entitled to greater privilege.

I do not belive straights should be rewarded simply for being heterosexual.  That they can vote to deny non-straight people their rights is un-American and is the sort of lynch mob rule that is oppressive in the extreme.

11 Responses to “Civil Unions vs Marriage”

  1. Catherine Says:

    Absolutely!! Still spins my head that WBT people out there can be against gay marriage. You’d think our experiences would open our minds, at least a tad, to hypocrisy. Is marriage really the family institution even the heterosexuals pretend it is? In the military, out of the 11 guys we know, only one was ever faithful to his wife (why hetero guys think lesbian women want to hear about their sexual exploits, I don’t know). There is also a swingers club on a base where we live and we know a guy married to three women in different countries (of course none of them know). I think it’s absurd that a guy (true story) can marry a prostitute he met three weeks ago in Lithuania, divorce his wife of 15 years, and she can get a visa and an ID card to go on a military base, whereas I, after being with my partner now for over ten years, as an American citizen with 4 FBI background checks can’t even buy a tomato at the commissary. Please! It doesn’t exactly take a rocket scientist to see the inequities in American civil and federal law. Policies need to change in order to reflect a global community. America cannot afford to remain xenophobic and play in everyone else’s back yards and pretend moral superiority.

    The notion that American was created to be a Christian Nation is absurd. America was part of a Christian nation at the time called Brittan. Hence, the split, and even England has changed its civil laws to match modern times. If Christians want to quote the bible, then fine. But please stop quoting the old testament. As my mother is Jewish (I’m an atheist), we’ve decided we are tired of Christians who can’t read Hebrew quoting a book not only that they can’t read but was supposedly not good enough for them. If Christians wish to live by there own interpretation of the New Testament, then fine, but don’t push it on other American’s that wish to live in a country where church and state are supposed to be independent entities. If Christians feel they need their own country, then perhaps they should succeed from the US and start a Vatican City somewhere in the South.

    Quoting religion is so absurd for anyone that is WBT. Have they asked the majority of the religious community of how they view their “heterosexual” marriages? I’ve known enough WBT’s that were married to women before transition and maintained their hetero/religious marriages even after SRS.

    If America believes in its own constitution then I agree, civil unions for all and leave “marriage” with the churches as it was originally intended.

    Being WBT and being against “gay marriage” is self destructive. Agreeing with a bunch of marriage nazi’s is not going to win WBT’s any acceptance in the church’s mind.

    I actually can’t help but giggle a bit over the idea of redneck christian WBT’s.. Talk about irony.. And people wonder why my partner and I won’t return to the US.

  2. Ariablue Says:

    The problem is that same sex issue resolution will come at the price of our legitimacy. As mystifying as it is to you (all) that some people with our birth condition might not have a particular political view, it is just as odd to me that some people assume that we must.

    I believe everyone should have the same legal rights. If government is granting special rights to some, that needs to be addressed. Unfortunately government-sanctioned marriage isn’t something that’s going away any time soon, so we have to remedy the situation by granting those special rights to all people, making them not-so-special. If some of the people who currently enjoy these special rights whine about not being special any more, well that’s just too bad. Here’s a violin for you.

    On the other hand, I don’t feel I have an interest in the same-sex marriage marriage issue beyond my protest at the GLBT using people like me as human shields in it. The party line specifically works *against* our interests by telling us that society says we are men, so we must abide by that and pursue gay marriage rights rather than our own. I don’t accept that.

    In fact, I don’t accept the whole idea that I need to forgo my own interests to advance those of gay men, or anyone else at all. That’s the same shit that women are told all the time- that our needs come last. You know, if there was a bill to support women-only same sex marriage I don’t believe it would face near the resistance. But you’ll never hear anyone mention the fact that society’s view on gay male sex is what is holding back the rights of *everyone* under the GLBT umbrella. Why is everyone so silent and deferential to these outspoken gay men on this? Because they are men…. and that’s privilege.

  3. Suzan Says:

    “On the other hand, I don’t feel I have an interest in the same-sex marriage marriage issue beyond my protest at the GLBT using people like me as human shields in it. The party line specifically works *against* our interests by telling us that society says we are men, so we must abide by that and pursue gay marriage rights rather than our own. I don’t accept that.”

    This is bullshit and you know it. Marriage equality has nothing to do with saying we are men. It has everything to do with ending the requirement that marriage partners be of different sexes.

  4. tinagrrl Says:

    For gosh sakes, marriage equality is just about that — equality.

    It’s not about “special rights” — it’s about equal rights.

    One reason I tend to think there is no such thing as a WBT / HBS / TS / post-op “Community” is that we can’t even agree among ourselves about equal rights for all of us.

    When one of my “sisters” tells me my rights go not “count” as much as hers do, am I supposed to go all out to support her when she can’t even admit my rights exist?

    Until we can agree to support each other, I suspect we will make very little real progress.

  5. Ariablue Says:

    What part is bullshit, that I don’t care about gay marriage, or that the gay party line is not helpful to us? I really don’t care one way or another if they get to marry at this point. I used to be more supportive, but it’s not an issue that affects me and now that we are getting shit on in the GLBT mainstream I’m starting to be less sympathetic to their cause. I still support marriage equality but, recent events are making it difficult to stay friendly to them.

    It’s not enough that our birth condition is taken hostage by certain people for their benefit, now I am supposed to have some particular political philosophy because of how I was born? That doesn’t make any sense to me. Maybe it does to others out there but I’ll keep my own counsel and make my own judgments about issues, thanks. I’m not a party-line voter anyway, I think that is more a function of the generation before and after mine.

    Gay stuff has nothing to do with me, and never did. I’m not sure why some people assume that every single person born with our condition must necessarily be part of gay culture. If people think that is bullshit, I don’t know what to tell you. Not all of us are gay.

  6. Ariablue Says:

    What rights do you want Tina? The only “right” I can think of that might be an issue for us is that we need to have our legal documents respected in administrative law at the same level as non-trans people’s. That is something gays don’t have to worry about though, so you won’t be seeing that issue, the central issue facing transsexuals, addressed in any meaningful way in that movement.

    Does anyone even talk about it, outside of the push to get non-ops their gender marker on ID? Do we see anyone talking about getting laws passed that ensure that at least the government respects its own documents with regard to us? Why is the “solution” to our marriage issue only spoken of in terms of gay marriage? Why not start by getting us basic equality in our paperwork?

    I’m sorry, but I’m just not buying that our issues are going to be solved with same sex marriage. If my ID and birth certificate are worthless, how is same sex marriage going to fix that? Someone is selling us a bill of goods.

  7. tinagrrl Says:

    I’m a woman with a female partner. We are two women together. If one of us dies — the other has no legal rights.

    If we could marry — it would not matter what some lawyer could dig up (and you know damn well, in this age of information, they could dig it up) — the marriage would still stand. Our wishes for one another would be honored.

    It sure makes life easier while we are fighting for the other stuff.

  8. Suzan Says:

    “Do we see anyone talking about getting laws passed that ensure that at least the government respects its own documents with regard to us? Why is the “solution” to our marriage issue only spoken of in terms of gay marriage? Why not start by getting us basic equality in our paperwork?”

    Who is doing the using?

    From where I sit it is the Catholic Church, the taliban Christers and the radical right.

    Every single time they have passed a law about mnarriage being solely between a man and a woman it has tended to have a clause defining that as “at birth”.

    As for papers? It is a fantasy that you can get your papers changed at some point after say the first couple of days and that there won’t be a computer trail backwards.

    As I pointed out even changing school records in 1970 left just such a trail.

  9. Evangelina Says:

    I legal terms, marriage is already a “civil contract” which is why divorce is handled by the courts. As far as I know and I am sure someone will put me right if I am wrong on this, the Catholic church STILL does not recognise divorce except in certain circumstances, adultry being one. Some other christian sects don’t either. Marriage ceremonies conducted in Church are not legally binding under civil law until the register is signed. Church ministers are all authourised by states to conduct marriages. So personally I don’t see the problem in establishing civil unions between gay couples. Does it matter wether it is called a “marriage” or a “civil union” just so long as it affords equal rights as well as equal responsibilities.
    Suzan your point regarding paper trails is well made. However UK law established by GERBIL does provide some protection. The legislation is without doubt, flawed in other areas; but it does address the issue to some degree. Burocracy is currently trying to turn that protection around with the regulations that surround identity cards but that’s another story.
    I have gone to a great deal of trouble to cover my trail and protect my past from view. I’m sure due dilligence would find me however. Yes ISP is just one. No such thing as privacy anymore.

  10. tinagrrl Says:

    I’ve spent the last days stewing over the “what rights do you want Tina?” comment.

    It appears little different from statements made FOR me by those who do not speak for me — IE: the “transgenders”.

    What I want are the very same rights you have. Not more — the same.

    As far as the ongoing fight for our right to consistent acceptance of documentation, most of that has been done by the equivalent of executive orders. That can be undone in a court of law — as we have seen in case after case.

    I think it would be easier to get expanded marriage rights passed than it would be to pass laws specific to us.

    As I said, the security of expanded marriage rights would be nice to have while working toward all the other stuff.

    “What rights do you want Tina?” is one of the most tonedeaf, unaware, near homophobic, statements I’ve read in a while. It smacks of privilege. It dismisses the needs, wants, of others, seeing them as unimportant.

    As I’ve said, we can NEVER be a “community” when someone can dismiss you with a flick of the wrist.

  11. Catherine Says:

    I don’t know you so I most likely may be way off base here and I really fretted over whether or not to bother replying but there’s been a flight delay.. so.. having a spare minute and either writing or living in Duty Free.. Anyhoo..

    Obviously I chose to reply though I doubt it will matter..
    Your life has obviously led you to certain beliefs for whatever reason. And that’s neither here nor there. But please understand that I don’t assume that you “must” hold any particular political view. Why would I? And I don’t have that kind of power, do I? Though, if you truly believe the legitimacy of the WBT community will come only through those we sleep with, I personally believe you are incorrect in this matter. Legitimacy for the WBT community will come through those who do not belong under the Transgender Umbrella being given medical legitimacy through legislation.

    You mention documentation, but do you really think any amount of documentation will help in an era of information? Do you truly think a birth certificate saying “female” will make someone “passable” as a woman in the eyes of society? Because of medical reasons and the age in which I transitioned, I had all documentation changed and because I was young there really was no paper trail. I led a “normal” life but it just took one Christian Psychologist in the South of the US to break her oath, out me, and it cost me everything. Documentation meant nothing in the end. I had to change my identity and leave the country to start over again in a place that truly believes in personal privacy and freedom. I’ve discovered that documentation cannot buy anyone a life free from judgment. In your opinion, more specifically, what rights and for whom should we be fighting exactly? Are their people not worthy of your time or compassion and who would those people be? What do you need to make yourself happy? I just can’t imagine that you would really believe that an ‘out’ or ‘unpassable’ post-SRS woman, with the appropriate documentation and who chooses only male partners would really somehow legitimize transsexuality.

    You mention special rights, but being allowed to transition in many societies is a special right in and of itself. What special rights are you referring to and what special rights do you want or may already have?

    It’s fine for you not to have an interest in the same sex marriage issue. If you don’t see it as applying to you, then it’s your choice not to care about those it may apply to. You should have the freedom to spend your time as you see fit. And as long as no one ever finds out that you’re WBT, then no one may (and I should stress ‘may’) question your relationship or marriage to men as a “prior male” (in the eyes of society). Again, this is just an assumption that you are even in a relationship or have relationships with men or are post-SRS or even a younger transitioner. It may not even apply to your life whatsoever for whatever reason. I’ll go with Suzan’s saying of YMMV.

    The GLBT doesn’t really tell society that we are men. Society has chosen that label because they refuse to believe that a person can transition genders. Look under the transgender umbrella and tell me that society can’t find justification for such a belief within our own community. I think we would need to judge ourselves before judging others. Until the medical community sees WBT’s as “normal” or medical legitimate cases, then you can forget about society seeing us as equals in terms of gender or sex.
    You comment that we (assuming you mean all trans people) are being forced as a community to pursue “gay marriage”. Who is forcing you? How and in what way? What was done to you specifically that made you feel this way? I have no problem with the GL. G & L marriage rights have nothing to do with my life as WBT. I see these as very separate issues and I have no problem supporting equal marriage rights as well as supporting trans-inclusive bills and oddly still find time for tea. Nobody can force a vote from me one way or another.

    Please, please don’t get think I’m advocating that you have to drop anything you are doing in your life to further rights for gays and lesbians. You have the right to vote against gay marriage over and over again (though this would take the same amount of time as voting for it) if it suits your beliefs. I never said you had to believe anything. But I do know enough about politics and the law in the US to know that if equality in marriage is defeated for any group that doesn’t fit into Biblical stereotypes, WBT marriages may be next on the firing line. If they come for you and the one you claim to love (assuming you’re a heterosexual woman. I still don’t know.), then I hope you will then stand up for equality if your rights are threatened.

    And it’s not about women’s needs coming last. Not in the least. I consider myself a feminist and I will always put women’s rights first. I’ve lived as a woman since I was fifteen. Trust me when I say that women’s rights don’t come last for me and I see no conflict in voting for civil rights equality and fighting for women’s rights. I vote the same way now as I did when I was only dating men. And I’m a bit unsure why you feel it conflicts with women’s rights to vote or be for equal civil rights for all genders. It’s all a matter of equality.

    I also can’t agree with your statement, “if there was a bill to support women-only same sex marriage I don’t believe it would face near the resistance”. I won’t even tell you what my “normal” female friends said about this quote. Though my straight male friends said, “Yeah.. I’m alright with two hot women getting married and doing it”. Like I’ve said, I don’t know you well enough to know what you’ve been through that causes you to think this way and why you draw the conclusions you do. However, this seems an awfully hetero-male stance to take. But women-only same sex marriage would come under the same scrutiny, I believe. Do you really believe the Christian community would be just hunky dory with two women getting married instead of two men? Do you think anyone but a man could create such a delineation. I think the issue is a tad more complex than you’re making it out to be.

    I truly don’t know why gay men seem to bother you so much (for me and most of my girl friends, many of our closest friends are gay men whether we are straight or otherwise) especially since as a WBT woman, if you are out, many may seek to label you as such and you really can’t blame the GLB community for that. Again, I honestly don’t know you or when you transitioned, or to what degree you are ‘out’ about your past or relationships or how life has treated you. But either way, I’m not sure what discriminating against gay men in particular is going to get you or anyone in the WBT community in the long run. And I’m not sure what harm you think will come from standing against hate and standing up for equality in the matters of love.

    You asked Tina what she wanted. If I assume you weren’t just be snarky and sincerely being honest about the question, in my case, what would I want to see in the US? That’s an easy one. Life, Liberty and the Freedom to Pursue Happiness. Pretty much the same as anyone, don’t you think?

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