Thursday, 3 September 2009

Blue Jersey: Civil Union or Gay Marriage

We Believe in Marriage Equality.
It just makes sense.

Civil Unions are not equal to marriage, the only currency of commitment the real world understands.

Tell New Jersey's State Legislators to update to marriage today.

Civil Unions or Gay Marriage

It is a simple idea that is all too often lost on well-meaning people.

Many who believe in equality for same-sex couples favour the term ‘civil union’ over the word ‘marriage’. While their reasons may vary, they may not fully understand the real world disparities between the different terms.

Civil Unions are more complicated for people to understand, especially in times of crisis. The story of Paula Long and Rozz Heggs of Camden is just one of the many heartbreaking examples of families can be degraded by their inferior marital status. Paula and Rozz were registered domestic partners, which under New Jersey law grants the following rights to partners:

- The right to visit each other in hospital
- The right to make medical decisions for an incapacitated partner

Despite this, when Rozz went to hospital suffering and heart attack and stroke, Paula was not allowed to give consent for a blood transfusion. The hospital demanded to see a marriage certificate.

To learn more about this story you can view the video below, which is introduced by Steven Goldstein of Garden State Equality.

Like the proposed civil unions law, current domestic partnership legislation already provides these rights. But a fundamental non-understanding by ordinary people of civil unions and marriage equality can lead to disasters like this. Semantics matter because not everyone follows legislation closely and this has a real effect on real people.

Marriage is truly the only currency of commitment the real world universally understands and accepts.

Civil unions provide fewer benefits under the law. A recent Government Accountability Office report determined that couples with civil unions are afforded 1,138 less rights, protections and benefits than married couples.

Unlike a marriage, a civil union may not be recognised by other states. Therefore, if a New Jersey couple with a civil union had to relocate to another state due to a job or a sick relative, their legal status would be jeopardized.

A Camden. NJ couple demonstrates how domestic partnership and civil unions failed in the real world.

1 comment:

  1. tad-dwejjaq...hopefully malta ma ddumx ma tinbidel is-sitwazjoni =/