Everything but the word. That’s what we won in Washington state last year. Civil unions with all the (state-level) rights of marriage, but not the word itself. I’ve heard people talk as though it’s a reasonable compromise.
There can be no compromise.
Some people out there want us to have nothing. No civil unions, no domestic partnerships. And even that’s too much for others who want us to have less than nothing. People who want to throw us in prison. This is Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council on Chris Matthews’ show:
Matthews: Do you think we should outlaw gay behavior?
Sprigg: Well, I think certainly it’s defensible —
Matthews: I’m just asking you: Should we outlaw gay behavior?
Sprigg: I think that the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas which overturned, uh, the sodomy laws in this country was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.
Matthews: So we should outlaw gay behavior.
Sprigg: Uh, yes! [laughs]
You know, it’s the laughter that gets me. I live in L.A., where I can pretend this sort of thinking is limited to the extreme, bigoted fringes of society. But this is on MSNBC, and Sprigg is a spokesperson for a group that brings in over twelve million dollars a year. We see what their position is — and how can you compromise between full civil equality and being thrown in prison? What would that compromise even look like?
No matter what we do, no matter what we offer, it won’t be enough for these folk. If we agree to everything-but-the-word, they’ll go to work on the “everything.” They’ll chisel away at civil unions and domestic partnerships until they strip us of even the right to claim the dead body of your partner from the morgue. They’ll keep chiseling — chiseling until we’re in prison. And I’ll tell you this: I’m not going to prison just because Peter Sprigg and the Family Research Council freak out at the thought of me grabbing Will’s ass and planting him one on the lips while we’re making ourselves dinner.
Here’s Sprigg on Matthews’ show. Go to 7 minutes and 41 seconds.
(Thanks to Joe.My.God for finding this.)