Thursday, December 08, 2005

LGBT Americans Slow to Warm to Civil Unions

(Link) Trends are showing more nuptials taking place in a state that offers full marriage over one that offers civil unions. Lack of committment or just that American habit of shopping for the best deal?

1 comment:

LNewsEditor said...

JIC Post:
By Christopher Curtis GAY.COM.UK/ Network UK

Days after civil partnerships were introduced in the UK, similar options in the US state of Connecticut are not being enthusiastically embraced by same-sex couples, according to pro-gay marriage campaigners Love Makes a Family.

The group noted that only 539 Connecticut couples sought civil-union licences from October 1st to November 11th, the first six weeks that they were available to same-sex couples in the state.

The organisation compared those numbers to US state Massachusetts, where more than 3,000 gay couples sought marriage licences in the first six weeks of legal same-sex marriages.

While Massachusetts' population is roughly double that of Connecticut, nearly six times as many same-sex couples were married there than entered civil unions in Connecticut in the first six weeks.

"While there was an early flurry, it is clear that the community has mixed feelings about the new law," said Anne Stanback, president of Love Makes a Family.

"For most gay couples, like every other couple, marriage is more than just a list of legal and economic protections, important as these are to families. The low numbers suggest that gay couples in Connecticut need and want the full security, dignity and commitment of marriage, not a parallel, separate status that continues to leave them vulnerable and unequal."

Couples have 65 days from the day the civil-union licence is issued to conduct a ceremony.

Janet Peck, who lives with her partner, Carol Conklin, told GAY.COM that they are not seeking civil union because "we find civil unions to be second-rate".

"We find them to be demeaning and insulting. To pledge to say we're something that's inferior is just not OK," Peck said.

"Marriage means true equality for same-sex couples and their families," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

"It is important that hundreds of couples now have the ability to provide some protections for their families, but it only takes a short drive north for Connecticut's citizens to be reminded that everyone can and should have the same rights and protections."

Stanback added, "I know there are some people that are holding out. I think people understand marriage is coming to Connecticut. Maybe not next year, but I think 2007 is the year of marriage for our state."