I've been thinking about this whole Common Ground Initiative in Utah. I want to show support for gay couples to have the opportunity for hospital visitation, employment protection, etc.
Yet as I read the web sites organizing online campaigns, I'm left feeling hesitant, particularly regarding some of the benefits they claim gay couples are denied, particularly when it comes to the question: are they denied rights other unmarried mixed-gender/heterosexual couples are granted?
Maybe I shouldn't hesitate so much over this question, particularly where gay people can't marry even if they want to, so they either need to be allowed civil unions or some of the rights married people are allowed. Maybe I should be gung ho and vocal in my support for these campaigns...but I'm not sure I fully support everything they're after, and not knowing which parts I fully support, or whether I fully trust their motives, gives me pause, and it's uncomfortable. I'm not sure how much of the "common ground" initiative really is common ground, as I expressed in a previous post.
Forgive my apparently schizophrenic thoughts, here, ranting against discriminatory, closed-minded politics in one post then questioning the very measures opposed by the discrimination-mongers in the next.
But...what are the criteria for gay couples to be allowed these rights? Will unmarried heterosexual couples receive the same opportunities? If not, are these bills inherently discriminatory? Can we afford to open up these rights to unmarried couples of all mixes and orientations? Is it acceptable to counter discriminatory law with more discriminatory law?
There are at least two measures I know I support: nobody should be fired simply for dating or wanting to date a member of the same gender (unless that fact impedes their ability to fulfill their job, however that might be), and nobody should be denied the permission, when granted by their partner, to visit them in the hospital or make medical decisions where necessary. I support similar measures that deal with basic partnership and companionship privileges and rights.
But call me crazy, I want equality to be equality. If we set up rights for gay couples, the same rights should be available to heterosexual couples. Of course, I still think the clearest answer is to get government's grubby mits out of marriage altogether, let government take care of civil unions and accompanying rights, and grant civil unions to committed couples based on criteria available to all people...shoot, I'm not sure I can argue clearly against plural marriage if that's the case. Maybe I don't care to, deep down. When done "right", who is it hurting? I mean, it would have to be allowed to go both ways, though. One woman, ten men. 3 men, 4 women, whatever.
Man, this marriage and rights thing is messy. Does anyone have any good sources for information outlining some of these rights gay couples are supposedly denied and whether those same rights are available to unmarried heterosexual couples?