Monday, May 17, 2010

New York City Throws Fake Ceremonies at Gays in Order to Make Money


News broke today via The Daily News that New York City will be performing Civil Ceremonies. Many are applauding the move, even though the more apt term would be Ceremonial Civil Ceremonies.

New York has been registering domestic partners for almost two decades now. Domestic Partnership is one step better than cohabitation, and confers some legal rights, such as right of tenancy if you live in a city dwelling, as well as health benefits if your partner ( like mine) works for the City or the State. It does not however give much of anything else. My partner and I have been registered for many years now.

We, like many gay couples are tired of waiting for NYC to catch up with other states like Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire ,Vermont and the District of Columbia, which have same sex marriage. New York last year voted down legal same sex marriage on Dec 2nd 2009 in a 38-24 vote. It was upsetting to have traveled to Albany on the anniversary of my dad’s death to get such bad news. Even New Jersey has Civil Unions, which is still NOT the same as same sex marriage, although many think it is. It just confers, in a nice package, more benefits than Domestic Partnership. New York doesn’t even have Civil Unions. So much for being so liberal and progressive.

Lets face it, even same sex marriage is NOT the same, because gays are still denied the full rights of any traditional marriage...all 1,138 federal ones. So what are the rights New York will be giving same sex couples with this new announcement? None, other than the ability to pay more money for the same thing, albeit with the ability for a better photo op. Maybe a few flowers. Who knows, maybe some background music. Not enough.

This is just another attempt of a cash strapped State to yet again pick the bones of its citizens. Instead of legalizing gay marriages last year, we’re being thrown crumbs, and expected to pay for those crumbs. The fact is that of the almost 6,000 couples who have entered into D.P. last year, 70% of those were heterosexual couples. Couples whom at any time can go and get married in a traditional marriage. My partner and I cannot....at least not in New York. So why is this being touted as an advance for gays?

It’s time for New York and its politicians to step up to bat and give the LGBT community more than just crumbs off of the table of their lobbyists. Its time for NYC to stop telling its citizens “Let them eat cake”. We want our piece of the Big Apple.

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