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Comment of the Fortnight
20 March 2000
Status Report

So, where has Comment of the Fortnight been, anyway? Well, I've been busy. KeyPoint is now a training partner of Selectica, and I've been teaching their course material. The classes go five days, and I did two weeks back to back. On top of that, the Santa Clara Valley Wrestling Association has started its freestyle season, so that takes up my Saturdays. So now you know what I've been doing.

Vermont's Civil Unions

During the debates about Proposition 22 (see the last Comment) this was the kind of debate you heard:
Gays and Lesbians Those in favor
of Proposition 22
We want the right to visit the ones we love if they're in the hospital.
We don't object to that - as long as you don't call it marriage.
Why shouldn't we be allowed to pass on our estates to our loved ones in our wills?
It's only fair that you should do that -- as long as you don't call it marriage.
We're in a committed relationship; shouldn't workers' compensation laws apply to us as well?
That seems reasonable -- as long as you don't call it marriage.
In fact, the whole range of civil rights that are given to any heterosexual married couple -- is there any compelling reason that we, in a committed relationship, should be denied them?
No reason at all -- as long as you don't call it marriage.

But what about responsibilities? If we divorce, we have to go to court. Will you do the same -- even if we don't call it marriage?
We're willing to accept that responsibility.
We have to assume each other's debts. Are you willing to do that -- even if we don't call it marriage?
Yes, of course; it's only fair.
In fact, all the responsiblities of marriage -- are you willing to accept them, even if we don't call it marriage?
Yes, absolutely, because that's the meaning of equality.

Well, it looks as if the Vermont House of Representatives has given the Proposition 22 supporters exactly what they want. Vermont is prepared to create something called a “civil union” which bears all the rights and responsibilities of marriage, but, as per law, is not called marriage. And I, for one, am thrilled to know that the folks who supported Proposition 22 will have absolutely no objection.

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