Call them whatever you like.......gay marriage, civil union, gay union, etc etc......they all symbolize a level of stabilization and legal protection.
On my way home this morning I was listening to our rather conservative AM station here in Cincinnati (700 WLW) and the host was discussing gay marriage. He was actually on the "pro" side of this issue since he was of the opinion that it didn't matter if it was legalized the lesbians and gays he has talked to would not opt for a legal union.
He only spoke on this topic for 30 minutes and asked for gays/lesbians to call in and voice their opinions. Well.....not one woman did but we had a few stupid gay men call in to discuss how gay marriage/unions were something they wanted so that they could have the stabilized life that straight couples were afforded. One guy said it was about riding one health insurance policy rather than two. (Hello! There are many health care providers who already cover domestic partners!) One went to the extent to say that it would somehow afford us all "acceptance".
I was sooooo tempted to call in because not one of the callers talked about legal rights protections. The right to make a decision for our loved ones without the family members overruling our decisions because we have no legal rights to make a decision. If my partner is in the hospital on death's door........no matter what conversations we may have had.....her parents can intervene and overrule. In fact, I could be legally escorted out of the hospital and banned from my partners room. Or how about the hoops we have to jump through to make out our last will and testament? How about one tax form instead of two? Now the federal and state governments have to see an advantage with that one!
In my opinion, this is what gay marriage/unions are about! I can already commit myself to a partner for the rest of my life without a legal document. What makes gay unions so important is that with approved legislation it is legally binding with all of the rights and priviliges that are afforded to everyone else.
The WLW host might be right. If it were legal, an increased rate of gay marriages/unions may not happen. I know people who do not want to be "married". Not everyone is the marrying kind.
Haven't we seen that with the rising divorce rates in this country?