With this ring, I thee reciprocal beneficiary

Marriage. Wedding. Spouse. With some exceptions in language and culture, these terms are nearly universal. In the United States these terms are central to more than one thousand rights afforded to a wedded couple and they convey one single act and meaning.

Domestic Partnership. Civil Union. Commitment Ceremony. Now the rest of the country is scratching their heads. Currently, the Defense of Marriage Act prevents consistent understanding of these words due to the federal government’s lack of same-sex marriage recognition. This leaves a state-by-state jigsaw puzzle of rights, acknowledgment and, in many cases, nothing.

For example:

As of June 1, 2011, Illinois defines a domestic partnership as a legal union and has adopted laws similar to those of California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington. While the Phoenix Domestic Partner Registry merely grants hospital visitation rights to the named partner, exclusively in the city of Phoenix. This seems to be a blatant double standard intended to water down the importance and effectiveness of the term and the understanding of the voting public.

Civil Unions vs. Domestic Partnerships

Wait, it gets better.

Washington State issues business card-sized replicas of the actual domestic partnership license. As they should, I am sure there are many occasions where carrying proof of your legally recognized relationship could come in handy. And in the State of Hawaii a civil union is formally called a Reciprocal Beneficiary Relationship. Really? Would any of this be necessary if same-sex relationships were truly considered equal?

So, once you’ve found a cozy spot on the map to settle down with your committed significant other/life partner/unlawfully wedded, you’ve filed for your local applicable certificate entitling you to somerights and thrown a ceremony celebrating your love and your union, then you realize you’re not protected anywhere else in the world … unless you happen to be in Rhode Island, New York, Maryland.

Community Church of Hope, Phoenix


Comments on: "Everything BUT – the practicality and absurdity of alternative commitment verbiage" (8)

  1. Nicely done, Kara; very professional! Best of luck with your blog!

  2. Bonnie Gutierrez said:

    Very informative for those who care and want to support gay rights. I applaud your blog!

  3. Yes Kara, I must say after all these years, i finally get to read your writing. And also, very interesting. I’ve become intrigued.

    320th Flt 116 Alcatraz Clique

  4. Nicely Done Kara. I agree with you and Sydney about the conversation we had in class about this. The government cannot force a religion upon anyone, so why should they force everyone (US citizens) to not acknowledge same sex marriage. I believe the choice should be independent and rely on the interest of the people involved. Keep up the great entries.

  5. HowToNotDieInCollege said:

    I have a strong feeling that in the future, we’ll look back on this and laugh.. People can be so inconsiderate of others, it’s sickening at times. Just as African Americans fought for their equality, gays are doing the same. I pray that eventually equality for EVERYONE will be a part of our daily existence in the near future.. great blogs.

  6. Have you looked at how gay marriage has become legalized in other nations? From what I’ve read in the news, it seems like most other places just legalize it nationally. I just didn’t know if I hadn’t followed things closely enough to see the progression or if the US’s piecemeal approach was because most regulations dealing with marriage are done at the state level, which seems to be the cause of many of these inconsistencies.

  7. Wow! this is so informative, and I know there needs to be more awareness in regards to this subject. Please feel free to advertise anything in regards to this matter would love to support you and any way shape as possible. Well said, sharing the love, light, and creativity!

  8. Tiffany NaVelle said:

    We need some Martin Luther King up in this shiz! I say we peace march on DC and demand equal and fair treatment under the law. This issue needs to evolve further than it has in the last 10-20 years. Thank you for speaking out Kara!

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