links for 2008-03-18

Continue Readinglinks for 2008-03-18

I wanna commitment ceremony you

Stephanie and I were having talk the other day with one of our friends over terminology and what we called our selves, our wedding, and what we’ll call ourselves once we’re married.

That’s not an unusual discussion, and gay people have different opinions about it. There are some who don’t embrace the words “marriage” “fiancée” and “wife” because there is historical baggage associated with all of them, surrounding women being treated as property.

I understand that argument, but I disagree with it – I think the historical “property” context in far enough in the past that not many people realize or associate those ideas with those words anymore. And I also feel that the words “marriage” “fiancée” and “wife” have tremendous power in them that the second-class terminology of “commitment ceremony” and “civil union” and “domestic partner” lack. Here’s a funny video about why that’s the case: once you start using those terms in context, they sound dumb:

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Relationships and the Importance of Gay Marriage

This article in the New York Times, in a nutshell, explains what I’ve been saying for 15 years about why it is important for gay and lesbian people to be allowed to get married.

“Marriage, for instance, isn’t just about the relationship of two people. Other people have to recognize the couple as a couple. What it means to be married is that other people treat you like you’re married,” Professor Chwe says, noting that two people who never see each other may still be regarded by others as married. (Conversely, two people who consider themselves a couple may be denied recognition by others.)

The need for common knowledge means a wedding is more than the exchange of vows by two individuals. “When you go to a wedding, it’s not just about you seeing the two people getting married. It’s also very important that you know that other people know,” Professor Chwe says. That’s why the vows themselves matter less than the ceremony.

“You might have a New Age reading or you can have a very traditional Catholic wedding. But having everyone being together in a wedding is extremely important, regardless of what is said,” Professor Chwe notes. “You’d never have a wedding by just sending a fax to everybody.”

Continue ReadingRelationships and the Importance of Gay Marriage