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Posts tagged ‘Illinois’

I told you this would happen

At Fannie’s Room I came across a link to this article at Slate. It mostly concerns different–sex couples in Illinois who are opting for civil unions rather than marriage. In other words, there are fewer marriages than would otherwise have been the case.

The appropriate response to this is, of course, “I told you this would happen”. Just as I predicted over a year ago when this law was passed, and just as has happened in France, by allowing different–sex couples access to civil unions, it creates a competitor to marriage, and therefore weakens marriage and reduced the number of marriages. Had marriage equality simply been allowed none of this would have happened. This is why the supposed concern over the “sanctity of marriage” actually isn’t. Someone who was truly concerned about the sanctity of marriage would not create alternative to it. Rather, they would support marriage equality and therefore increase the number of marriage. Since none of the opponents of marriage equality (that I know of) appear to be doing anything to prevent the benefits of marriage from being available to those who aren’t married, it is clear that opposition to marriage equality is really motivated by bigotry.

And since Hawaii’s civil unions law also allows different–sex couples to enter into civil unions, I predict that the same thing will happen there.

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Illinois okays civil unions

The Illinois legislature has passed a bill legalizing civil unions. Those civil unions bring all the benefits of marriage (except the term “marriage”) to same–sex couples. The bill includes provisions for the recognition of out–of–state same–sex couples. The governor of that state is expected to sign the bill.

I’m torn about this. On one hand, it provides the benefits of marriage to all couples. On the other hand, (quoting Dale Carpenter from the Volokh Conspiracy, my emphasis):

…There are a couple of noteworthy provisions in the bill. First, the new status is available to opposite-sex spouses who choose not to marry. This makes the Illinois law different from other civil-union laws, like the ones in California, Oregon, and New Jersey, which generally make the equivalent status available only to same-sex couples on the theory that opposite-sex couples can marry….

 This is why same–sex marriage is good for different–sex marriage. The provisions in the law provide an alternative to marriage for different–sex couples. By providing competitors to marriage, it will reduce the number of marriages. Clearly, it is socons who are threatening marriage. Had marriage equality simply been allowed none of this would be necessary.

And for the record, I think that both civil unions and marriage should be available to couples.

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