Marriage vs. civil union: What’s in a name matters

NJVoices.com
February 18, 2008
For too many families across New Jersey, the warning of former New Jersey Chief Justice Deborah Poritz has proven prophetic. "What we name things matters, language matters," she wrote in her dissent in the 2006 Supreme Court decision that led to civil unions rather than marriage for same-sex couples. "By excluding same-sex couples from civil marriage, the state declares that it is legitimate to differentiate between their commitments and the commitments of heterosexual couples."[link]

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Report criticizes NJ civil union law

Philadelphia Inquirer
February 18, 2008
A New Jersey commission has found in an initial report that civil unions - approved a year ago in an attempt to ensure equal rights for same-sex couples - are falling short of the goal. It said that employers were still discriminating against those in same-sex relationships and that civil unions were "not clear to the general public, which creates a second-class status." [link]

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Group To Rekindle Rights for Same-Sex Couples Debate In Minnesota

WCCO
February 4, 2008
When state lawmakers open the new session next week a new group will try to rekindle the debate over whether same-sex couples should have the same rights as men and women who are married. Project 515 focuses on 515 state laws that it says discriminate against same-sex couples and families. Some affect couples in their professional lives, others in times of tragedy. [link]

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For My Wife

The Advocate
January 23, 2008
When a flash flood killed the renowned audiobook narrator Kate Fleming, her partner, Charlene Strong, endured firsthand the cruel consequences of having been unable to marry and secure legal protections. Now she is making a documentary to tell their story and change the law--in memory of the woman who was her wife in every way but legally. [link]

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Gays & the Church

Pittsburgh Tribune Review
January 16, 2008
As a gay man who has been partnered for 19 years, married in Canada in 2005 and parent of a 2-year-old, I can tell you that we are not attacking Catholics or marriage. We don't want anything more than what all other committed couples have: the tax, health, pension, visitation and death protections that are a part of marriage. These are not special rights. They are protections offered by the government, not the Catholic Church. [link]

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Crossing the border

Bay Windows
January 10, 2008
With New Hampshire joining the ranks of the civil union states this year, same-sex couples can now obtain all of the legal state benefits of marriage in four of the six New England states, either through civil unions in New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut or through marriage in Massachusetts. But what happens when you cross state lines? (Link)

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The “M” word matters

Politicker NJ
November 12, 2007
Carla Katz, president of the Communications Workers of America Local 1034, the largest CWA local in the country, writes, "The truth is, same-sex marriage is not a 'gay' issue. It is a civil rights issue, pure and simple. It is, and should be, as important to those of us in the 'straight' community as any other civil rights issue. Time and again, the United States Supreme Court has announced that marriage is a fundamental, constitutionally protected right of all citizens. I emphasize the word 'all'. One need not even support the concept of marriage sanctioned by the church or the state to defend the rights of same-sex couples to marry. Defending that right simply means being in favor of equal rights for all." [link]

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Moved With Partner, Woman Denied Unemployment Compensation

The Philadelphia Inquirer
September 7, 2007
This case once again shows that same-sex couples in long-term, committed relationships are not entitled to the benefits that non-gay married couples enjoy. The benefit in question is unemployment compensation, which a Pennsylvania woman was denied after she quit her job last year to follow her partner of eight years to Florida. The reason for the denial: She is not married. Her rebuttal: She didn't have that option. [Link]

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Add your voice to the chorus calling for equality and dignity

Seattle Times
August 9, 2007
Even after Kate's passing, I still had to fight for recognition as her spouse. Since I was not her legal wife, the funeral director would not address me as Kate's family or let me make her funeral arrangements. Kate's mother had to sign the request for her cremation. The death certificate stated that she had never been married. Kate's voice could no longer speak out against these mounting indignities. Now that many presidential candidates are making the effort to listen to our stories, we must speak up about the gravity of the rights that anti-gay marriage amendments may take away. [link]

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NM remains in limbo over marriage

Free New Mexican
July 26, 2007

Gay New Mexicans can marry in Massachusetts, but it may not make much difference once the honeymoon is over and they're home. New Mexico hasn't outlawed same-sex marriages, but it hasn't endorsed them either. [link]

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