Why does the LGBT community want marriage instead of just settling with a civil union?

Note that I am SUPPORTIVE of LGBT marriage; I'm just asking this question because I want to fully understand what it is about marriage that makes it so much more desirable than a civil union (CU). I mean, if an LGBT couple is not married but they are in a CU and they have rights such as hospital visitation, then why not just stick with the CU? Why would they want to get married? I want to understand what the difference is between a CU and a marriage. The United States recognizes CUs, so why should we push for marriage??

12 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Because not a single Civil Union statute - NOT ONE - has granted true legal equivalency with civil marriage. I don't want partial equality. I want REAL equality - you know the kind that is guaranteed under the 14th Amendment.

    Many insurance companies try do deny spouse-equivalent benefits under civil unions. We are not entitled to pension rights under civil unions. We cannot file joint tax returns under civil unions. We do not get Social Security survivors benefits under civil unions. And the list goes on.

    Civil union statutes enshrine inequality in the law. And many states, such a Virginia, do not even recognize them.

    You are saying 'why aren't you satisfied as a second-class citizen?'

    Get it now?

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Ask again WHEN the rights in a civil union equal that of a marriage.

    First, civil unions are state laws. Not only do they NOT give the same rights as marriage under state law (most of the time, some states do), they also are legal is what, 6 states. It means that they aren't recognized outside of that state. Go on a vacation to another state? Nope, not a partner anymore and the rights like hospital visitation do not carry over to that state so if you get hurt on your vacation, you are screwed.

    Second, no federal rights are granted at all that all marriages have. You can't file joined taxes. The surviving spouse of a combat veteran gets benefits, the civil partner does not. There are so many more of these laws that everyone takes for granted until something happens and then they protect you and your family.

    There was a story out of Tampa years back. Two lesbians were partners, even had a non-legal commitment ceremony. They were both also police officers. One died in the line of duty. The benefits were denied to her partner because they weren't married. Even the family of the dead woman came out and said awful things about her partner like that she cheated, not saying whether it was true or not because we can't know, what we do know is that if they were married, that couldn't have been used to deny a spouse of benefits. And the two lesbians were living together at the time of death.

    Now, if civil unions were exactly the same as marriage legally, we'd have a different conversation. But then, if they were exactly the same, wouldn't it just be easier to use the same word for them both? I personally wouldn't care if the legal definition of marriage was changed to civil unions and the government gave churches/religions the elusive rights to use that word. Stripped of its legal meaning, they could be happy to define it as each religion pleases. Until then, it is a legal contract and everyone should be able to enter it as long as they are of consenting age.

  • Jamie
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    I think you get more rights when you are married over civil unions; and generally I think it is about equality; I mean come on is it really fair that straight people have marriage; but gay people have civil unions; if these governments already have legalized civil unions, they might as well just legalize same sex marriage then it makes millions of people happy. I am not sure what the difference between marriage and civil unions are but I know there are a few differences; but I think a great deal of it has to do with gay people wanting to be treated equally; which is not a big thing to ask.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Because hosptials often don't cator to the civil union partner in visitation over the family, for one thing. It happens all over the us. For more specific reasons, with a CU it's set up weaker.Visitation, will, etc. You have to go to a lawyer and pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for them in legal fees to establish a will and strengthen the legal security of your union. And then you also don't get the tax benefits a marriage will provide.

    That's why. Because it is not and will never be equal to a marriage.

    I knew of one person in particular that went through the process with the lawyer but has an illness which often lands him in a hospital, and the partner often had to fight with the family over visitation. When they couldn't get a hold of the lawyer, it was a nightmare. They had to deal with this kind of stuff constantly because their state did not allow same sex marriages.

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  • 8 years ago

    A civil union seems kind of like a second class thing. Gay people want the same rights as straight people. If straight people can get married gay people should be able to also. Some gay people may not even have an interest in marrige but it is the fact that we would all have equal rights and that makes it count.

  • 8 years ago

    I have totally wondered that myself. As someone who completely supports the LGBT community to have equal rights when it comes to marriage, I have wondered though why a civil union wasn’t enough to satisfy them. I asked a friend about his opinion on gay marriage once and I really liked his answer. He doesn’t discriminate against anyone who is gay and doesn’t care that anyone loves the same sex. He said though that he doesn’t support gay marriage because as a heterosexual married man, he got married for what the bible says about marriage. He thinks that to let anyone get married (use the term married) then that it should be just what the bible says about it. He supports gay families and for homosexuals to do anything that a heterosexual couples can do, but he only said give it a different name. I think the reason that the LGBT community is so consumed with having laws passed so that they can be “married” is because marriage is no longer defined by the bibles definition but as a definition that two lovers want to spend the rest of their lives together. For me, I just want the LGBT community to be treated equally and without prejudice. In my opinion I think that should not care so much about being able to get a union called marriage but to make it more acceptable to be LGBT. No one should be judged by who they love unless you love something that isn’t mentally capable of returning your love i.e animals and children.

  • 8 years ago

    Take a good look at this list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights_and_responsibi...

    That's just some of the 1500 goodies marriage grants that Civil Unions do not. Straight couples get handed all of that on a silver platter while gay couples don't. Where's the equality?

  • Because then there will be equality. The LGBT community wants to be treated fairly, equally. CU's are a good step, but it's not recognizing full equality amongst all.

  • 8 years ago

    Because there is no reason to create a separate category of marriage for gay people just because SOME straight people think they own a f*cking word. Also, when is the last time separate but equal was ever equal?

  • N
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    They tried this in New Jersey, and it failed miserably.

    Civil Unions just don't work since most place don't recognize them.

    For example, if you tell someone that you have a civil union partney, that doesn't carry any meaning to them unless it is explained. However, if you tell someone that you have a husband/wife they immediately understand this relationship.

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