I'm sorry if my language was not clear. I was not trying to imply that my belief was shared by you.
I was simply agreeing with the sentiment expressed by both you and Rhi about civil unions and the need for them to be sanctioned at the federal level in order for this to work. I would have considered that a great first step.
However, I added my own thought with the "Also" statement.
There are many religious people who recognize that the word marriage does not have it's roots in religion and who support the effort for full equality. Luckily this is becoming more the norm as people become educated to the facts. It might actually be a blessing that the conversation did not stop at civil unions. In the end creating two separate but equal sets of laws for marriage/civil unions seems a bit overkill, and really does not address the stigma that comes with the separation.
There are also some conservative religious individuals who actually believe the word marriage is sacred to their religion, and would support civil unions. The problem is none of these individuals are in leadership positions.
There are also many gays that would have accepted civil unions if they came with the full benefits of marriage. However at no point in time has this been seriously offered as an alternative at the state or local level. Some states have civil unions but do not honor all of the rights of marriage even at the state level which is why there is such a push for marriage equality. I hardly think it is a shrill voice that asks for equal rights.
At this point I have not seen any legitimate discussions about creating civil unions that are the mirror image of marriages for the heterosexual community. It has been a smoke screen each time, and a way to divert attention from full marriage equality.
I'm confused by this statement:
"Just as there are many right ways to be gay, there are many ways to achieve equality."
What is the right way to be gay?
creyente saidI agree with shortbutsweet and Rhi.
Also, if religious conservatives really felt that the problem was in the name the republican platform would include support for civil unions.
They really don't care what it's called they will not support it. I wish people would wake up and recognize that the name game is simply a cover for them. An easy way to deny us our rights.
As much as I respect your opinion, mine is actually somewhat different.
I think religious conservatives feel very strongly that the term "marriage" refers to a special relationship among people that reflects what they believe is a sacred covenant between man and God. As such, their opposition to gay "marriage" is based upon strongly-held religious beliefs that are not likely to be swayed -- but only so long as we call it "marriage."
The radical right bases their opposition on bigotry and hatred, and I suggest those are the people to whom you are referring. They don't care what you call it; they just want to deny rights to anyone who isn't a white, Anglo-saxon, Protestant male.
Mainstream conservatives -- the largest group by far -- can be persuaded to do the right thing. It will take finesse, but we have to present a reasonable, responsible message so that they will stop listening to the shrill voices coming from the zealots and radicals. We cannot accomplish that by being shrill and self-righteous ourselves and shrieking -- as some of us do -- that only a revolution will do. We may achieve equality that way, but it will come at far greater cost in terms of gay lives.
Just as there are many right ways to be gay, there are many ways to achieve equality. Some achieve the same goals at less cost.