Inch by Inch is how the inchworm travels. And also Rhode Island. This weekend the governor of Rhode Island signed the civil unions bill into law. Lincoln Chafee and the openly gay speaker of the Rhode Island assembly, Gordon Fox could not get marriage equality passed there only civil unions. Rhode Island the tiniest state, and heavily Catholic could not escape the pressure and influence of the Church. And so once again -we have a separate status.
I know there are some who think that the name of the institution doesn’t matter. Domestic partnership, Civil Unions, Marriage. But in our world the name does matter. It defines so much. And the way laws and legal codes are written in any particular state or jurisdiction doesn’t account for full equality when we are talking about domestic partnerships and civil unions because there is always an exception! Especially because of the role of the federal stance of not recognizing marriage between same-gender couples even when their state does!
However, this state by state strategy is difficult and confusing for Americans and particularly for Gay and lesbian couples. Married in one state. Not in another. And if you have a civil union in Rhode Island it is not the equivalent of married in Iowa. I guess they don’t want us to travel!
Ironically in New York although no Long Island Senator voted for Marriage Equality (Even though Fire Island is on Long Island!) a group is trying to make it a wedding destination for gay couples who wish to marry.
So I guess I cheer for Rhode Island–it is some progress. Inch by inch. I hope that soon-we will not have all these separate statuses.