CommunityPam's House Blend

Talking about freedom

Here’s our wedding page.

February 12-18 is Freedom to Marry week, a time to open up a discussion about the right to civil marriage equality, how to frame the message and most of all, to share personal stories that show why this is about fairness, and quite frankly, why there’s no reason to fear this. From Evan Wolfson, of Freedom to Marry.

This is a week to engage the people around us in this conversation about fairness. Gay people — and our friends, families and allies — cannot assume that just because a person loves us and is generally a good guy that this person understands how the denial of marriage harms us. We have to challenge each other and ourselves to make a more substantive, moral case for what we stand for.

It is not enough for gay people and our allies to say we are for marriage equality, and then wait for the courts or legislators to do the heavy lifting. Rather, it is our job to take every opportunity to address people’s concerns and discomfort, answer questions, and give them the time and information they need.

When non-gay people talk about marriage, they mean love, clarity, security, respect, family, intimacy dedication, self-sacrifice and equality — qualities that describe the relationships and lives of gay and lesbian couples just as well.

Trying to avoid supporting marriage equality by suggesting other, lesser solutions such as civil unions only complicates the issue by inviting questions about how such arrangements would be defined, what form they would take, how they would differ from marriage and what role states or the federal government would have.

Why do we need two lines at the clerk’s office, or unequal protections for some couples and kids? With marriage, on the other hand, rights and obligations are already clearly established in all 50 states as well as with the federal government. Marriage is the system we have.

All families should share equally in the rights, protections and responsibilities currently afforded only to some. Gay families also deserve health care, retirement protections, the ability to use scarce needed funds to afford education or a home and the ability to give kids the security to openly and proudly describe their families. This would make our nation stronger.


In same-sex marriage news…

* In Chicago, there was a march in support of marriage equality over the weekend.

* it looks like New Jersey is moving closer to it, as its Supreme Court begins hearings on the matter on Wednesday.

* Arizona: Opposition to that state’s ‘Protect Marriage Amendment’ is garnering support from straight allies.

* Minnesota is bracing for a battle of the bucks over an marriage amendment battle there.

* Kansas is moving forward on a marriage amendment; sadly its House voted 86-37, three more than the two-thirds majority necessary to approve the measure.

Feel free to contribute more news, links or updates in the comments.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding