Real goal isn’t civil unions, but marriage equality

To the Editor:

The civil union bill going through the state legislature is an excellent step in the right direction for marriage equality in the state of Connecticut. I am very pleased to see that Gov. Rell and a cadre of state legislators have shown support for the bill, and the prospect of Connecticut taking the lead in marriage equality reform through the legislature instead of the courts is heartening.

However, I think it is important to stress what the ultimate goal of the marriage equality movement is — marriage equality. Let’s face the facts; civil unions are a separate institution from marriage, and we all know how well “separate but equal” works. Civil unions are only acceptable as a stepping stone to full equality; they are not a constitutionally valid substitute for extending civil marriage right to all citizens.

What struck me most on hearing about the civil unions bill’s approval by the Judiciary Committee was my recollection of the public hearing on the bill. The two groups testifying against each other agreed about only one thing; neither side wanted civil unions. The anti-marriage equality side claimed unions were marriage under another name, and the pro-marriage equality side claimed they were an unacceptable compromise to equality. What happened to this “Act Concerning Marriage Equality” I testified in favor of?

When neither side wants civil unions, whom does this supposed “compromise” serve? I think there are a couple dozen politicians in Hartford who need to hear that question from their constituents.



Nick Seaver ’07

March 3, 2005

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