I have not been shy about the fact that I have serious mixed feelings about the fight for Same Sex Marriage rights. As a poly person, I’ve long felt not only slightly outside of the whole debate, but demonized by both sides of it. And I certainly think that defining marriage as the penultimate fight in the battle for queer civil rights does a grave disservice to the significant portion of the LGBT community for whom employment, housing, healthcare, and other areas of discrimination or challenge are of far more intimidate concern.
That said, it’s hard not to be cheered by the news that Delware & Hawaii both began certifying same sex civil unions on Jan. 1st. While the law is explicitly written to make it clear that these unions are not equal or comparable to marriage, the rights provided under them will provide valuable piece of mind and legitimacy to the families that pursue them.
I’m particularly gratified to see Hawaii’s name added to the small and vulnerable list of states with legal recognition for same sex families. I can still remember the thrill I felt as a young teen when it looked for a few weeks in the early ’90s like Hawaii might declare gay marriage legal. For many of us, that was the first moment where the very idea of marriage went from being something that we understood as a sacrifice we made by living authentic queer lives, to a goal that just might be achievable in our lifetimes.
Read more about the civil unions over at Towleroad