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French Breeders Co-opting Institution of Civil Unions

While only heterosexuals can legally marry in France, the Times reports breeder couples are snagging two civil unions (or pacte civil de solidarité) for every three marriages, because they’re less committal and offer some of the same tax and legal advantages, and can be dissolved with a registered letter rather than a divorce proceeding. How come nobody warned us about how heteros were going to ruin and redefine the definition of second-class marriage?

By:           Max Simon
On:           Dec 16, 2010
Tagged: , , ,

  • 16 Comments
    • Daez
      Daez

      Would actually be nice to see this in the states. The institution of marriage is outdated and dead. Its time for the government to get out of the marriage business and into the civil union business for all couples (breeder or not). Marriage should be left to the church as the religious institution that it is.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 10:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kokobean
      kokobean

      Daez….is it bitterness or what exactly is your problem? Marriage is not dead. Abused yes, disrespected and messed up..totally. But not dead. I want to get married and i want everyone around me to experience the joys of marriage..both gay and straight. Im 23 and i dont think my mind will change. We need to rebuild marriage to the way it was intended to be- for security, community, love, family. I want my kids to be born and raised in a normal and respected institution…so excuse me if your comment is pissing me off.
      WE NEED TO HEAL MARRIAGE NOT SUPPORT THE CORRUPTION OF IT. CIVIL UNION IS NOT MARRIAGE. MARRIAGE IS MARRIAGE. LETS FIGHT FOR ALL OUR RIGHTS TO MARRY.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 11:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GlacierGuy
      GlacierGuy

      Marriage is the joining of two souls under the eyes of witnesses and God. It is preformed in a Church or some other religious platform. Marriage has nothing to do with the Government. It’s a ceremony!! Anyone can have a marriage. It’s when you go to file for the Government Contract – otherwise known as a “Union” that it becomes an agreement between two people and the Federal Government, the ones issuing the legal rights. The church that preforms the Marriage, doesn’t extend the 100 plus legal rights. Remember that is the Governments job!

      So, Marriages and Unions are two separate things. The Heterosexuals can have Marriage – what we same sex couples need are the same 100 plus legal rights that comes with a contract between two same sex people and our Federal Government. I don’t care what’s it called, as long as we can file our “Union” with the Federal Government and have the same full benefits as a heterosexual couple does. Period!

      Dec 16, 2010 at 11:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cassandra
      Cassandra

      Glacierguy

      “Marriage is the joining of two souls under the eyes of witnesses and God.”

      That is one meaning, of many. It is also the joining of two people in a civil contract, duly witnessed, without any religious connotation, invocation or meaning as well. After all, in the U.S., atheists can and do get married.

      “It is preformed in a Church or some other religious platform.”

      Sometimes it is, other times it is not. People get married by Justices of the Peace in offices, on beaches, sky diving, bungee jumping, at home, in planes and trains and cruise ships.

      “Marriage has nothing to do with the Government.”

      Nonsense. The government, in the U.S. at least, has a great deal to do with marriage – providing tax reductions, special priviledges, protections and benefits, based on marriage status. Marriage is a legal contract, and goverments are frequently called upon to enforce them, from mediating divorces and custody suits, to enforcing the mutual fiscal responsibilities of married couples.

      “It’s a ceremony!! Anyone can have a marriage.”
      No, that’s called a wedding. You can have all the weddings you want, but without a marriage license, they are not marriages. People hold weddings for their pets, those are not marriages. Actors and actresses have performed in weddings, over and over again on Broadway, without becoming married in the process.

      “It’s when you go to file for the Government Contract – otherwise known as a “Union” that it becomes an agreement between two people and the Federal Government, the ones issuing the legal rights.”

      In the U.S., when you file for a “marriage license”, not a “Union”, it becomes a

      “The church that preforms the Marriage, doesn’t extend the 100 plus legal rights. Remember that is the Governments job!”

      The church performs the wedding, and if the clergy sign the marriage license afterwards, acts as the government’s agent to confirm the license, making the marriage valid. But a couple could have a wedding without clergy, or go to any other duly appointed agent of the state, like a judge first, sign their marriage license and be married without having a wedding, or have the wedding months or years later.

      You are confusing the wedding ceremony, which some people do not have, with the civil contract of marriage.

      “The Heterosexuals can have Marriage – what we same sex couples need are the same 100 plus legal rights that comes with a contract between two same sex people and our Federal Government. I don’t care what’s it called, as long as we can file our “Union” with the Federal Government and have the same full benefits as a heterosexual couple does. Period!

      Read more: http://www.queerty.com/french-breeders-co-opting-institution-of-civil-unions-20101216/#ixzz18IUWNK20

      Dec 16, 2010 at 12:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cassandra
      Cassandra

      Continuing on

      “The Heterosexuals can have Marriage – what we same sex couples need are the same 100 plus legal rights that comes with a contract between two same sex people and our Federal Government.”

      That contract is called marriage. Those rights, more than a thousand in the U.S., are established in laws and regulations that specifically use the concept “marriage”, using some other term for same-sex couples would leave them out those laws and regulations.

      “I don’t care what’s it called, as long as we can file our “Union” with the Federal Government and have the same full benefits as a heterosexual couple does. Period!”

      You ought to care enough to at least learn the basics before taking so stubborn a stand in public. To have the full benefits that heterosexual couples have, GLBTQ people need the exact same contract – marriage. With or without weddings.

      Further to your confusion about weddings vs. marriages – same-sex couples have been having weddings for quite a long time, including ceremonies blessed by clergy. Yet without the civil contract of marriage, a marriage license, those weddings do not grant any civil rights.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 12:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @kokobean: You can fight till doomsday and you will never actually see marriage.

      Civil unions would have been done by now if the community stopped fighting for marriage. Its a pointless fight.

      The way marriage was intended to be, traditionally, is a way to sell your daughters. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to rebuild that.

      Traditional marriage was dead the moment the first person decided “till death do you part” meant nothing and that divorce was an option.

      Why do we want to fight for such a flawed tradition when “separate but equal” civil unions is a much easier to obtain goal, and after all its all about the rights not the word, or so we have espoused continuously for over 10 years.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 2:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Cassandra: Actually, New Jersey seems to prove you so incredibly wrong. LGBTQ couples DO NOT need marriage to have the same rights that straight sex “married” couples do. You simply amend the laws, and that process has already began.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 2:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jacknasty
      jacknasty

      I guess I am part of the mythical threat to marriage that gay people represent. Because I believe that marriage is a religious institution and has no place in government at all whether it is for same sex or “traditional” couples. I think any two non-related consenting adults should have the right to form a civil union that would be legally recognized and get tax benefits, hospital visitation rights, power of attorney…ect “Marriage” should be up to the approval of the religious institution that performs it and should have no legal recognition.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 2:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam
      Sam

      @jacknasty: I agree with most of what you’re saying. But as it stands now, to claim that marriage is a religious institution and that civil unions are a governmental institution isn’t right. The government needs to first refuse to acknowledge the legality of any marriage, which is never going to happen. I for one want to be allowed to have the same legal TITLE as any other legally recognized couple.

      @Daez:, again, I don’t really see where your motives are coming from. Though marriage used to be mostly financially motivated, that’s not what it means by a long shot today. Marriage is a contractual commitment between two people, and if there’s anything that the French breeders are showing us is that unions are seen to be unequal to marriage in terms of commitment and are thus taken less seriously. Why do you always have to be contrarian? Does it get you off to piss off a bunch of queers? By trying to convince us that we shouldn’t even want to marry, you’re still playing into the conservative agenda just using a different form of rhetoric. We’re not stupid.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 3:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cassandra
      Cassandra

      Daez

      “@Cassandra: Actually, New Jersey seems to prove you so incredibly wrong. LGBTQ couples DO NOT need marriage to have the same rights that straight sex “married” couples do. You simply amend the laws, and that process has already began.”

      Perhaps in some alternative universe. But same-sex couples in New Jersey do not have the same rights that heterosexual married couples have – because they do not have the 1000+ federal rights.

      Your statement “simply amend the laws” indicates that you either are a liar, or are absolutely uneducated about the process of creating, removing or revising laws in this country.

      At the rate that it is currently taking to end DODT, it would take more than a century to revise all existing law to create a separate but equal institution that parallels exactly the rights, responsibilities and protections of marriage.

      “Civil unions would have been done by now if the community stopped fighting for marriage. Its a pointless fight.”

      No. The states that most strongly oppose same-sex marriage also oppose civil unions, and Maggie and her peers oppose anything that even remotely resembles marriage for same-sex couples.

      The irony is that the moment homophobes began referring to homosexual relationships as ‘same-sex marriage’ even to oppose them – they lost the war. Language is the indicator of how people in a society think about things. Language in use now already accepts that the concept ‘marriage’ applies to same-sex couples. Laws and culture adapt to language. It is only a matter of time and hard work before the laws match how we talk and think.

      It may be a pointless fight for anyone without someone to love, cherish and protect in their life, but for those of us with a partner we love, or who hope to have one someday, it is a meaningful and critical battle.

      “The way marriage was intended to be, traditionally, is a way to sell your daughters. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to rebuild that.”

      It some places, that is true, but in others, it is not. However, your assumption that tradition equals intent, and that tradition equals relevance today, are ignorant at best. The rest of us are not stuck in the 7th century, even if you chose to be.

      “Why do we want to fight for such a flawed tradition when “separate but equal” civil unions is a much easier to obtain goal,”

      Because separate but equal is a delusion.

      Further, the “easy” way is rarely the best way in the long run. But the easy way is the chosen way of the selfish, weaklings, incompetents, and cowards.

      Dec 16, 2010 at 8:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GlacierGuy
      GlacierGuy

      Cassandra – Before you embarrass yourself any more, you need to research the “Separation of Church and State” in our country! According to the laws of the “Separation of Church and State” our Federal Government can’t legally be involved in a “Marriage.” Marriage is a religious institution, PERIOD! A wedding is a celebration of sorts, why else have one? It’s a formal party to celebrate the coming together of two people. A Wedding has nothing to do with legal benefits. Marriages are all OUTSIDE the Federal Governments hands a well.

      Sure, you can get “Married” in a Las Vegas drive through or have a wedding at a bar but where do the benefits come in??? Does that drive through wedding chapel or bar issue your legal benefits? No, not until you file for them at your local courthouse…who in return issues you your legal rights under the current law! You can have a union without having a marriage or a wedding and still get the legal benefits issues by our Federal Government.

      It sounds like you need to hit the books and educate yourself before you correct others. It’s stunning how American’s still don’t understand that laws that govern us!? I want nothing to do with Marriage and if everybody in the GLBT community understood our laws, we would stop this pissing contest and fight for Civil Unions…….which would grant us the equal rights under the law gay or not!

      Dec 16, 2010 at 10:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      One of the chief obstacles to SSM is the mistaken but widely held belief that allowing us to marry will force places of worship to perform SSM ceremonies.

      Naive & wrong as that sounds, when you read the fundie blogs and hear their preachers spewing their hatered, that issue gets brought up again and again.

      Although I believe –and hope– that most LGBs know this, it seems clear to me that the obvious sometimes needs to be pointed out: we’re after the same legal & tax benefits, etc., NOT a ceremony in a church which doesn’t welcome us.

      Dec 17, 2010 at 12:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cassandra
      Cassandra

      GlacierGuy

      “Cassandra – Before you embarrass yourself any more,”
      I’m not embarassed about being accurate.

      “you need to research the “Separation of Church and State” in our country! According to the laws of the “Separation of Church and State” our Federal Government can’t legally be involved in a “Marriage.” ”

      Oh really? Let’s just look at the Constitution then. The separation of church and state comes from the 1st Amendment:
      Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

      Notice that nothing here prohibits the civil contract of marriage.

      “Marriage is a religious institution, PERIOD!”
      When ever someone ends a completely unsubstantiated statement with the word “period” in all caps, I know they are making a big fuss about something they know nothing about.

      No, because people marry in the U.S. without the participation of clergy of any kind. If your assertion were true, atheists could not marry. You are repeating a lie told by homophobes.

      Further, the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law limiting marriage to heterosexual unions, disproves your assertion.

      Additionally, looking at the list of who is allowed to officiate, from California for example, makes it clear that religion is not required for marriage:
      http://marriage.about.com/cs/marriagelicenses/p/california.htm

      “Applying for a Marriage License in California
      Officiants in California:
      Clergy, Justices, Judges, Magistrates, Marriage Commissioners (current or retired).”

      If you read the link, you will see that marriage is not restricted to religious people, as is clearly evidence above, non clergy are qualified to officiate. Marriage in the U.S., as demonstrated by California, is not a religious institution.

      Let’s look at the definition of marriage as well:
      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/marriage
      mar·riage
      ? ?/?mær?d?/ Show Spelled[mar-ij] Show IPA
      –noun
      1.
      a.the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.
      b.a similar institution involving partners of the same gender: gay marriage.
      2.the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock: a happy marriage.
      3.the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of two people to live as a married couple, including the accompanying social festivities: to officiate at a marriage.
      4.a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction: trial marriage.
      5.any close or intimate association or union: the marriage of words and music in a hit song.
      6.a formal agreement between two companies or enterprises to combine operations, resources, etc., for mutual benefit; merger.
      7.a blending or matching of different elements or components: The new lipstick is a beautiful marriage of fragrance and texture.
      8.Cards . a meld of the king and queen of a suit, as in pinochle. Compare royal marriage.
      9.a piece of antique furniture assembled from components of two or more authentic pieces.
      10.Obsolete . the formal declaration or contract by which act a man and a woman join in wedlock.

      Notice that while religion can be a part of marriage, it is not a requirement. And churches do not have the direct authority to enforce marriage laws, to sever marriages that have failed, or to determine who can, and who cannot get married.

      “A wedding is a celebration of sorts, why else have one?”
      No. The celebration is the party after the wedding. A wedding is the more or less formal service wherein the two parties make their vows to each other, and most of the time, it occurs within a religious context, but not always. That’s right, not only is marriage not a religious institution, weddings are not either. The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, a liturgy used by certain Christian denominations for weddings, is a religious institution.

      “It’s a formal party to celebrate the coming together of two people.”

      No, that’s called the reception. Wedding in the church, or the office of a judge or Commisioner, or Captain of a ship; reception afterwards.

      “A Wedding has nothing to do with legal benefits.”
      That was the point I made. Thank you’

      “Marriages are all OUTSIDE the Federal Governments hands a well.”

      If that were true, then GLBTQ people would have been getting married, and have all of the 1000+ federal rights, and thousands more state, county and city rights, for years now, because there a number of Christian denominations, and sects of other faiths, that eagerly perform weddings for same-sex couples.

      But because those couples cannot get the civil, government issued marriage license, their marriages do not count as far as all of those rights, protections, benefits and responsibility are concerned.

      “Sure, you can get “Married” in a Las Vegas drive through or have a wedding at a bar but where do the benefits come in??? Does that drive through wedding chapel or bar issue your legal benefits? No, not until you file for them at your local courthouse…who in return issues you your legal rights under the current law!”

      Thank you for acknowledging that the marriage is not recognized until one goes to the government, in California the County Clerk’s office, not the courthouse. Your paragraph above refutes your own premise that marriage is a religious institution.

      “You can have a union without having a marriage or a wedding and still get the legal benefits issues by our Federal Government.”

      No. You cannot get the legal benefits without a marriage license issued by the state the officiant is licensed by. That marriage license, when signed, creates the marriage. No license, no marriage* (* not counting common law marriage).

      Without the license issued by the state, the marriage does not legally exist, and no rights are granted, no matter how many, or how few, or which clergy pray, bless, preach over the couple.

      “It sounds like you need to hit the books and educate yourself before you correct others. It’s stunning how American’s still don’t understand that laws that govern us!? I want nothing to do with Marriage and if everybody in the GLBT community understood our laws, we would stop this pissing contest and fight for Civil Unions…….which would grant us the equal rights under the law gay or not!”

      This last paragraph is comedic gold. It is clear that you have not researched this issue, heck, you apparently were unaware of the federal law that prohibits same-sex couples from getting married, much less state laws like Prop 8. I am stunned not by your lack of education on this matter, but by your ego and hubris.

      Your opinion about seeking civil unions is useless, because it is based on utter ignorance and fantasy. Watch less FOX, and less Jerry Springer.

      Dec 17, 2010 at 12:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cassandra
      Cassandra

      GlacierGuy

      Just to make the point even more concrete for you.

      The numerous anti-same-sex marriage laws and constitutional amendments found in various states prove that marriage is a civil institution, not a religious one.

      My father is a retired minister, who has officiated at hundreds of marriages over the years. The marriage is not legal, it has legal standing, until the marriage license is signed by all of the relevant parties. At one point in time, when non-members were stiffing him on his fees for performing their “big church wedding”, at the advice of an attorney, he established a policy – he would not sign the marriage license as the officiant until his fee, the organist’s fee, and the rental fee for the building, was paid in full. Any couple who didn’t like that could go to the County Clerk, take their vows again in front of the clerk, and have the clerk sign the license.

      This worked, because until the license is signed, the couple are not married.

      Another example that refutes your assertion. The Catholic Church will not marry people who have been divorced. Annulments are different, but irrelevant. Does this mean that divorced people in the U.S. cannot get married? No. Does it even mean that divorced Catholics in the U.S. cannot get married? No. Either type of couple can go to a non-clergy officiant, like a judge, pay the license fee and meet other requirements like proof of id, and get married – even though the Catholic Church, one of the oldest and largest Christian denominations, forbids remarriage after divorce.

      Next, GlacierGuy, there are Christian churches that perform gay weddings, even in states where same-sex marriage is not legal, and some have been doing so for decades. I’ve been to several myself. These couples have the approval of their clergy, they have a ceremony in church, some even receive the formal sacrament of Holy Matrimony, yet, because the state prohibits same-sex marriage, keeping them from having the license issued by the state, they are not considered married on their taxes, in probate court, by Social Security or any other government agency* (* well, the Census sort of, just this year).

      Now some of the denominations that do perform same-sex marriages are suing, or considering suing, to void DOMA, on the grounds that barring same-sex marriage infringes on their freedom of religion by imposing the religious beliefs of other, more conservative denominations, on them. But the argument, so far, is not that marriage is a religious institution, but that the argument for discriminating against GLBTQ people is based on religious belief, and being applied so broadly that it impinges on the civil liberty of Christians who do not believe ‘homosexuality is sin’.

      I repeat – this is not an argument that marriage is a religious institution. Instead, it argues that homophobia is a religious belief that the government is seeking to impose on everyone.

      Frankly, if marriage were a religious institution, then DOMA and all of the state level bans on same-sex marriage wouldn’t be possible – the first amendment bars the government from limiting the expression of religious institutions. Of course, atheists and agnostics would be barred from marriage, which they are not, once again indicating that marriage is not a religious institution. GLBTQ could have marriage now, at the expense of the civil rights of atheists, if we had simply tricked the fundies into legally defining marriage as a religious institution. To please all religions in the U.S., the language would have had to be fairly general, and then any clergy, any congregation or denomination that was willing to marry two men or two women would have done so, creating legally binding marriages and making good money as well.

      Further, Christian churches initially didn’t have anything to do with marriages, for centuries. In other faiths, the role of religion in marriage varies from oblivious to absolutely required, but, people in the U.S. are still free to go to a justice of the peace, or anyone else duly certified to officiate other than the clergy of their religion, and get married – if they fit within the legal limitations.

      No matter how much you verbally stomp your foot by screaming “Period!!” in all caps, marriage is not a religious institution. It is a civil institution that many but not all people chose to have signed off on by clergy.

      I believe that you have developed your ideas about marriage from TV and perhaps talk radio. Both provide a pretty fiction designed to please audiences, rather than provide accurate information.

      Dec 17, 2010 at 1:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GlacierGuy
      GlacierGuy

      Cassandra – I have to hand it to you, to take that much time to respond to the conversation is admirable! I think it’s fantastic that you write with such vigor and passion! It’s refreshing to see someone take such a strong stand on our fight for equality! You do make some very valid points. Often the English Language has blurred lines and often meanings get subjected to slang verbiage which causes these types of misunderstandings.

      The bottom line is I really don’t care what “they” want to call it, I just want my partner and I to have all the Government benefits granted equally across the board. Whatever term they use to describe it is not important at this rate, just issue the damn rights already! It amazes me that legal recognition of same couples is still a fight in our country, a country that stands so proudly for freedom and justice for all…..except those that are gay!

      I enjoyed the conversation and have been enlightened along the way! Thank you for taking the time to write!

      Happy Holidays!!

      Dec 17, 2010 at 8:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SteveMD2
      SteveMD2

      Marriages should long ago have been renamed civil unions re the legal contract of marriage.

      the word marriage does date from a time when the churches ruled all – and gave us a thousand years of zero social and economic progress during the middle ages. And the Pharises – Jews from thousands of years ago apparently were corrupt control freaks anyway. (I am Jewish but not practicing).

      I only wish that we could have only civil unions or RPs as granting legal rights of couples, gay or str8.

      And let the churches put hampsters in their you know what for all I care re what they call Marriage , as long as it doesn’t have any association with granting rights. They can have their rites.

      Jan 19, 2011 at 3:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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