Gay marriage doesn't equal marriage equality

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Last week I published an impassioned article talking about marriage equality. I got all up in arms like us sassy little gay boys tend to do (in the movies). I’m not going to lie to you, I am quite proud of myself for writing that article. It was raw, real and honest to what I am feeling. I definitely consider it to be among my best… or at least I did.

As I was sitting here suffocating in my own smug, it occurred to me that there was a glaring fault in my shining glory. I titled the article “Marriage Equality Is An Undeniable Human Right” and from that you would think I was really fighting for marriage equality. However, I completely left out polygamy, polyamory and all other alternative family union structures.

What the fuck was I thinking? How could I get up arms about being discriminated against and yet leave my fellow oppressed brethren behind? Isn’t that how we got into this situation, people being all for themselves? So let me clarify my statements from last week…

People have the right to join in whatever unions they choose. It an undeniable right for all people, in this country, to have the ability to have their preferred union recognized by the state. It is also an undeniable right, in this country, for all people to have equal protections and benefits for their union under the law.

I know that there aren’t many people trumpeting for alternative unions and that’s a problem. It is just as big of an issue for people who are in homosexual relationships. This time around, we cannot afford to go at it separately. We will have gay marriage legalized within five years, but people who practice polygamy and polyamory will still be left unprotected and unrecognized. If we don’t want it for ourselves, how can we wish the same damned fate for someone else? Either we all deserve equality or no one does.

I’m sure some of you reading this will argue for one advancement at a time. To you, I would like to say this… You’re out of your mind. That was the same argument many people gave in the battle for voting rights. This is why black people got the right to vote in 1870 while women had to wait until 1920. Do you really expect people to wait 50 years for rights they deserved a century ago? If you keep with that separatist mindset, you can expect polygamous and polyamorous unions to be unrecognized and unprotected until 2066. Fair? I think not.

I understand that the legislative methodology used for monogamous relationships will have to change in order to accommodate the extra spouses and more complicated child custody and paternity/maternity issues, but isn’t that what we pay our taxes for? We give away our hard-earned money to the government with the expectation that we will all be treated equally. Since there are no second-class taxes, there are no second-class citizens, no second-class rights and no second-class love.

Since we’re on the topic of crappy legislation, what is going on with surrogacy law? How is it possible that a host mother can take claim to a child that biologically some else’s? Why aren’t people protected from surrogacy scams by law? Where is the legislation to protect these people?

I sincerely apologize for my omission. In a haze of rage, I forgot that I was not the only one who has been a victim in this situation. I forgot that there is a minority even smaller than my own that has been all but silenced by the stomping feet in our march for “equality.” If nothing else this is a lesson in humility, for all of us. Hopefully one we will all take to heart.

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