June was a great month for AtMP! Four members were published in the NY Times in an ongoing discussion of same-sex marriage.
- On June 23, Katherine M. Franke’s op-ed, “Marriage is A Mixed Blessing” was published. In the article, Franke voices her concerns about the pressure for same-sex couples to marry. She wonders whether these couples will be able to hold onto the rights and benefits they currently have even if they choose to stay unmarried. Franke also points out the reality that many same-sex couples have found and developed ‘nonmarital ways of loving’ and do not intend to abandon them now that same-sex marriage is legal in New York.
- On June 27th, Nancy D. Polikoff’s letter to the editor was released in response to the article “New York Opens Doors to Gay Weddings.” Polikoff was worried her employer would end domestic partner benefits once DC passed legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry. Since the state enables both same and different-sex couples to register as domestic partners, they are able to adequately care for one another. Financially intertwined partners are eligible for domestic partner benefits.
- Kevin Maillard’s opinion piece, “Are Religion and Marriage Indivisible?” presents slightly different concerns. He notes that the religious exemption regarding recognition of same-sex marriage has implications beyond the wedding day. Some religious traditions ignore the evolution of the modern family.
- And most recently, Judith Stacey’s opinion piece, “Unequal Opportunity,” counters the two main arguments about same-sex marriage in New York, 1) It “hammers the last nail in the coffin of an endangered, sacred institution” and 2) It is an “unadulterated victory for equality, democracy and human rights.” Instead, Stacey proposes it puts social pressure on more couples to marry and worsens discrimination against unmarried people. She concludes her article by urging the “need to develop family policies that give greater recognition and resources to the growing array of families formed.” *We urge all AtMPers to follow this article with Nancy Polikoff’s fantastic book, Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage.
The reality is clear, many families are still unable to care for one another despite same-sex marriage being legal in seven states.
What do YOU think?
The Alternatives to Marriage Project represents a broad coalition of individuals and families who believe in choice and fairness. Freedom to marry should be one of those choices – as should freedom not to marry yet still be treated fairly under the law.