For five years now, I have been promoting the Compromise by sending emails, visiting legislator's offices, calling staffers, handing our leaflets, blogging and commenting on every blog I could find where people are discussing same-sex marriage, explaining how same-sex couples that are currently denied equal protections could quickly get federal recognition and legal protections in almost every state in exchange for giving up the right to have labs create offspring for same-sex couples.
The Compromise is the same set of three laws as it was five years ago:
1) An Egg and Sperm law that prohibits conceiving a person by any means other than joining a man and a woman's unmodified gametes.
2) A law that would recognize state Civil Unions as if they were legal marriages for federal purposes, provided the state has defined them as "marriage minus conception rights."
3) A law that unifies the effect of state marriages as protecting the right of the couple to conceive offspring using their own genes.
It's been amazing to see people twist and squirm and refuse to compromise, choosing to stick with the status quo, even as they claim not to care about same-sex conception (on the pro-SSM side) or claim to care about preserving marriage (on the anti-SSM side). That's five years of same-sex couples suffering without recognition, five years of divisive legal battles and meaningless debates, five years that we could have been addressing urgent problems facing the country, but people have thrown us all under the bus because they are addicted to insulting each other.
It's time to grow up, everyone. Come together. Larry Kramer, the most effective activist for gay people, is getting old now, and he is frustrated with the current strategy.:
There are these issues now. It's just that you don't think of them as galvanizing, mainly because they're not so life and death. I cite marriage, although I'm sort of fed up with how long it's taken and I think we've gone about it the wrong way. I'm 76, and my partner is 64. I'll obviously die before he does, and the way the laws are written it's very hard to leave him anything of substance compared to what I have to leave. It all goes to taxes because we're not legally federally married and that's not fair, that's just not fair. You don't care about it at your age, but I care about it at mine, and there are a lot of older gays who should care about it as well. That should be a galvanizing issue. Anything that keeps us from being unequal should be galvanizing. I want what they have. I do. And everybody should. But again, people don't think that way.What has frustrated you about the move toward gay marriage in the country?Can any young gay activist really tell Larry Kramer that it is more important to insist on having a right to try to procreate offspring with someone of the same sex than it is for him and his partner to be secure and be able to share each other's property? It's time to try a new approach, one that actually puts people first, rather than winning an unwinnable argument.
Just that it's taken forever. I don't think we should have taken the state by state approach because it just makes it go on, and then you have to re-sue and defend. Things need to go to the Supreme Court as fast as possible. There were ways it could have gone to the Supreme Court a lot earlier. If we lose at the Supreme Court, which everyone was afraid of, you just come back again. These [state] marriage we have don't amount to anything. They're feel-good marriages. They make relationships stronger and all that, but they don't amount to a hill of beans in terms of anything legal or financial. You still need to pay federal taxes and you don't get any of these benefits the government pays you if you're heterosexually married.