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Houston Voice, No. 1217, February 20, 2004
File 012
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Houston Voice, No. 1217, February 20, 2004 - File 012. 2004-02-20. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 19, 2019. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6119/show/6101.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2004-02-20). Houston Voice, No. 1217, February 20, 2004 - File 012. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6119/show/6101

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1217, February 20, 2004 - File 012, 2004-02-20, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 19, 2019, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6119/show/6101.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1217, February 20, 2004
Contributor
  • Crain, Chris
  • Fisher, Binnie
Publisher Window Media
Date February 20, 2004
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 012
Transcript HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com FEBRUARY 20, 2004 WpOIIlt CHERYL JACQUES In the fight to gain full equality for our relationships, our worst enemy is our own apathy and willingness to settle. Don't accept civil unions SINCE I STARTED ATTHE HUMAN Rights Campaign, I have had the opportunity to talk with gay lesbian, bisexual and transgender people nationwide about the path to equality Foremost in the minds of many I have been honored to meet is this question: Why is marriage so Important? If you're wondering this, you're not alone. According to a Harris Interactive poll we recently commissioned, half of all GLBT adults think civil unions are the same as marriage. Unfortunately, that's just not true. Simply put. civil unions do not provide any of the more than 1,000 protections or securities afforded under federal law through a marriage license. They are recognized today in only one state — Vermont — and provide only the state benefits of marriage. If two men in a civil union travel across state lines, they carry with them none of the rights or protections that they have in Vermont. These critical distinctions boil down to unfairness. With every paycheck, GLBT employees pay into the Social Security system, allowing spouses and children to access Social Security survivor benefits when a loved one passes away These benefits can easily total more than $1,800 a month. But couples in a civil union have no access to these benefits. Even if you have no desire to marry, you're still paying into a system that discriminates against samesex couples. Couples in a civil union have no access to the federal laws like the Family & Medical Leave Act. to equal immigration rights, to continued health care coverage. Under federal law, same-sex couples are strangers, SOME ALSO FEEL THAT CIVIL UNIONS are a necessary compromise, given the public's struggle with marriage. But civil unions are not the solution. Even if civil unions provided all the same legal protections of marriage — which they don't — they would still be a separate and unequal system. Ten years ago, many said that domestic partnerships were unrealistic. Five years ago, civil unions were cutting-edge. We are at a moment in history where marriage is a reality We must not cede that right just because people are uncomfortable. Sure, there are many of us who may not be ready to settle down now. However, our poll reflects that 78 percent of gay people want to be able to marry. Speaking of the government, President Bush is prepared to enshrine this unequal treatment in our nation's Constitution by supporting the Federal Marriage Amendment drafted by Colorado Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave. This would not only forever ban any state from allowing same-sex couples to marry but could strike at the heart of a state's ability to provide even limited legal protections or civil unions to same-sex couples. The press has reported that Bush plans to announce this as a way to "to start the general election campaign on a fresh issue." Make no mistake, President Bush is trying to win this election on our backs. He is playing politics with our lives and our families. It's intolerable, it's shameful and it's an ugly way to run a campaign. IT'S TIME FOR US TO SPEAK UP. THAT same Harris poll showed that the majority of us don't talk to family, friends and colleagues about the impact of discrimination on our lives. We are depriving the people who love us most of the opportunity to fight for us, to vote for us and to end the discrimination against us. This silence is a barrier to our equality. I personally know the difficulties of coming out. But being out and being able to discuss these issues with your friends and family is so important. Generally, our friends, families and colleagues don't know that we can't get married. They don't think we can be fired in 36 states for being gay or in 46 states for being transgender. They don't know that we could be blocked at the hospital room door. Or that we can't get Social Security benefits. We need to tell them. Poll after poll shows that people who know openly GLBT people are far more likely to support our equal rights — in the workplace, in marriage rights and in all the areas we lack critical protection. Some may say that our greatest enemies are extremist groups like Focus on the Family who are dangerous, loud and well- funded. But at this moment, our greatest challenges are silence, ignorance and apathy The majority of Americans care about equality. Most just don't know we lack it. It's time for us to do some talking. Cheryl Jacques is the executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights group, and is a former Massachusetts state senator. She can be reached at CJac91es@hrc.org. VyktsToWatchO^ttor byAiis-siBectaei only disconnect
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