Washington’s anti-domestic partnership activists insist that “there is no legal difference between marriage and domestic partnerships” (Gary Randall, 9/14/09). They are wrong. Domestic partnerships are not equal to marriage, and here’s proof. (emphasis added)
Ukraine: Elton John Ineligible To Adopt Baby
Elton John won’t be able to adopt a 14-month-old HIV-positive child from Ukraine because the pop star is too old and isn’t married, the government said Monday.
Adoption and gay rights advocates expressed regret about the determination by Family, Youth and Sports Minister Yuriy Pavlenko, while a children’s charity had reservations about John’s weekend announcement that he and his male partner, David Furnish, wanted to adopt the boy.
John announced his desire after meeting the boy, named Lev, while touring an orphanage Saturday as part of an anti-AIDS charity project.
“I don’t know how we do that, but he has stolen my heart. And he has stolen David’s heart and it would be wonderful if we can have a home,” John said.
But Pavlenko told The Associated Press that the adoption will not happen because adoptive parents must be married and because the pop star is too old.
The singer is 62 and Ukrainian law requires a parent to be no more than 45 years older than an adopted child.
John and Furnish tied the knot in 2005 in one of the first legalized civil unions in Britain, but Pavlenko said Ukraine does not recognize gay unions as marriage.
Sir Elton himself labored under the illusion that his Civil Partnership with David Furnish was legally on-par with a marriage.
In December 2005, John and Furnish tied the knot in a civil partnership ceremony in Windsor, England. But, clarified the singer, “We’re not married. Let’s get that right. We have a civil partnership. What is wrong with Proposition 8 is that they went for marriage. Marriage is going to put a lot of people off, the word marriage.” …
“You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships.”
So it’s not just opponents of civil equality who sometimes believe the “domestic partnerships = marriage” lie. Sometimes it is domestic partners themselves. Sometimes it is our allies. I will never forget debating our English friend and straight ally Ian over whether the Civil Partnerships instituted in 2004 by the UK were fully equal to marriage. He insisted that they were, and that to contradict him was somehow an insult to his support for equality. My counter-argument was that if Civil Partnerships weren’t meant to be separate and therefore inferior, why did Parliament go to the great effort of designing an entirely new institution by writing 55 new pages of law? Undoubtedly Parliament could have simply inserted “regardless of the sex or gender of the spouses” into existing marriage law. Ian remained unconvinced. I wonder if now he and Elton John might see things a bit differently.
If Referendum 71 is approved on Nov. 3rd, Washington State’s Registered Domestic Partnerships will provide domestic partners and their children with all the state-level protections and obligations of marriage. But only at the state level. Domestic partners will still be denied the 1,138 federal rights, responsibilities and benefits that come with civil marriage. These include earned Social Security benefits; veterans benefits; equal treatment under the tax code; and the right to sponsor non-American family members, including a spouse, for permanent residency or citizenship. And like Elton & David, Washington’s domestic partners will be considered “legal strangers” in most other states and countries. Domestic partnerships are of vital importance for Washington families, but they are not marriage.
* Washington Media Slams Referendum 71 but Misses the Truth About Domestic Partnerships