Gay marriage worldwide: 2001 was a year of small but numerous victories for same-sex partner rights. (Marriage).
In October, California governor Gray Davis signed a domestic-partnership bill that places the state second only to Vermont in terms of the rights and protections afforded to same-sex couples. "That acknowledgment says that ... both the public and the government are now saying that same-sex families matter," says Michael Thurber, co-executive director of Marriage Equality California.
Several court cases this year challenged existing laws to expand--or create--rights for legal same-sex partnership: notably, the seven gay and lesbian couples in Massachusetts who sued theft state in April for the right to marry. New England gay rights group Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders is representing the couples in the case, which is expected to be heard in state superior court in early 2002. Though the suit is similar to the 1997 Vermont one that culminated in that state's decision to allow gay civil unions, the hope in Massachusetts is to achieve nothing short of full marriage rights. "Right now [marriage is] a privileged bastion of heterosexuality, and it really need not be," says attorney Mary Bonauto of GLAD.
"The challenge now is, How do we build on the extraordinary gains we made?" says Evan Wolfson, director of the Freedom to Marry Collaborative. "The answer is, by mounting careful cases and doing serious legislative work--but, most importantly, by engaging the public and moving them, person by person and group by group. And that's work everyone can do."
MARRIAGE SCORECARD Effective Place Law date Adoption Inheritance UNITED STATES Vermont Civil union 6/1/00 [check] [check] California Domestic 11/1/02 [check] [check] partnership Hawaii Reciprocal 7/9/97 [check] beneficiary status THE NETHERLANDS Marriage 4/1/01 [check] [check] FINLAND Same-sex 1/1/02 [check] union PORTUGAL Registered 5/11/01 [check] partnership GERMANY Life 8/1/01 [check] partnership DENMARK Registered 6/1/99 [check] [check] partnership Hospital Government Medical Place Immigration visitation pension decisions UNITED STATES Vermont [check] [check] [check] California [check] [check] Hawaii [check] [check] [check] THE NETHERLANDS [check] [check] [check] [check] FINLAND [check] [check] [check] [check] PORTUGAL [check] [check] [check] GERMANY [check] [check] [check] [check] DENMARK [check] [check] [check] [check]
Allen is former editor of Los Angeles-based 'zine Planet Homo.
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|Publication:||The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Jan 22, 2002|
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