Passage of Proposition 8 and the subsequent frustration felt by the LGBT community has elevated tensions to an all time high for supporters of gay rights. Many gays view Barack Obama's decision to invite Reverend Rick Warren to pray at the inauguration as a slap in the face, at its worst, and poor political reasoning at its best.
Apparently, Warren and Obama both oppose same sex marriage while supporting civil unions for same sex couples as the preferred vehicle for delivering and safeguarding legal rights for gay couples. Right or wrong, this position seems to reflect the majority opinion in America today.
State sanctioned marriage affords legal protection of jointly owned property, visitation rights in hospitals, and benefits associated with work. These are just some of the primary items on the front burner of concerns. What other legal concerns need to be addressed that are preventing LGBT's from enjoying full legal rights of citizenship in America? Legally speaking, does a comprehensive civil union fail to assure any rights that a state sanctioned marriage covers?
Legislation and court decisions can remedy most issues when it comes to basic rights of citizenship. However, there is more difficult work that must be done to change the hate filled hearts of those on either side of this issue. Like it or not...that work must be done.
Is there a comprehensive list of what the LGBT community legally wants beyond state sanctioned marriage? Perhaps someone besides James Dobson should tell the world what gays want. Maybe a gay activist could sneak a copy of the Secret Gay Agenda out from the Gay Headquarters for all the paranoid straight and religious folks to see what it is they really want. Let's get a look at the entire "gay agenda".
Seriously, identifying and reviewing the entire list of legal inequities that exists could serve to light the path forward to legal resolutions. Someone needs to deliver the straight facts on this issue as it relates to constitutional guarantees. Finding spokespersons from opposing camps to engage these issues without an angry tone and devoid of inflammatory political and religious propaganda is a daunting task. As Detective Friday would say, "Just the facts, Ma'am."
Meanwhile, legal rights for lesbians and gays are delayed as many states continue to block same sex marriage by amending their constitutions and passing Proposition 8 type legislation. This all or nothing approach taken by LGBT political activists is mostly failing and thus delaying legal protections that a more attainable civil union would afford. Why not temporarily compromise with civil unions, thus bringing a large incremental victory to gay couples on the road to full equality? Or will achieving these same rights be delayed indefinitely by swinging for the fence and insisting on state sanctioned marriage in a cloudy future?