Thursday, May 31, 2007

Extended LGBT families

Since I'll be "sweating with the oldies" tomorrow (more specifically, we're moving my mom to a new apartment; ZING!), here's my post for LGBT Family Day.

Part of the reason I feel strongly about marriage equality — besides, of course, the fact that discrimination is wrong on a multitude of levels — is because of family ties. I worry about what happens to the kids of unmarried couples who break up. Straights, too; not that marriage protects kids from getting caught in the middle of bitter divorces, but I think they have a better chance. And I'm offended by the thousands of ways LGBT families get the shaft because they aren't able to legally marry.

On a personal level, I want LGBT relationships to be legally binding for selfish reasons. I don't like having to call my sister's girlfriend's nieces the "kind-of cousins" or "beach cousins" (though actually "beach cousins" is kind of funny and appropriate). And I don't know how to refer to Amy; it's not "sister-in-law," because there's no law connection (yet). "Heather's girlfriend/partner" is accurate, but it makes it sound like she's not part of my family, too. "My friend Amy" leaves Heather out, and that sounds like I'm not acknowledging their relationship. You can see how this can turn into a quagmire.

But mostly, I want marriage equality because of what their relationship means to me and the kids. I want it to be a huge pain in the ass for them to ever break up, so prohibitively hard that they would throw their hands up in resignation and decide to stick together if only for convenience's sake. I want Thea and Liam to know that Amy will always be in their lives, because they love her, and we love her, and Heather loves her.

In summary, I want a legal recognition of our family bonds because I'm lazy and clingy and obsessive about details. This all comes as no surprise, I'm sure.


monkeyrotica said...

How about "sister-out-law?" There's that whole country/western living-on-the-margin Desperado vibe, along with not needing some scrap of paper to validate who you are.

Reminds me of a scene from Lindsay Anderson's film "If..." where this English public school git who's been appointed class whip starts badgering Malcolm Mcdowell. The git points to his Whip lapel badge and says, "I've got authority" and Mcdowell is like, "You mean that scrap of tin on your tit?"

Liza said...

I call my partner's parents my "un-laws." But out-law is funnier. :)

Andrea said...

How beautifully said Kel!

sher said...

so well put! can't even add to it.

Kelly O said...

Aw thanks, guys. Group hug!

mom said...

Amy is my adopted daughter and Todd is my adopted son if I am casually speaking to someone I don't give a fig newton whether I ever see them again or not. If I am speaking to someone I want to keep in my life, then Todd is my Son in Law married to my daughter Kelly and Amy is a beloved member of my family who probably would be my daughter in law married to my daughter Heather if this country had fair and equitable laws; but, as in so many things, the USA has bitterly disappointed me in its disparate treatment of my children and their significant others.

Funny how my friends roll their eyes. I rarely get into my diatribe on quality healthcare available to all in the USA, branching into why all public education including all universities and colleges should be tuition free, why the USA needs to rethink its work ethic so all employees automatically get 1 month paid vacation every year like many other countries in the world and how all utilities/monopolies need to prove they are not making a profit at the current rates charges customers and that profit should be no more than 20% of its net income - which I think would solve the low income choice of heat or food in the winter.

I also think there should be a core group of commodities available to all: milk, bread, butter, cheese, whatever it takes to make a core nutritionally balanced diet - available for free. The grocery stores could serve as the means of disseminating these commodities via a voucher system. These would serve as come ons for the grocery stores. I think this would eliminate hunger in the USA. If the adult had allergies, a variation on the commodities could be created and vouchered.

In one swell foop, an end to hunger in the USA, a mandate for more $$ for education plus health care benefits for all - oh yeah, and parity in the treatment of my children and their life's mates.

Polly said...

Um, mom, can we write you in as a candidate for the presidency in 2008? (by the way, I call my parter's mum my "mother out-law" and she calls me her "daugther out-law" and we're both tickled pink by it all).

Vikki said...

With a title like that, I had to stop by!

Great post and great comments!