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Chris Magyar

Idea: Stop Calling It Gay Marriage

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Now that we've got the third-largest state by population on board, I suspect the gay marriage movement will accelerate. The remarkable thing about this victory, to me, is that it was achieved through lawmaking by duly elected representatives, instead of by voter referendum (too dependent on finicky election turnout) or judicial fiat (as was disasterously attempted in California). I believe this will make the victory more permanent and unassailable, and provide a real platform for incorporating America's change of heart about homosexuality into further laws based on justice and equality.

However, as fast as the primed areas of the country may adopt to change, there are going to be areas where minds and hearts are still hardened with fusty ideas about homosexual love. What I think we're fighting for here is a kind of equality that doesn't just impact homosexuals, though they obviously benefit from this particular civil right advance. What we're fighting for is a government that doesn't allow religious dogma to dictate civic tax breaks and family rights, while simultaneously preventing government from impinging upon religious freedom. (I haven't studied the religious amendment of the New York law, but the headline of it sounds like a reasonable compromise bone to throw to the fearmongers.)

Given that we all have an interest in civic marriage being distinct from religious marriage in order to ensure justice for every loving couple, can we try to stop calling it "gay marriage" (which also has an unfortunate male-male connotation that ignores the ladies who are just as shut out of the system), and start calling it "universal marriage" to reflect that we're just throwing the doors open?

The Universal Marriage movement has a nice ring to it. Good powerful marketing monicker to counter whatever soft peddled version of "Scared of Queers" campaign the religious right comes up with next.

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