¡Dios mio! The L.A. Times reports that marriage has been redefined in Mexico City. Three times the size of Texas, this Catholic-yet-left-leaning city is about to accept marriage as a “free union between two people” when Mayor Ebrard signs the bill this week.
Following the tiny but important step forward in D.C. marriage equality and the less heartening, large-scale setbacks elsewhere, I have to ask: what is it that makes D.C. different from California? What is happening in one district that isn’t in another?
Here’s one: Mexico City has had civil unions in effect since 2007. There wasn’t much coverage leading up to the redefinition of marriage because—frankly, it took baby steps for La Ciudad to get to full equality. Yes—couples were denied inheritance rights, joint loans, and join adoption under the civil unions, but guess what: they have marriage and most of us do not. Maybe we should spend some more time examining the Mexico City strategy.
I am as self-righteous and equality-driven as the next ‘mo. But every day that goes by where I’m one…abstract…step…closer to full marriage equality…is a day that won’t lower my tax bill, or lower my partner’s independent health insurance bills. All or nothing never worked in this country. Something, then something more always has.
What if Maine had expanded the rights within their civil unions instead of passing gay marriage? Would marriage equality be as daunting of an achievement in 2010 if the “marriage” addition was a mere formality? What would have happened in New York if the legislature voted on unions first? How many states would be likely to pass a civil union law today compared to a true marriage equality law?
Alright; gay apartheid is not my ethical ideal. But in the most Catholic of Catholic countries, in an enormous Latin American city, gays just made it from point A to point B. All in two measly years. Maybe the way to the end is the long way around.