Thanks to Ben Smith at Politico for posting this charming, humorous and informative video, “Civil unions, ‘not good enough.'”
Apologies to the video impaired. It really isn’t useful to transcribe the text anyway, the meaning would be lost absent the actors’ performances.

To the video impaired, I refer you to Judge Vaughn Walker’s opinion finding Proposition 8 unconstitutional (PDF). This video is an excellent dramatization of the testimony heard at the trial and summarized below:

Social epidemiologist Ilan Meyer testified about the harm gays and lesbians have experienced because of Proposition 8. Meyer explained that Proposition 8 stigmatizes gays and lesbians because it informs gays and lesbians that the State of California rejects their relationships as less valuable than opposite-sex relationships. Proposition 8 also provides state endorsement of private discrimination. According to Meyer, Proposition 8 increases the likelihood of negative mental and physical health outcomes for gays and lesbians.

[LINETTE SCOTT, in her official capacity as Deputy Director of Health Information & Strategic Planning for the California Department of Public Health] explained that domestic partnerships cannot substitute for marriage because domestic partnerships do not have the same social and historical meaning as marriage and that much of the value of marriage comes from its social meaning. [Psychologist Letitia Anne] Peplau testified that little of the cultural esteem surrounding marriage adheres to domestic partnerships.

Proposition 8 places the force of law behind stigmas against gays and lesbians, including: gays and lesbians do not have intimate relationships similar to heterosexual couples; gays and lesbians are not as good as heterosexuals; and gay and lesbian relationships do not deserve the full recognition of society.

At the heart of all this, I believe LGBT citizens struggle with America’s stubborn refusal to recognize our families as important, as valuable, as worthy of respect.

  • The US Federal Government and most states deny LGBT citizens the privileges and benefits endowed so carelessly to heterosexual couples.
  • Our soldiers are not allowed to even speak of their family. The forces will not provide housing, transportation, health–or any–care for them.
  • Department of Homeland Security deports our non-citizen partners, even our lawfully wedded ones.
  • Our employers are free to fire us, regardless of job performance, because of who we go home to at night.
  • We are told who we may or may not bring to prom, to school dances.

For these reasons, I support only full marriage equality.

For more information:

Freedom to Marry

Marriage Equality USA

So, if you hear someone ask the question, “Why does the word matter?” Ask them if it would matter to them.
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