As I am busy writing two papers this week for my program in Mythological Studies, I expect blogging to be light. I may offer some comments from the paper from my Ritual class–where I am studying homosexual initiation rituals in Melanesia (New Guinea and surrounding islands).
But, I do have some thoughts on the battle brewing in Oregon over civil unions. While the Oregon Senate considers a bill, sponsored by two Republicans and two Democrats, creating civil unions, conservative Republicans in the House are preparing an alternative which would offer certain “reciprocal benefits” to two unmarried adults. Such benefits include
preferential hospital visitation privileges, protection from eviction from a shared home upon the death of a partner, the right to inherit a deceased partner’s assets if a will was not drawn up, and the right to make medical and end-of-life decisions on a partner’s behalf.
To be sure, offering only such benefits falls far short of recognizing same-sex unions. But, they mean that gay couples in the Beaver State would gain privileges that they currently lack in all but three states. It seems that even the worst case scenario is a big step in the right direction.
Those Oregon conservatives who won’t recognize our unions are at least willing to offer them some benefits. This could become a model for other states where there is strong opposition to civil unions. Let’s keep our eyes on Oregon.