why you should give a damn about gay marriage










Excerpts from
Why You Should Give a Damn about Gay Marriage
by Davina Kotulski

Chapter One

Silly Rabbit, Marriage Is For Heterosexuals!

Well, maybe not! There are more than 1,138 federal rights that accompany civil marriage, and some additional 300-600 per individual state. That means your run-of-the-mill-marriage-license-carrying heterosexual couple gas access to over 1,400 rights, benefits, and protections. I can repeat that again if you are still in shock: 1,400 rights, benefits, and protections. 1,400 is a big number. Just try and name 1,400 of your favorite songs or 1,400 of your closest friends.

Most of us don’t even consider these rights until something goes horribly wrong, such as, for example when...

Chapter Two

Test Your Marriage IQ

How many rights come with a registered California domestic partnership?

How many rights come with a Vermont Civil Union?

While marriage is recognized in all 50 states, in what states are civil unions recognized?

For these answers and more you’ll have to read Why You Should Give A Damn About Gay Marriage to find out.


why you should give a damn about gay marriage




Chapter Three

Rights Your Average Incarcerated Heterosexual Serial Killer Has Access to (That You Don’t)

The U.S. Supreme Court long ago determined that the right to marry the person of ones choice was a fundamental civil right, and therefore the government is generally not permitted to set up roadblocks or otherwise second-guess whether marriage is a good idea for any particular couple. There is no limit to the number of marriages one may enter into in one’s lifetime. There are no rules requiring people to marry for a specific reason (such as love or procreation), nor are there any rules against people marrying solely to upset one’s parents or for money, publicity, or fame.

(That’s right folks, even Scott Peterson, who murdered his wife and unborn child, can have another shot at marriage from San Quentin’s Death Row).

Chapter Four

The Language of Love

Let’s face it: No matter how hard you try, you can’t make the term domestic partner sound sexy, romantic, or spiritual. The designation—which sounds more like a housecleaning service than a term of endearment—doesn’t even come close to what is expressed by the nouns husband and wife, or even the gender-neutral spouse. You aren’t going to find a Hallmark card with a message that begins “To my domestic partner,” nor will we ever sing songs about “going to city hall and getting civil unioned.” For God’s sake, unioned isn’t even a verb. It’s not even a word!

Chapter Five

Why Marriage Lite Doesn’t Work

As mentioned previously, there are approximately 1,400 rights (300+ per state and 1,138 federal) that come with civil marriage. Civil Unions (Vermont) provide for all the available state rights, while domestic partnerships (California and more recently New Jersey, and Connecticut) and reciprocal beneficiaries (Hawaii) provide for only a few selected rights... Approximately 75% of the rights conferred through civil marriage come from federal marriage laws. No state can possibly come close to giving same-sex couples equitable rights until the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is repealed.

Chapter Six

Taxes and Death

30 Years Together and Still Filing Single

Gay couples—whether or not they are registered domestic partners—pay inheritance taxes on their partner’s estate. Heterosexual married couples are exempt. We also pay death taxes in the 24 states that have death taxes because we are legal strangers to our life partners. No gay or lesbian in a committed relationship can file as “head of household” on his or her federal income tax form...

Chapter Seven

Monogamy and Partnership

Being Gay is like Playing a Perpetual Game of Ms. Pac-Man

Have you ever played a broken video game and been unable to get to the next level? The game keeps sending you back to the same one you just aced. Well, being gay in the USA is kind of like playing a broken Ms. Pac Man. You’ve eaten all the dots and cleared the screen, but you just keep going back to the level with the cherries. Now, certainly Level 1 has its perks: boundless bowls of cherries, the thrill of the initial courtship, east and carefree trails to traverse. But eventually, after you’ve done your share of spins through the maze (explained to the umpteenth girl the same dream about how you’d like to open a retreat center in Sonoma eventually) you begin to yearn for a new puzzle. How would it be to go deeper?... The point is that, as gay Americans, no matter how well we do in our relationships, no matter how long we have been together, our society sees us stuck at Level 1.

Chapter Eight

Injustice for All!

If heterosexuals who are against marriage equality would take a look at the civil laws that come with marriage, they could become some of its biggest proponents. While same-sex couples are denied shared Social Security benefits, immigration sponsorship rights, joint taxation, and a host of other benefits, heterosexual marriage couples are also being unfairly burdened by the U.S. government. Welfare, housing, and other benefits that require married heterosexuals...

Chapter Nine

The Power of Ritual

The presence of ritual establishes a ceremonial and celebratory tone, a moment that is ultimately transformative for all involved. While the rights associated with marriage are critical to the long-term cohesiveness of a couple, many consider the spiritual element of a blessing to be equally important.

Chapter Ten

Community Recognition

Imagine you and your sweetie are traveling. After a long day in the car or on the plane you check into your hotel. The bellhop takes your bags to your room, opens the door, and voila there they are: the two twin beds. Your partner clears his throat. Which one of you is going to take the elevator back downstairs to ask for the double-bed? Or are you just going to squeeze into one of the twin beds, get a terrible night’s sleep, and in the morning muss the sheets to avoid the awkwardness of the whole situation?

Chapter Eleven


The Exploitable Minority

Gay and lesbian Americans are denied access to the employment benefits their coworkers enjoy. Marriage allows heterosexual employees the right to bereavement leave, sick leave, health insurance benefits, life insurance, adoption assistance, disability benefits, and support to one spouse when the other spouse is relocated for work.

Chapter Twelve

Nine Common Arguments Against Marriage Equality

Powerful Enough to Tear Down the Institution of Marriage With A Single Vow!

1.Marriage is for Procreation

2. If civil marriage was legal to same-sex partners, then religious institutions would be forced into performing ceremonies.

3. Marriage has always been between a man and a woman.

Chapter Thirteen

Resistance in the Gay and Lesbian Community

If You Don’t Want a Marriage, Don’t Have One!

When talking to people about marriage equality, I cannot tell you how the number of times I’ve heard these three words in response: “Marriage is Heterosexist!” And with those three words, many LGBT and LGBT-friendly people write off the institution and all the rights that come with it as superfluous, unnecessary, and unworthy of their time and energy.

-Think of all the lesbians who gave up penetration and sex toys in the '70s because it was heterosexist.

-Gay marriage is gay liberation.

-Many progressives fail to see the connection between marriage rights and queer poverty.

Chapter Fourteen

Lefties are the Spawn of Satan...

The Bible contains more than 100 favorable references to the right hand and 25 unfavorable references to the left hand. Today, no one would take seriously a person who went around spouting that “Left-handed people are the spawn of Satan!” It’s absurd! Yet in times past, because left-handed people were statistically less significant, people created misguided beliefs that left-handed people must be the product of something evil, much as ignorant people still hold on to a belief that gays and lesbians are sinners. Gays and lesbians are statistically less significant that heterosexuals, but does that mean the law should discriminate against us?

Films featuring Davina Kotulski:

Freedom to Marry pursuit of equality i will, i do, we did