Monday, August 18

Let the Spouses Beware - Well, it looks like California is going to have civil unions after all. But they are doing it in a way that bothers me. Governor Davis is poised to sign a bill that heaps a ton of marriage-like rights and responsibilities onto the lightweight system of domestic partnership registrations already existing in California. They include, among other things, the right to community property in a "divorce."

Now I suppose plenty of people enter into normal marriage not having a clue as to the legal rights it entails. Since ignorance of the law is not as excuse, however, they can be held to those rules regardless of their intent. Yet the new "super" DP law sounds like it would work the other way around: You can actually know what the law was when you signed up, but then state can go and change it, and you've got no other choice but to go along. Maybe most registrants are okay with that, but I bet that back when signing up as DP's didn't mean so much, many gay couples didn't do all the soul-searching that their hetero kin do when they get hitched. What is now happening is exactly why I continue to believe that registering yourself as DPs shouldn't be taken lightly, and that consideration should be given to making it a public event so that all involved are made aware of its seriousness.