Familia y sociedad

Interesante artículo de Nancy D. Polikoff It’s not a gay thing…or is it? en Utne.

I propose family law reform that would recognize all families’ worth. Marriage as a family form is not more important or more valuable than other forms of family, so the law should not give it more value. Couples should have the choice to marry based on the spiritual, cultural, or religious meaning of marriage in their lives; they should never have to marry to reap specific and unique legal benefits. I support the right to marry for same-sex couples as a matter of civil rights law. But I oppose discrimination against couples who do not marry, and I advocate solutions to the needs all families have for economic well-being, legal recognition, emotional peace of mind, and community respect.

[…] I call this approach valuing all families. The most important element in implementing this approach is identifying the purpose of a law that now grants marriage unique legal consequences. By understanding a law’s purpose, we can identify the relationships that would further that purpose without creating a special status for married couples.

[…]The gay rights movement [in the 60’s & 70’s] was part of broader social movements challenging the political, economic, and social status quo and seeking to transform society into one in which sex, race, class, sexual orientation, and marital status no longer determined one’s place in the nation’s hierarchy. Marriage was losing its ironclad grip on the organization of family life, and lesbians and gay men benefited overwhelmingly from the prospect of a more pluralistic vision of relationships.

[…] A backlash resulted in restrictions on women’s reproductive freedom, gay rights laws were repealed, and welfare mothers were sold out. Conservatives employed the rhetoric of “traditional family values” to fight any proposal advancing recognition and acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, and used antigay propaganda to raise money and garner votes for a wide-ranging conservative agenda.

[…] Both these movements focus on marriage. Neither starts by identifying what all families need and then seeking just laws and policies to meet those needs. The marriage movement’s leading spokespeople argue that the intrinsic purpose of marriage is uniting a man and a woman to raise their biological children. They oppose marriage for same-sex couples and want marriage to have a special legal status.

The marriage-equality movement wants the benefits of marriage granted to a larger group: same-sex partners. With few exceptions, advocates for gay and lesbian access to marriage do not say that “special rights” should be reserved for those who marry. But the marriage-equality movement is a movement for gay civil rights, not for valuing all families. As a civil rights movement, it seeks access to marriage as it now exists.

[…] Today more people live alone, more people live with unmarried partners, and more parents have minor children who live neither with them nor with their current spouse. The laws that affect families need to be evaluated in light of contemporary realities. A valuing-all-families approach does this by demanding a good fit between a law’s purpose and the relationships that are subject to its reach.

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