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Nevada Assembly Overturns Governor’s Veto To Clear The Way For Domestic Partnership

Updated on June 1, 2009

On Sunday night the Nevada Assembly overturned the veto from Nevada Governor, Jim Gibbons to clear the way to allow Domestic Partnerships to be legal in Nevada. The law will take effect in October of 2009 and while I saw all the celebrating and got the emails this morning from all the gay rights associations about what a great thing it is I found myself much less happy than I’m thinking I should be about this law.

Make no mistake about it, it’s a step forward in a state where the inhabitants voted overwhelmingly a few years ago to pass into law that marriage is only between a man and a woman. This Domestic Partner law will help us get into hospital rooms and a few other things but they are making sure that everyone knows that this is NOT the same as marriage, shouldn’t  be considered to be so and all ready the opposition is painting posters. Employers will not be required to provide health benefits for Domestic Partners nor will there be any sort of tax break or any of the other rights afforded married couples but we can now “register” with the state. I don’t know about you but there’s something about having to be registered that makes me feel more like a pet or Jew in Nazi Germany. So I have to ask myself, “Why when I should be so happy am I so disgusted and leery?”

I guess I’m just really tired of being given crumbs and told that they’re the cake. It’s like finally getting to sit at the big table instead of the kids’ table at Thanksgiving only to find out that you have the table leg hitting you so you practically have to sit side saddle all night with your two legs so tight together that they’re cracking your nuts and your cousin that you only see once a year now thinks you’re flirting with them because you’re practically in their lap. (Awkward when there’s no inbreeding in your family) Sure you’re at the big table but the experience isn’t what you’d always dreamed it would be and in reality it’s miserable. I guess that sort of sums up why I’m not as happy as my one out gay legislator or the Human Rights Campaign is telling me to be. They’re telling us it’s going to make a huge difference that we can tell a hospital that we’re the “spouse” yet we’re only a spouse because we’ve been registered and we really have no other spousal rights because that seems too much like marriage and we all know that this is not a marriage because marriage can only be between a man and a woman according to the other law on the books in Nevada. Confusing? It is to me.

I’m confused that laws seem to just be a series of loopholes and pay offs. Even when the loophole is in my favor it makes me disappointed in our legal system. How can there be one law on the books that says I’m not married but another one that says I’m a spouse? I want to see a real document that shows what you get if you’re married and what I’m going to get for registering as a Domestic Partner. Then I want everyone to look at this list and ask themselves if the registry is really giving gays rights or just having us put our names on a list that we’re gay and living together so that we can become the target of additional discrimination because we’re registered with the state? Paranoid? I’m a Jewish gay man living with a black man for the past twenty years, I think all of the above has earned me the right to be cautious when it comes to being told that I’m being treated equally…well, almost.

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