Why Equal Marriage Matters

Last week, The Happy Feminist met with a client about a lawsuit. Like many clients facing such an ordeal, he brought his spouse along for support and advice.

As his lawyer, HF had to warn him that his partner of 15 years was not protected by marital privilege because their state doesn't recognize same-sex unions.

HF explained that married couples can't be forced to testify about their private communications, but that the client's partner could be forced to reveal anything he heard in the meeting. So, the client faced a terrible choice: shut out his life partner, or risk attorney-client privilege.

HF writes:


This is just one example of why I find it appalling that my fellow citizens would deny the privileges of civil unions to gay men and women. Life is hard. We should each be able to have one person of our choice upon whom we can rely without interference from the state, one person in whom we can confide indiscriminately, one person of our choice who can take time off (under federal and state leave acts) to nurse us when we are seriously ill, one person of our choice to be our partner through all the rough terrain we may encounter -- lawsuits, illnesses, poverty, and everything else.
Equal marriage isn't just about symbolism, it's about civil rights.

[The Happy Feminist]
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