Domestic Partner Activists Needed

Elizabeth Wood is looking for people who can help her out with information about getting legal recognition for domestic partnerships.  Dr. Wood is a professor in Nassau County, NY, which doesn’t offer legal recognition to domestic partners, and she and her partner desperately need help getting it, whether through contract negotiation with the university, or through getting the county to change its tune.

I need, badly, to hear from people who have been actively involved in successful organizing campaigns at local or county or public employer levels to win recognition of domestic partnerships. In New York this would mean people who helped win this recognition in Suffolk County, Westchester County, Rockland County, New York City, Albany, and Rochester. Outside of New York it means a lot more places.

If you are such a person — and of all you readers out there, there must be one who is — please get in touch with me at sexinthepublicsquare (at) yahoo (dot) com or by leaving your comments here. If you are not such a person, but you know someone who is, please pass along my request.

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3 thoughts on “Domestic Partner Activists Needed”

  1. Thank you so much for re-posting my request! I do absolutely need to hear from such people. The more the better. I want to clarify something, though: I am engaged in this effort, together with other faculty, on behalf of all in our community who do need this recognition, though not, specifically, myself. In fact, my partner and I are married and are recognized by the college and the county as a “family.” But part of the rationale behind our marriage was, indeed, that as domestic partners we were unprotected in many ways, and marriage was an avenue that was open to us.

    Many of us involved in this organizing campaign are involved because we support our colleagues who need this recognition, and because we believe strongly in equal rights, in civil rights, in human rights. We will work hard together, regardless of our own family status, to win recognition and rights for all the families in our community. And we need to hear from people who have successfully done this, especially where it’s been done in a conservative county.

    In solidarity,
    Elizabeth

  2. I don’t follow, sorry. Are you saying that you are not “permitted” a de-facto relationship where you are?
    Truly?
    Here, in New Zealand, the two of you are deemed married after a constant three year relationship (watch-out for divorce gold-diggers). This includes gay couples.
    I was brought up with this and do not considerate it ‘liberal’ nor ‘God denying’.
    I must have this wrong. What are you really referring to?

    Chris.

  3. You’re allowed to live together and have a “de facto” relationship. However, it’s not legally recognized in terms of filing income tax, getting health benefits from an employer or an insurance company, or legal guardianship in cases of medical emergency, unless you’ve had either a religious or civil (i.e., by a judge or other official) marriage ceremony. Both of these options are denied to same-sex couples. Some local governments have negotiated their way around the controversy by establishing “civil unions” or “domestic partnerships,” which give all the bureaucratic benefits of marriage without using the “M word” that pisses of the religious freaks so much. Of course, it does piss them off, and some Christian evengelicals rejected the recent attempt at an anti-gay marriage amendment to the Constitution because the proposed amendment covered only “marriage” while not specifically forbidding domestic partnership laws.

    This is something that I’ve been thinking about quite a lot lately. My girlfriend Mickey and I are domestic partners, and have been for about a year. But our families would definitely like for us to get married in the traditional sense. I’ve always been hesitant, partly because my parents’ divorce made me gun-shy. They divorced when I was about 12 or 13, and it hit me like the world’s worst sucker punch. Worse, it seemed like everyone adult couple I knew was divorced or getting divorced. So in the end, I just started seeing marriage as a short-cut to misery and mutual loathing.

    But ceremony or no, I feel married. We’ve been shacking up for over four years now, and it increasingly feels weird to refer to Mickey as my “girlfriend.” The last four years have married me more firmly than any judge or priest could.

    We are legally domestic partners, and have been for over a year. We went down to the Brooklyn City Hall with forms, got them notarized, paid our fee, and went home legal. That’s not available to Elizabeth where she lives.

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