The April 26 “Today in History” column reports that in 2000, Vermont Governor Howard Dean signed the nation’s first bill allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions.
Instead of same-sex couples’ being given legal sanction as imitation families, the law should sustain “viable relationship privileges” — anyone who chooses can name another person, not of the family, to be in this position. It would be next to “guardian” in scope and would be a legal way of establishing hospital decisions, death decisions, inheritance issues and other legal matters.
The document should be entered into while fully cogent and include repealing rights as part of the document. This would include same-sex and opposite-sex relationships and would achieve the same thing without bastardizing the marriage relationship. It would honor the close relationships that people form, without infringing on the family. Society needs to realize that it is possible to feel close to another being outside of marriage; this does not imply sexual attraction, but emotional ambience.
Kim Seaton Thies