Even though I’ve long been banned from change.org (for expressing non-orthodox opinions on race), I still get their petitions via email. Their latest petition renewed my interest in a long-standing question I’ve had: Must “domestic partners” be gay? When two same-sex people choose to become domestic partners, it’s generally assumed that they are homosexual. When domestic partnerships for straight people is discussed, it typically refers to a man and a woman who want to formalize their relationship – but not actually get married.
There are benefits to being recognized as a couple (married or “domestic partners”). If I want to share my medical insurance with my straight male friend, or housemate, making ourselves “domestic partners” is a good way to do so. We can both also save money on auto insurance.
As soon as we recognize the concept of non-sexual domestic partnership, we wouldn’t see anything wrong with two brothers, or a man and his son, being domestic partners. Nobody would even blink an eye – since the bond of a domestic partnership is not sex but trust. If two people trust each other enough to share insurance plans, bank accounts or what have you, then they can be domestic partners. For all the talk of “gay rights”, does anybody actually check to make sure that the couple in question is gay? Are they required to have sex in front of witnesses? Of course not, because just as two people can have regular sex without ever getting married, so too can people be domestic partners without ever having sex. In fact, even a man and a woman can have a “marriage of convenience” without the slightest pretense of love or affection. If a man and a woman can do it, so can two men or two women.
But why stop at two? As soon as we’ve established that a domestic partnership is merely a matter of trust, then what’s stopping 3 or 4 people from trusting each other enough to enter into such an agreement? Why not 100? The only reason to limit it to two is that the concept of “domestic partnership” is rooted in the old-fashioned, Christian concept of marriage between one man and one woman. By limiting domestic partner benefits to only two individuals, gay rights activists are showing their own backwardness and bigotry. But perhaps I assume too much. It could be that many gay rights activists would have no objection to multitudes of people entering into domestic partnerships. So I’ll ask right now.
Gay rights activists, do you support domestic partnership benefits for straight people who are just good friends? Do you have a problem with more than two people becoming domestic partners? If so, why?