Elton John says gays are wrong to want to get married and should settle for civil unions.
“We’re (David Furnish and I) not married. Let’s get that right,” John told USA Today on Nov. 12. “We have a civil partnership. What is wrong with Proposition 8 is that they went for marriage. Marriage is going to put a lot of people off, the word marriage.
“I don't want to be married,” John said. “I'm very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership. … You get the same equal rights. … Heterosexual people get married.”
John's assertion about “equal rights” is essentially true in the United Kingdom, where John and Furnish entered their civil partnership. The UK civil-partnership law is national in scope.
In the U.S., on the other hand, civil-union and domestic-partnership laws are state laws that grant equal rights only on the state level, leaving civilly united gay couples without access to more than 1,000 federal rights, benefits and obligations of marriage.
But, at the same time, the U.S. government also does not recognize the same-sex marriages that have taken place in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts or abroad. However, it would require less of an overhaul of federal policy to start recognizing married same-sex couples than it would to create some kind of national recognition of states’ hodgepodge of civil-union and domestic-partnership laws, some of which grant all
state-level rights of marriage and others of which do not.
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has said repeatedly that he supports extending federal recognition to same-sex unions, though he does not favor opening marriage itself to same-sex couples, citing religious objections. Obama nonetheless opposed California’s Proposition 8, in which voters amended the state constitution on Nov. 4 to re-ban same-sex marriage.
In a nutshell, Obama does not think gay couples should have access to marriage but also does not think any laws should be passed to prevent gay couples from accessing marriage.