We all know now that Gino Meriano is probably pushing "Civil Partnerships" instead of full marriage in order to shore up his bottom line as a "Civil Partnership Consultant" and gay wedding planner. The Unified Voice group is headed by Joseph Cotton who also holds himself out as a "Civil Partnership Consultant" and has a brand new website for himself and his "organization."
The more Meriano talks the more he seems to spout the right wing's ideas about marriage and echoes their ideas. Despite admitting Civil Unions are inferior and cause more problems for couples than they solve he has plowed ahead, almost hourly turning out new materials. Who's backing this guy? Makes you wonder.
Anyway, his latest fallacious idea has come in the form of the world's simplest Marriage Flow Chart (illustration to left).
Now here's how that sucker should be labelled and why Meriano is a bald faced lier:
The correct labels for the bottom boxes should be:
Marriage - Religious
Marriage - Civil (no straight couple has a commitment ceremony, that is what gay couples have done as a sign of their commitment to each other and it has never conveyed any civil rights)
Marriage - Religious, performed in one of the many open and affirming houses of worship in Arizona and nationwide to acknowledge and support a same-sex couple's commitment to each other. There are no civil rights conveyed by this ceremony.
Civil Partnerships - Prohibited by federal law from requiring any private company or individual to extend the rights and privileges of civil marriage.
So, there you have it. Mr. Meriano has blatantly lied about the structure of legal marriage in Arizona for straights in order to make it seem that "Civil Partnerships" are in any way similar to "Civil Marriage" for straights. Obviously, Mr. Meriano coming from London is woefully ignorant of American law and is running with this disastrous plan solo and without any sort of legal advice. Indeed, legal experts in the LGBT community strongly urged against this idea when first proposed but Mr. Meriano moved forward alone in order to help his own pocketbook at the expense of our civil rights and the movement to wrest Arizona from the hands of Conservatives.