Now the BBC tells us about a straight couple in Austria who want access to that country's civil unions, instead of marriage, precisely because it is not the same.
"The couple involved already have grown up children and are not interested in adopting," says their lawyer, Helmut Graupner.Got that? By ensuring that GLBT people can't be tied together in "real" marriage, they undercut the whole concept.
"They are more interested in a more loose, modern form of partnership with a shorter time period for divorce and lower maintenance obligations afterwards."
Mr Graupner is also representing two Austrian same-sex couples, one gay and other lesbian, wanting a traditional marriage.Exactly.
He has an argument that applies to both sets of clients: "You can't be a little bit equal, in the same way as you can't be a little bit dead or a little bit pregnant. You can only be equal or unequal."
France's Pacs has some similarities. There are tax advantages and, for many straight couples, it seems like a low-risk stepping stone to marriage.So marriage-lite is like pretend or practice marriage. It's not the same thing, and it's not enough. These European cases are great examples of that fact. If they do not involve the same commitments and expectations, it is not the same as marriage. It continues to be a master irony that by blocking GLBT from marriage, the "marriage advocates" are causing the decline of the traditional state far more than would occur if they simply allowed GLBT couples the rights to civil marriage.
Delphine Rorive a 31-year-old management consultant "Pacsed" her boyfriend Frederic Morel, 29, in July last year.
"We just wanted to pay less taxes," she says.....
And what of the future? "To me, it doesn't replace marriage. I'd still like to get married one day."
Sadly, the European Court of Human Rights has decided that lesser is acceptable.
European nations do not have to allow same-sex marriage, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled, though gay rights groups claimed a partial victory Friday because the court acknowledged growing agreement that their relationships should be recognized in law.....
Six EU states — Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Norway and Spain — have legalized gay marriage. About a dozen others, including Britain, Germany, France and — since January — Austria, have legal partnerships... .