Welcome to the new Marriage Equality Watch!
We started life on January 1st, 2008 as Gay Marriage Watch. At the time, the term “gay marriage” was the most-used term to describe marriage between a couple of the same gender. The phrase “marriage equality” existed at the time – I just checked our blog, and we first used the term on 1/10/08. But Web searches for “gay marriage were much more common, and it was important for us to get the word out to as many people as possible.
When we first began our partnership with Marriage Equality USA in 2011, I remember sitting down with the President at the time, Carole Scagnetti, and talking about this very issue. I still felt, fairly strongly, that the name recognition of the phrase “gay marriage” was key to getting the word out.
Over the next several years, I started to come around about “marriage equality”. Several folks made the point that “gay marriage” was sometimes used by our opponents to make our unions seem alien or different. I started to use the phrase most of the time in our posts instead of “gay marriage”, reserving that phrase for when I was discussing our opponents’ positions and claims.
Fast forward to today. Marriage equality is quickly becoming the law of the land. For my own part, I’ve always thought of it fundamentally as a gay and lesbian issue. Bisexual folks can at least marry one of their two attracted genders, right? And transgender folks are often not gay or lesbian at all, so they’re not really affected. Right?
Well, I’ve learned that I was wrong on both counts. Over the last few months, we’ve seen transgender couples who were same-sex attracted denied marriage licenses, just like the rest of us.
And then I got this email:
Being a bisexual who advocates for marriage equality I find it stunning that you would refer to your updates as Gay Marriage Watch. This is exclusionary and offensive on so many levels!! –Mark Metz, Bisexuals For Marriage Equality
Now, I don’t know Mark – I’m sure he does good work. And I have to say, we should be fighting the religious right, not each other. But he brought up a good point.
While Mark and I had good reasons at the time for calling the blog “Gay Marriage Watch”, that time has passed. We are constantly learning from others in the movement, and even after reporting on marriage equality and LGBT rights for 6 years, every single day, we are still learning new things. We hope the new name is more inclusive – especially for our bi and trans brothers and sisters who are in the fight with us.
So welcome to the new Marriage Equality Watch – we look forward to continuing to bring you the latest in marriage equality and LGBT rights news.
–Scott & Matk