What is marriage, anyway? Sesame Street's Grover and a cute child explain

Well, for one, I want my partner to have default inheritence and legal decision making in the event I’m incapacitated or die. I sure don’t want that to default to parents or siblings!

I agree with what you’re saying so long as there was another way to establish a legal relationship that says: this is my most important person, the person who gets all benefits and say-so should something happen.


Yes, it’s called a contract. In a free society this would be all you need.

Sure. The problem is how things default.

…especially since this clip first aired in 1991!


Could you…adopt them?

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I believe that was one of the first ways that some gay folks achieved something mirroring martial rights in the USA. The problem of course is that is a relationship that inherently implies inequality (even more so than marriage).

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Yes, but, legally speaking, an adoption, while unequal, is still very useful.

I have friends who adopted each other before marriage equality was a thing in Washington state. And the thing with adoption, that isn’t true with marriage, is that it literally lasts until someone dies. My adoptive parents still have legal visitation rights even we completely disown each other. They’d still be my next of kin, and my genetic mother would still not be allowed visitation rights etc, unless specified in the will.

So, for all intents and purposes, adoption is an even stronger system than marriage, because it’s not technically a contract but a covenant with the government, depending on the state. There’s no legal way to reverse my adoption (closed adoption, initiated in 1989), so it may possibly be even more valuable than a marriage anyway, if we’re coming from a strictly utilitarian perspective. I’m still very happy about marriage equality. I’m just saying that adoption is an even stronger option, if you want to choose something absolutely irreversible in some states.

I would like it very much if all government policy was run past Grover and a bunch of Sesame St. kids to see if it passed the giggle test before it gets actioned. The world would be a MUCH better place.


In the early 90s. :slight_smile:

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