Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Gay Marriage is a Legal Issue, Not a Sentimental One

After penning my little rant about Gay marriage last week (here) I was flooded with emails (well, 4 emails --which for this infant blog is a flood) calling me all sorts of names, but mostly saying that if you live together "which "those people" are allowed to do" --how gracious-- you are basically married. So, I was asked, what is the big deal with the status quo?

Let me make this perfectly clear. Marriage is not simply a living arrangement, it is a legal designation with far reaching implications.

For instance, according to the 2000 census, over 30% of female same-sex couples and 20% of male same-sex couples have at least one dependent under 18 living at home.

Here is a brief list of legal issues. In many states:

--Neither the parent or child has visitation rights if the parents separate.

--The child cannot claim inheritances or other household assets in case of death.

--If one parent dies, the second parent has no legal right to take custody or care for the child.

--A parent without legal right to a child cannot legally register him/her for school.

--Parents cannot put children on some health insurance plans.

--Parents cannot make medical decisions for the child.

--The child has no claim to the social security or other insurance benefits of the parent.

--Gay couple parents without adoption rights do not benefit from the generous tax deductions granted to heterosexual parents.

Note: this is just a small list dealing only with children, I have not listed survivor rights, protection from discrimination, et cetera.

Please don't, again, try to tell me that these appalling issues are dictated by the Bible. The United States of America is NOT a theocracy. No lawmaker ever swears an oath to uphold the bible; they swear to uphold the constitution.

Let us not forget that the largest voices opposing the abolition of slavery as well as the suffragette movement came from those quoting the Bible.

Again, let me formally state that this should NOT be an issue. Basic rights (under the law) should be for everyone. Period.

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