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I want to put something into prospective and just one of many, many reasons why I back same-sex marriage.
Here’s just some of the benefits that married people have over non-married people:
Why can’t everyone’s rights to marriage be equal?
A few things to think about:
Marriage has a different, special, privileged legal status that legal planning cannot duplicate. Whether that’s a good reason for you, personally, to get married is another matter. But there are definitely benefits that you can’t get through paperwork. For example: What if you run into financial problems? Let’s say you end up with huge medical bills for something totally unforeseen and have to go bankrupt or have creditors come after you. Your house is basically just owned by two pals who invested in a house together. It’s not the joint property of a married couple, so there’s no protections for an innocent non-debtor spouse. The federal bankruptcy laws are what they are; you cannot change them through powers of attorney.
What if you are charged with a crime? There’s no spousal privilege if you’re not married because we don’t have “friendship privilege”; either you testify against each other as to private things in your relationship, or you get held in contempt.
What if there’s a problem with the way your will is drafted? Or what if it’s destroyed? Let’s say you revoke your will, intending to make a new one, and die before you can do it. Your money goes to your next of kin, not to the friend you invested in a house with - and she wouldn’t get to keep the whole house either, just his/her half. If your next of kin inherits, they could force the sale of the house if your husband/wife/partner can’t buy their half from them immediately.
Then there’s the power of attorney itself. It might not be as bulletproof as you think. Let’s say your wife’s in a coma after a bad accident. A relative could challenge it and might be able to get a judge to give them decision-making authority. You’re more like a roommate with a power of attorney for little emergencies, they could argue, like needing to get something out of a safe deposit box; life and death matters should be decided by family members, and if you’re not married, you’re just a long-time boyfriend, POA or not.
There are others that I can’t think of off the top of my head. Sure - you’re unlikely to need these protections, but when the situation arises, you might be suddenly grateful to be legally married. There are so many invisible privileges attached to marriage that we don’t think of until an emergency arises. If getting a power of attorney and having the house in two names were good enough, gay marriage wouldn’t be such a big deal - civil unions would be good enough. They’re not, because “married” gets you a special legal status. We give that special status as a reward for people committing to a permanent, stable relationship and therefore making society more stable overall (at least, that’s the theory). Your status as two good friends living together, even with powers of attorneys, is weaker than that of a married couple. If a situation requiring the benefits of marriage never arises, then you’ll never notice any difference. The secular reason to get married would be for legal protections you get with the status change. It helps protect you both now, and your spouse if you die first. But it does entangle you. If you want to be able to get out of the relationship easily and go your separate ways if necessary, then don’t get married. It’d be messier to split up. But if you’re completely certain that you’re a permanent family of 2, then marriage is the way to go. If you’re totally sure you’ll be together permanently, I can’t think of why you wouldn’t get married. But as I said, it does entangle you, and you can’t change your mind down the road without serious consequences.
So I’ve been posting a lot about gay marriage. It won’t always be this way, as I want to spread the love and my knowledge of sexism and the LGBTQ community. But, as we are all aware, the topic has been pretty heavy on everyone’s minds as of late, despite what side of the fence you are on. It’s something that people WANT to argue over, and I completely understand. I’m an agnostic atheist. I was raised Catholic. I know and understand religion well. Even went on a search for my inner self in high school, due to some events that occurred in my life, going to all sorts of churches, doing all sorts of research on religion. And I always came to the same conclusion. I don’t believe in a God, but I also cannot disprove his existence so I won’t cram my beliefs down your throat.
With that said, I live in Indiana. And there are some things that just piss me off…
Indiana’s law banning gay marriage was approved in 1996. Some lawmakers are pushing for a referendum that would allow voters to decide in 2014 whether to amend the Indiana Constitution to restrict marriage to between one man and one woman.
Really?! We are going to have to wait till, bare minimum, 2014 to have the opportunity to vote upon whether the Indiana Constitution could be amended to allow gay marriage. And that’s only provided the referendum goes through, which only some lawmakers are backing. 2 years minimum. Something is so very, very wrong with this.
The whole thing makes me sick. Politicians need to think on behalf of the people they represent, not their own personal agendas based on their religious beliefs. I know, I know, that’ll never happen.