Paul Hopper (paulhopper) wrote,
Paul Hopper

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politics: gay rights

It looks like gay rights is set to be a big issue, even though I'm guessing both parties will try not to stray too far from not doing anything at all, lest they lose too much appeal with people in the middle. Since it's going to be talked about a lot this coming year, I want to try to understand the other side. Because it doesn't make any sense at all to me right now.

The only objection to gay marriage that I've heard is on religious grounds, but the debate isn't over whether or not religious institutions are forced to recognize marriages they deem unholy, but whether or not gay couples in committed relationships are afforded the same legal rights as heterosexual couples.

One of my favorite teachers in high school married a Catholic guy. Problem is, she was Methodist and this was his second marriage. The Catholic Church refused to acknowledge their marriage as valid. Pft. Fine. That made going to mass even less enticing, I'm sure. But, regardless of religious beliefs, they were legally married and that's all that really mattered. So it's already conceded that there is a distinction between legally-recognized marriages and what the church may recognize as a marriage. Not to mention that people can get married outside of the church by a justice of the peace. Maybe on some reality tv show?

A gay couple moving in next door to me will not turn me gay. A married gay couple moving in next door to me won't have any better luck. Nor would I expect them to try, let alone condemn me or attempt to prevent me from being happily heterosexual. But, even if you think homosexuality is wrong and should be condemned, I still don't get what difference it would make if gays were allowed to legally marry.

Gay couples are going to be gay couples, whether they're legally married or not. Why deny them the legal classification that would give them the rights and responsibilities married heterosexual couples have?
Because lesbians and gay men cannot marry, they have no right to:

  • Accidental death benefit for the surviving spouse of a government employee;
  • Appointment as guardian of a minor;
  • Award of child custody in divorce proceedings;
  • Beneficial owner status of corporate securities;
  • Bill of Rights benefits for victims and witnesses;
  • Burial of service member's dependents;
  • Certificates of occupation;
  • Consent to post-mortem examination;
  • Continuation of rights under existing homestead leases;
  • Control, division, acquisition, and disposition of community property
  • Criminal injuries compensation;
  • Death benefit for surviving spouse for government employee
  • Disclosure of vital statistics records;
  • Division of property after dissolution of marriage;
  • Eligibility for housing opportunity allowance program of the Housing, Finance and Development Corporation;
  • Exemption from claims of Department of Human Services for social services payments, financial assistance, or burial payments;
  • Exemption from conveyance tax;
  • Exemption from regulation of condominium sales to owner-occupants;
  • Funeral leave for government employees;
  • Homes of totally disable veterans exempt from property taxes;
  • Income tax deductions, credits, rates exemption, and estimates;
  • Inheritance of land patents;
  • Insurance licenses, coverage, eligibility, and benefits organization of mutual benefits society;
  • Legal status with partner’s children;
  • Making, revoking, and objecting to anatomical gifts;
  • Making partner medical decisions;
  • Nonresident tuition deferential waiver;
  • Notice of guardian ad litem proceedings;
  • Notice of probate proceedings;

  • Payment of wages to a relative of deceased employee;
  • Payment of worker's compensation benefits after death;
  • Permission to make arrangements for burial or cremation;
  • Proof of business partnership;
  • Public assistance from the Department of Human Services;
  • Qualification at a facility for the elderly;
  • Real property exemption from attachment or execution;
  • Right of survivorship to custodial trust;
  • Right to be notified of parole or escape of inmate;
  • Right to change names;
  • Right to enter into pre-marital agreement;
  • Right to file action for nonsupport;
  • Right to inherit property;
  • Right to purchase leases and cash freehold agreements concerning the management and disposition of public land;
  • Right to sue for tort and death by wrongful act;
  • Right to support after divorce;
  • Right to support from spouse;
  • Rights and proceedings for involuntary hospitalization and treatment;
  • Rights by way of dour or courtesy;
  • Rights to notice, protection, benefits, and inheritance under the uniform probate code;
  • Sole interest in property;
  • Spousal privilege and confidential marriage communications;
  • Spousal immigration benefits;
  • Status of children;
  • Support payments in divorce action;
  • Tax relief for natural disaster losses;
  • Vacation allowance on termination of public employment by death;
  • Veterans' preference to spouse in public employment;
  • In vitro fertilization coverage;
  • Waiver of fees for certified copies and searches of vital statistics.

I just don't get it. If you have the wisdom I am seeking, please share it with me.
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