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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Marriage Equality (..New York I love you but you are bringing me down)

Haven't had much time for anything but work right now. But I just wanted to say how greatly disappointed I am that the New York State Senate rejected the Gay Marriage Bill. I am not certain about much in life, but I know that prohibiting same sex marriage is discriminatory.

Marriage is a contract. If you are an adult, non-related, heterosexual, married couple your union is pretty much universally recognized.
In the US married people can transfer real property between one another without paying tax, they can leave their wealth to one another upon death - also tax free. Married people cannot be forced to testify against each other, married people get immigration rights, married people get kinship rights in medical situation and married people share health & social security benefits with their spouses -- the list goes on and on.
If you are in a same sex couple and live in a state such as Massachusetts you can legally marry - however your marriage will still not be recognized by federal law, which means that many of the aforementioned rights will not extend to gay marriages. You can be a legally married same-sex couple in Massachusetts and file your state taxes jointly, but you will still have to separately file your federal tax returns.
You will still be unable to take advantage of the limitless marital deductions afforded to heterosexual marriages. If you are a foreigner residing legally in the US, you can extend your immigration status to your spouse. A gay person - foreign or American- cannot do the same for their partner same-sex spouse or partner.

My husband and I were committed to one another for well over a decade before we married. Many of our friends had children first and then married. But we all did get married. Because it does matter.

I am deliberately not speaking about my gay friends and how wonderful and loving they are. Because I have come to realize that that is ridiculous (in the context of this argument). It is insulting. It does not matter whether one is nice or nasty or how much they love or do not love their partner. These are people. And this is about equality.
Just get with it. It the 21st Century. Lead by example.

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