"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Thursday, July 9, 2009

No marital right to more benefits

Massachusetts is challenging the constitutionality of the "Defense of Marriage Act of 1996," which the state believes discriminates against same-sex couples.

As I stated in a previous post, the issue should not be about the different treatment of same-sex couples from married couples, but the difference in treatment between single persons and married persons.

Single persons should be actively protesting along with the LGBT folks about preferential treatment given to married persons. Eliminating benefit extensions to spouses regarding health and retirement, ending the more favorable tax treatments to married couples, and other largess would end any controversies about married vs. same-sex couples' rights. Let all individuals have the same rights.

Marriage is a religious institution and/or a contractual arrangement between two (or more) people. Burial rights, health care issues, financial support, property ownership, child-rearing responsibilities, estate benefits and end of life issues should all be handled within that contractual arrangement. Family and bereavement leave should be negotiated between employees and employers. The State should have no power to regulate or over-rule those individualized agreements. If the State must have regulations (and that may very well be a future post), there certainly should not be one set of rules for married and one set for single people.

Therefore, employers should not be forced to pay for spousal health benefits, tax rates and deductions should be the same for married and single persons, retirement benefits should only be paid to direct participants or as the participant directs, and no additional exceptions or accommodations should be given to married people over single people, gay or straight.

This is a civil rights issue about equality for all people, not a LGBT marriage issue. It is the bestowing of preferential treatment by government rules and regulation that is the root of this problem.


Mama2SweetBabyJames said...

I *think* the logic behind this Act has to do with the fact that marriage is beneficial to society, which I agree with. However, I also am a bit dumbfounded by the regulation of marriage by the government since it IS a religious institution, NOT a government institution. (ie Why is government involved in declaring what defines marriage? Beats me.)

I'm also pretty conservative fiscally, so I'm pretty much in favor of lowering EVERYONE'S taxes and letting capitalism work while our religious and NFP organizations have a bigger hand in helping people.

Catch Her in the Wry said...

The government has made marriage a government institution by defining it, requiring licenses and fees, and then regulating it.

The only thing the government should be doing with marriage is enforcing the contractual agreements of various marriages. Of course, during the recent auto company bailouts, we have seen how the government views contracts -it ignores them.

Troy Camplin said...

Hey, I think I mentioned this very thing over on my blog! :-)

JennyMac said...

I agree with you, and it astonishes me the way the bail outs were handled with clear and precise poor judgement while things like marriages between whomever become "no budge" movements for many people. Great post.