29 October 2006

 

And We Were There

Yesterday, Mack and I attended the local ACLU chapter's Freedom Files Forum on GLBT rights. They showed an ACLU video that describes the hassles that gay and lesbian couples face in being treated the way heterosexual couples married under law are. They had two speakers, Karen M. Doering, a lesbian lawyer from St. Pete, and Bill Schoolman, a gay advocate from Broward County. Details here from the News-Journal.

I think both speakers were effective, although I have to agree that Doering's stressing of the importance to hear the opposition's perspective was very welcome.

I spoke up at a couple of points in the discussion. Apparently, according to some there, I come across as angry when I make public comments. I guess I need to reflect on that.

According to Ms. Doering, there are 1100 federal and 400 state and local legal implications that come with marriage. One can contract for about 10 of those (and Mack and I have done those: drawing up wills, powers of attorney and health-care directives, etc.).

For example, when Mack was in school and I was working, we paid several thousand dollars more annually in federal income taxes than a corresponding married couple would've paid. When one of us passes away, the other won't be able to get survivor's Social Security benefits. When the home we own in both our names passes in that situation to the other, the other will be liable for the value transfered. Compare each to what happens automatically for heterosexual couples whose intimate partnerships are recognized by law, even when that partnership was cemented by clergy. Whose initmate partnerships are recognized regardless of locale in the USA, even worldwide.

Angry? Me?

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