>> Wednesday, October 26, 2011
There are a number of people out there who have a considerable issue with homosexuality, often to the point of rabid ranting and even violence. I won't pretend to understand such vehement hatred, particularly given that whether or not someone loves (or is sexually attracted to) individual(s) of the same gender is unlikely to have the slightest effect on anyone other than the parties in question and, notably, is unlikely to have the tiniest effect on those same rabid haters.
Personally, I think this world never has too much love and don't see any reason why people can't go about finding it however they choose, as long as everyone involved is a responsible party and consenting. But that's just how I see it. I don't care if someone wants to see it differently, but that opinion (no matter how extreme) should not have an effect on the parties in question given that who people love in the gay/lesbian community has pretty much no effect on us.
I think most people think much more moderately than the vocal anti-gay community, whether it personally gives people the willies or not. Most people are not so ungenerous as to wish ill on others, even if they don't understand their sexual preferences. Or, I certainly hope that's the case. However, that laissez faire attitude is currently allowing real and appreciable harm to these same individuals.
In good conscience, I think it's important to be aware that, as long as our federal government refuses to acknowledge gay marriage, a sizable portion of our populace suffers real and appreciable damage, measurable damage, that effectively make them second-class citizens. People, who have done us no ill are suffering unnecessarily and to no benefit for the rest of us. I don't see why this should continue and thought I'd point out some of it, for those of you who might have thought this was a non-issue, one of semantics only.
Even if it were semantics only, of course, I'd be against it. Our government is expressly forbidden from making laws based on religion: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." And there is no legal reason adults couldn't choose any other consenting adult as a lifetime companion to marry. Ironically, it's the same yahoos yelling for smaller government that demand the government dictate who we are and aren't allowed to love (as well as wanting the government to dictate what pregnant women can do to their bodies, but I digress). So I'm against precluding gay marriage on principle.
But, given the real damage it does, the harm and pain it causes, I can't see how people in good conscience can let those restrictions continue. Or how, with our constitution, they could be legal.
Let's start with taxes, since I played with these numbers while I did the other tax problems:
|Think marriage doesn't make a difference? Here's a gay couple, with each partner netting:|
|1/2 income||Joint income||Tax||Married Tax||Difference|
Any gay couple making professional level salaries can expect to pay thousands more in taxes every year because they aren't "married." They will not get social security survivor benefits. Insurance companies do not have to include them on policies as "family" (though this and some of the other aspects might not be true in states that permit or acknowledge same sex marriage). They may not be permitted to make end-of-life choices (despite written requests) or even visit their loved ones in the hospital as they aren't acknowledged "family."
When people wed, they put their lives in the hands of another. They agree to share their lives with another, their worldly wealth, their trust, their world with the person they love.
Shouldn't every citizen have the right to decide for him/herself who it is they are willing to trust with so much? Don't they have the right to have those choices respected by the rest of us? Right now we respect those rights for knocked-up teenagers and drunken strangers who meet for the first time the morning after in Las Vegas.
Why can't we do it for people who truly choose with their hearts?