Gay Couples Should Have the Same Rights as Married Couples
One of the leading political debates in our country today is the legalization of same-sex marriages. The very image of marriage is evolving on an on-going basis due to society and the major changes between society defined unions. The definition of marriage, as defined by Webster’s Dictionary, states “Marriage, n., (1) the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage <same-sex marriage>.” The change was not made until 2003. Marriage, as per society, is a special event in almost everyone’s life. Marriage should be about getting married to someone you love a natural event no matter what sex that person is. It is not just a piece of paper that binds you together; it also involves legal aspects, economic & social issues as well. I plan to focus on how these issues are intertwined. An argument made by Nan Hunter, Marriage, Law & Gender, stated that legalizing lesbian and gay marriage will destabilize marriage’s gendered definition by disrupting the link between gender and marriage. Society discusses civil unions and domestic partnerships everyday; however neither of these is equal to or the same as a “legal” marriage. We are not afforded the same rights as heterosexual married couples. We cannot make decisions for our partners in life threatening events or be at the hospital bed with our partner because civil unions and domestic partnerships aren’t legal some companies. Same-sex couples aren’t allowed to leave pensions, retirement etc to their partners. If the company doesn’t have or allowed same-sex benefits’ your partner could lose everything. If America is a free place we should be allowed to make our own “free decisions”. There isn’t a logical reason same-sex couples can’t enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples because it doesn’t and won’t cause any harm to anyone else’s marriage rights. All human beings deserve the same rights to a just and fair legal system. There are several tools that online sites are using to track same-sex marriage results, legal amendments and so forth. For example one of the sites is called Prop 8 Trial Tracker (www.prop8trialtracker.com). It tracks Proposition 8 not only for Tennessee but for all states in the United States. To have a somewhat legal stance for same-sex couples you would have to will start with obtaining a legal will and/or a Durable Power of Attorney over both healthcare and financial obligations. Even then these can be challenged and brought before a court of law and overturned. There’s not even sanctity in those documents. It seems like this is a political war versus a moral or religious issue whereas neither are related in any way. Here are just a few of the laws that were in effect and thus controlled by our government; women weren’t allowed to vote until the 1920’s, black men and white women were banned until the 1960’s, and even people with disabilities vote to be treated equally, to get married and vote in 1990. In the same token gay couples are inadvertently linked with single mothers and fathers, re-married couples, adoptive parents, and other ‘non-traditional’ family units. We as a country should get back to our American values and stop getting so caught up in religion and other non-factors. Not legalizing same-sex marriage is like telling someone they can’t go free because of color or race or religion. Same-sex couples in the United States that have been in a long-term committed relationships are subjected to higher taxes as well as being denied basic rights given to married “heterosexual” couples. Some of those rights include hospital visitation, social security benefits, immigration status, health insurance, estates taxes, nursing home rights, pension plans and...
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