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 Post subject: Gay Marriage Distinction
PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:49 pm 
Transylvanian
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:09 am 
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Personally, I think the idea of "Gay Marriage" is a little... well, oddly worded.

I see "marriage" as a religious term, making it something done by churches. That is beyond what any law can touch due to the separation of church and state. In this area, the only real way to have any change is to convince the higher ups in each of the various churches to change their policies regarding who can and cannot get married. HOWEVER, a marriage recognized by a church may not be recognized my the government if certain legal criteria are not met (think Mormon polygamists).

Legally, there is only two reasons I think marriage makes a difference: Tax Rates and Insurance (as in lower taxes for being a joined couple, the ability to cover your spouse using your insurance).

The term I normally apply to couples tying the knot through the state is "Civil Union." This is the one we can change through law, and should try to. I believe that anyone who really cares for each other should be able to get married, and receive the benefits that any other couple would receive, so the application of "Homosexual Civil Unions" is one I see as a necessary change.

If the legal aspect of "Gay Marriage" changes, the religious one is sure to follow. I just believe that we have to clear up the diction issue before anything can be done about this

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:20 am 
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The Sound Ninja wrote:
Legally, there is only two reasons I think marriage makes a difference: Tax Rates and Insurance (as in lower taxes for being a joined couple, the ability to cover your spouse using your insurance)

Oh my, how little you know. First off, you've obviously never heard of the "marriage penalty": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_penalty. Up until a few years ago, a majority of married couples actually paid HIGHER taxes than they would have if they were both single. And here's a short list I grabbed off a simple Google search of other legal benefits to actually being married:

  • joint parenting;
  • joint adoption;
  • joint foster care, custody, and visitation (including non-biological parents);
  • status as next-of-kin for hospital visits and medical decisions where one partner is too ill to be competent;
  • joint insurance policies for home, auto and health;
  • dissolution and divorce protections such as community property and child support;
  • immigration and residency for partners from other countries;
  • inheritance automatically in the absence of a will;
  • joint leases with automatic renewal rights in the event one partner dies or leaves the house or apartment;
  • inheritance of jointly-owned real and personal property through the right of survivorship (which avoids the time and expense and taxes in probate);
  • benefits such as annuities, pension plans, Social Security, and Medicare;
  • spousal exemptions to property tax increases upon the death of one partner who is a co-owner of the home;
  • veterans' discounts on medical care, education, and home loans;
  • joint filing of tax returns;
  • joint filing of customs claims when traveling;
  • wrongful death benefits for a surviving partner and children;
  • bereavement or sick leave to care for a partner or child;
  • decision-making power with respect to whether a deceased partner will be cremated or not and where to bury him or her;
  • crime victims' recovery benefits;
  • loss of consortium tort benefits;
  • domestic violence protection orders;
  • judicial protections and evidentiary immunity;
And so on. One source states that on the order of 1,400 legal rights are conferred upon married couples in the U.S. - typically around 400 state benefits and over 1,000 federal benefits.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:30 am 
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The Sound Ninja wrote:
If the legal aspect of "Gay Marriage" changes, the religious one is sure to follow. I just believe that we have to clear up the diction issue before anything can be done about this


*hacks*

The religious one is sure to follow, eh?

Lets just change around the wording and they won't feel so threatened.

Wow. Discrimination and prejudice cannot be boiled down to terminology. The root of hatred is still there. Apparently you've had it sugar coated.

:shock:

*bites tongue, too early to rant*


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:57 am 
Closet Thespian
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When I was abroad at Utrecht University in amsterdam they explained to us that the situation there was very different. mind you, this was years ago, so i may not have it remembered 100%:

in Europe it seems that 'marriage' really is a religous term. if you get 'married' in a church, you do not get any state benefits, it is just a religous thing. In order to get any of the benefits you need to go to a court and get the equivalent of a civil union.

I actually like this system very much, and I think it makes everyone happy. if some bigoted church decides that they don't like gay people- that's fine- they don't have to perform the ceremony. However, their actual marriage ceremony would mean nothing in the eyes of the state, and the gay couple could go and find a better, more accepting church to tie the knot in.

However, it is not like this in america.

CW, while your argument might fit into the European system, it does not fit into the american system at all.

Marriage is both a civil and a religous contract here. As long as it stays that way the only real way to have equality is gay marriage- not just gay civil unions.

on a happier note, even though america doesn't accept gay marriage, it seems that Disney does:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 02286.html
It's a start, right?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:07 am 
Closet Thespian
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I would also like to mention that in terms of religion there has been some change-

conservative judaism (one step below the orthodox folks in the black hats) made a decision last year to allow for gay marriage and ordination. Reform judaism and reconstructionist made this decision years ago- in 1999 or 2000 or something, but it is a pretty big thing that the conservatives are allowing it.

In fact, my friend Aaron Weineger will be the first ordained openly gay conservative rabbi. He and I went to yeshiva together before I decided to be a bad jew and drop out :)

he actually was the 'straw who broke the camels back' so to speak- he wrote in his statement of purpose that he was gay and then told the news that he had done so. they decided to accept him.

so yea- slow changes- but they are still changes


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:41 pm 
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Well, its not the first time I've been wrong. I can admit it. So I guess I just need to do some research and come up with a new opinion.

I do have to ask though, no one is hurt or offended by my earlier post, right?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:45 pm 
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I just thought it was cute that you actually thought married people paid less in taxes. I was pretty damn excited when we just got to pay the same amount of taxes, and not more! :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:45 pm 
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Can I be offended by your ignorance? ;)

Don't worry about it-- its an opportunity to learn. Opinions change constantly-- nobody knows everything or is right about everything. Just keep learning, exposing yourself to information-- it takes a lifetime to become "well-rounded". Its good that you can admit that you're wrong and not get all pissy about it.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:51 pm 
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Gosh, guys...I love happy endings!!

I learned so much. :)

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"She gotta have tons of this rock star bad boy's wet stuff in Brittany when his big thing totally did her he had fun and it was fantastic." --Lisa Frank refrigerator magnets arranged suggestively in high school


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