Wednesday, February 21, 2007

More Gay Blogging

I'll give you a real life scenario. Trust me this is real life, not hypothetical.

A man and woman have been together for about 17 years and engaged for 10.

In the last year the woman has undergone several medical treatments and has now been diagnosed with a form of cancer. More treatments are coming this year. Her medical flex account is used up and now big dollars are going to be required for her care.

The man knew he needed to get her on his medical insurance and the easiest way to do it was to get married. He lamented briefly that it wasn't the way he ever wanted to do it but at this point there was no other choice. They will get married soon to remedy the insurance situation.

Who wouldn't do this if they had the choice?

If I took this same scenario and made it two men, would it make a difference to you? I'm not telling which scenario is true for the sake of discussion.

I've often proposed that government should not be in the business of granting the right to marry. Personally I'd turn ALL unions into civil unions. Once more I'd open the floodgates for all types of civil unions.

My Grandmother and her sister lived together for several decades until the end of their lives. I honestly believe my grandmother could have benefited from a civil union that would've allowed their unique relationship to have the status of a family household with all of its benefits. I'm also demonstrating in Libertarian terms how reducing the role of government in this case can ensure legal equality.

I honestly don't know what would protect the sanctity of marriage but I can't bring myself to believe that any of these scenarios would hurt it.


Esther said...

Let me play devil's advocate for a moment.

Wouldn't employers throw a fit if they had to provide benefits for every form of civil union out there? Benefits from workplaces might go down. This might not be a workable plan unless we weaken or abolish the third party payer system in healthcare.

Also, what about polygamy? And could someone have a civil union with an underaged person? Would this be a legal arrangement between consenting adults?

(Aside: I pretty much agree with the sentiment you have expressed, so don't take my barrage of questiosn the wrong way.)

Gino said...

can i civil union with my cat?
we need each other, and have been a dedicated 18yrs together.
(she's outlasted even my longest term woman).

Tracy said...

Both great points. I'll do my best to answer them.

Gino: I have no problem with you having a civil union with your cat whatsoever.

Esther: This is a good point though was a better point 10 years ago than it is today. In competitive industries (and in West Coast software in particular) this isn't a big issue at all. Benefits in the region I work are very competitive with companies coming up with different ways to get talent. This would be a problem in many industries still. I have to concede that point. The third party payer isn't so much the problem as it is that the employer is the main benefit giver because personal policies are so expensive. You and I both know there are reasonable free-market solutions for this but that's another discussion.

Polygamy - Since my proposal is really to reduce government regulation then polygamy could be an option. Underaged persons are protected by law by not being able to enter into contracts because they're thought to be vulnerable to fraud.

The only restrictions would be that people not be coerced or fraudulently brought into a union.

To many in Christian traditions Marriage is at the most a sacrament and at the least an ordinance of the church. Nothing would change that in my mind...the same way the government doesn't require you to file for a license to be baptized.

Lest anyone think I'm a total liberal nutbar...I wouldn't support my own church marrying anyone outside of the traditional sense...I just wouldn't legally support denying it to others. That said, I would be honored to get an invitation to Gino and his cat's union.

PlatinumGirl said...

In my industry, domestic partner benefits are a given, whether or not the domestic partners are same-sex. I do think it's dumb that male & female couples (whether or not they are really couples) can get benefits simply by getting married. Of course, people have been doing that sort of thing for years to gain residency and citizenship in this country.

It really would make sense to offer the same benefits to all couples, whether married or registered domestic partners or whatever. In fact, I don't see a reason to argue against it -- you're talking about couples. 2 people, whatever the circumstance. It's not any more of a drain on the system than if they were all paired off, man/woman man/woman. And benefits are not equal anyway. Try telling someone with 6 kids that they should have to pay more than someone with 1 or 2 kids under a "family" plan for medical/dental/vision insurance through their employer. Yeah, right!