Emerald Gryphon

Ramblings from an ex-squid on politics, religion, current events, and whatever else catches my attention.

Posts Tagged ‘Gay Marriage’

Getting it backwards, again….

Posted by emeraldgryphon on Thursday, 4 June 2009

SayUncle has this post about the recent New Hampshire decision to officially recognize and subsidize gay marriage in NH. I agree with the spirit, in that this is a good thing on net. No courts, no lawsuits, this was the legislature acting to enact the will of the people. Republican form of government in action, and all that.

Where Unc gets it wrong, however, is in his statement that

New Hampshire set to become sixth state to butt out of contracts between two people whose genitalia aren’t different.

This isn’t about their freedom to contract. This isn’t about their freedom to marry. These were already freely available, no one was getting jailed for performing a ceremony, and no one was having their legal contracts overridden. This is purely about the taxpayer subsidy for married couples being extended to same-sex couples.

I get disappointed when I see thoughtful, intelligent people apparently completely misunderstanding the actual root issue here. There are no civil rights at stake.  You are free to enter into a same sex marriage, anywhere in the US. There are no contract rights at stake. Your wills, living wills, and powers-of-attorney aren’t being summarily set aside, and if they do, that is an issue where the courts should intervene on a civil rights basis for freedom to contract. You do not get the marriage subsidy extended to you in 44 states currently. That’s the difference. I feel that the taxpayers of a State have the right to decide what actions and behaviors to subsidize and which to tax, and that their legislators should enact the will of their constituents. If you want to be married in a state that does not subsidize your marriage, it takes a couple of grand and an attorney to get about 90% of the benefits of marriage via contract. The rest are state tax savings and whatever state welfare payments are restricted to married couples. (And social security, but I’m dealing with state level here, not federal) That’s far better than if you happen to be involved in a polygynous relationship – your marriage is not only not recognized, you can go to jail for it.

I became ordained years ago specifically to perform a ceremony for a lesbian shipmate of mine and her partner. (Yes, we were active duty at the time). Since then I have performed about a half-dozen marriages or commitment ceremonies for gay or lesbian couples. Big deal. However, I do not support extending the subsidies to same-sex couples on the following basis: I believe that the government should get all the way out of recognizing marriages. There should be a single legal protection package (what to do if the arrangement ends – property protections and all that) for civil unions that covers everyone who live together and have commingled finances, from roommates to siblings to lovers to parents, etc. Everyone. Extending the recognition business is the opposite of what I feel should be the norm in a liberty – focused society.  Yes, I know that this is the real world, not my ideal liberty based society, but I (and other likeminded individuals) am trying to get us closer to it all the time.

Regards,

Pol

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