Get Comfy, Part II

Sorry, I really lost the plot on that last post. (A little slap-happy today; I need a vacation.)

What I meant to say was that the framing of the question is all wrong. To those who would deny gays and lesbians the right to marry, I would ask not about their comfort level with granting this one right, but instead: How comfortable are you continuing to deny multiple rights to a part of the American populace? These include the fundamental rights to:

    • visit a partner or a partner's child in a hospital;
    • inherit from your partner if she or he doesn't have a valid will;
    • obtain joint health, home and auto insurance policies;
    • enter joint rental agreements;
    • make medical decisions on a partner's behalf in event of illness;
    • take bereavement or sick leave to care for a partner or a partner's child;
    • choose a final resting place for a deceased partner;
    • obtain wrongful death benefits for a surviving partner and children;
    • get an equitable division of property in a divorce;
    • have joint child custody, visitation, adoption and foster care;
    • determine child custody and support in a divorce;
    • have a spouse covered under Social Security and Medicare;
    • file joint tax returns;
    • obtain veterans' discounts on medical care, education and home loans;
    • apply for immigration and residency for partners from other countries; and
    • obtain domestic violence protective orders.

And beyond that, the National Center for Health Statistics has released a report finding that couples who live together, but are not married, are more likely to have health problems than married couples.

There are two major theories as to why, said the researchers.

"Marriage protection is the theory that married people have more advantages in terms of economic resources, social and psychological support, and support for healthy lifestyles,' the report says.

"Marital selection is the theory that healthier people get married and stay married, whereas less-healthy people either do not marry or are more likely to become separated, divorced, or widowed."

Considering gays and lesbians can’t get married regardless of health, the former theory is, obviously, the only one applicable. Denying marriage, then, is also to deny the economic, social, and psychological resources and benefits that we married heterosexuals take for granted, undermining the very health and stability that someone as foolish as I might think a phrase like “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is meant to include.

So, to those of you who aren’t quite comfortable with gay marriage yet…how comfortable are you with that?

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