There has been a whole lotta hoopla over gay marriages in San Francisco. Lots written, lots said. Which means I just have to add my two cents worth. But perhaps different than those other pundits, I want to take a look at what prevents same-sex couples from getting married, if anything.
First, what are the legal complications that come with marriage? There used to be a marriage penalty for federal taxes-which I would think would have made the feds encourage same-sex marriage, not the other way around-but that has been essentially nullified with recent legislation. So nothing there.
Insurance would have to be expanded to cover both. OK, so the insurance companies lose out on a bit of money. But who really cares, other than people who work for insurance companies, whether Allstate needs to fork out a bit more cash?
Estate taxes. Yep, the feds miss out on taking their share of taxes when a same-sex partner passes away.
What else? I can’t think of a single other thing. Legally, same-sex couples who are not married can adopt children, can have children, can buy a house, can share money, can have joint checking accounts, can sleep together, can have the same friends, and so on.
So…insurance and estate taxes prevent same-sex marriages. That’s it. All the lawsuits and injunctions and court orders and press conferences and rants on personal web sites boil down to insurance and estate taxes? Seems pretty stupid to me. We couldn’t work out a satisfactory solution for State Farm and Uncle Sam?
But what about the religious taboos that prevent same-sex marriages, you say? Whoa, wait one damn minute admiral. Ever heard about separation of church and state? Why on earth would the United States, which was founded on the concept of freedom of religion and keeping the minister’s fingers out of the secular pie, want to make it legal only for a man and a woman to marry on religious grounds? The founding fathers are all rolling over in their graves right now! Keep religion out of my government, if you please.
The trump card opponents deal at this point is the moral one. “It is just morally wrong for two men or two women to marry.” Huh? You mean that it’s morally OK for John Doe in his dirty white t-shirt to beat the piss out of his wife and kids and drink and swear and fart and not hold down a paying job, but it is a terrible thing for two decent, tax-paying, loving women to live out their lives together? How should the subject of who someone loves have any bearing on whether or not that person has good morals? If we were to disallow marriages based on immorality then there should be an awful lot more rejections of marriage licenses around this country than there are now.
The legal ramifications of same-sex marriages-insurance and estate taxes-are inconsequential and don’t warrant the attention that they are being given. Screw the insurance companies and make up the taxes elsewhere. That’s what I say.