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Marriage: A Relationship Unlike Any Other

Jack2894 Wrote: Feb 13, 2013 2:57 PM
Stacey, its comforting for some to think things are solid and immutable, even when they are not. There are ALREADY multiple definitions to work with. For example, if you live in Alabama, you can marry your first cousin. If you live in Arkansas, you cannot. Where is this mythical single definition? IN several European nations, you can marry a sibling, with some restrictions. And then of course, in many nations and in some religions, marrying more than one person is perfectly OK, if not expected.
David3036 Wrote: Feb 13, 2013 3:44 PM
In addition to bing second-class spouses if married to a soldier or veteran, married same-sex couples may pay higher taxes because they can't file jointlly. They receive no Social Security survivor benefits upon the death of a partner, despite paying the same payroll taxes as every straight couple. They pay significant tax penalties when they inherit a 401(k) from their spouse. They are denied family leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

There are other "pocketbook" issues that are non-govenmental, such as having to pay a second-driver fee when renting a car, which is not required of straight married couples. They can't even get the family rate at the gym, and rarely does any "family" discount apply to a gay married couple.
David3036 Wrote: Feb 13, 2013 3:27 PM
Jack is correct. Marriage norms are all over the lot, even in the U.S. -- and yet, opponents of same-sex marriage insist that there is only one correct view of marriage.

If a state allows marriage at the age of 14, or recognizes common-law marriages, or allows first cousins to marry, those marriages are recognized by the federal government and must be recognized by every other state. The single exception is same-sex marriages that can now be performed in nine U.S. states. Those are not recognized beyond those state borders.

That is where the inequality lies, and it is all because of the Defense of Marriage act. It must be struck down so that all married couples qualify for the same federal benefits.

NOTE: This is the fifth column in a series of columns related to National Marriage Week, Feb. 7-14, 2013. The fourth column is available here.

Many of us will recall the song from Sesame Street that begins, “One of these things is not like the other.” The song conveyed to viewers that not everything, or every relationship, is the same; we have different capabilities and purposes.

The government routinely sings this song as it recognizes and seeks to support certain relationships based on their uniqueness, their distinctive purpose, or their benefit to society.

One such relationship that is unlike...