The Emperor Has No Clothes!

The gay marriage court case moving through the Federal Court system is especially interesting because it forces the government to explain something it has not been able to do.  It has to explain, “Why is it any of our business?”

This comes from a narrow legal question raised in the case.  The case involved an inheritance from one partner to the surviving one.  They were legally married in Canada.  The IRS forced the surviving partner to pay $400,000 in inheritance taxes because they were not a heterosexual couple.

The surviving spouse’s attorney argued the Federal Government has no interest in the gender of the couple.  The law merely states one spouse may pass assets to another without paying these taxes.  Thus, the Federal Government was not treating citizens equally when it deciding to apply the word, “spouse”, only to heterosexuals.

This question, what interest does the Federal Government have, can be extended to our entire society.  What business do any of us have passing judgement on the gender of couples?

The anti gay marriage posturing done by those speaking in public is outrageous.  Christian operatives claim gay marriage harms heterosexual marriage.

This argument has been made for several years now, but no evidence has been presented  as to how gay marriage damages straight marriage.  It is obvious gay marriage, with its  stable households, benefits us all.

A Court of Appeals ruled the surviving spouse did not owe the taxes.  We owe gay people equality under the law.


5 Responses

  1. Jon,

    You just do not get it. I have no problem with equal rights. JUST DO NOT CALL IT A MARRIAGE. Why, in God’s name, would you, of all people, want to call a Civil Union a Religious term???


      Are you sure the word “marriage” has its origin in religion? The first marriages, and still some today, are arranged by tribal chieftons, the government. They use a different language, but marriage is a more accurate term than civi union. Those marriages were, and are, blessed by the shaman, supported by the families and entire tribe.

      That marriage is owned by religion is something made up in more recent times.

      The thing is, if we legalize civil unions, heterosexual couples will start to use that concept also. Then we start a legal quagmire about who gets what in divorces. Are there going to be different rules for marriages than civil unions?

      Then, what about collateral for loans and contracts? On contracts, two married people are noted as “married”. That has legal implications about carrying out the contract. What will be the implications of “civil unionized”? And, will there be the same obligation on each as there is in marriage?

      You wrote about me, “You just do not get it.” Yes, I do not get placing importance on religion when it is not important. There is no reason to call these anything but marriage. Couples can decide if the want religion involved or not.

      1. Stan

        The shaman WAS the religious figure in those times. You think this was secular?

        So you want separate but equal? I have said all unions to be civil with churches covering marriage. Divorce the same wither same sex or opposite sex. Legal rights of all unions being the same. Early marriages covered under only a government license, not just a churches marriage certificate to be treated until dissolved by divorce or death treated by government as the same as a civil union. Isn’t that what you are asking for?

        Jon, I think you find this problem to be a way of attacking the religious communities. You really don’t care about the people wanting same sex marriage. I also believe you may be the type of person to advocate that religious communities be forced to perform same sex marriages as necessary to bring equality. If you really cared you would try to do something that would be productive for both.

        I really don’t mind if two people who have committed themselves to each other through civil union have the ability to inherit from each other. To have the same rights under government as heterosexual unions. This controversy and the current marriage amendment would be nothing if you were to get a civil union law passed.

        I also think that divorce courts should be as involved in the break up of a civil union as they currently are in marriage. Many of our young are living together in opposite sex relationships without marriage, raising families and they also don’t have the same rights a married couple has. Let a civil union be as easy to get as a drivers license but also make it more difficult for that union to be broken then by just walking out the door. The stability of those families would be enhanced.

        I wish you could hear the stories of having multiple children by more then one mother that I have heard in the jails. This is destroying children and putting them on the road to prison and jail.

        Make the victory of the marriage amendment a Pyrrhic victory. work to get civil unions, not to destroy the church. You may hate it but is and has helped stabilize communities.

    2. T

      Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines marriage, in part, as:

      “(1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage. Middle English mariage, from Anglo-French, from marier to marry. First Known Use: 14th century”

      Sounds like a secular term to me.

      I like Groucho Marx’s definition, “Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?” 🙂

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