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November 18, 2003

Sound and Fury in Massachusetts

I hate to be a pessimist first thing in the morning, but I can't bring myself to hope that this means much in practical terms. Some nice words from Chief Justice Marshall, though:


Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support. It brings stability to our society.

For those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial and social benefits. In return, it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations.

The question before us is whether, consistent with the Massachusetts Constitution, the Commonwealth may deny the protections, benefits and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry.

We conclude that it may not.

Clearly, the equal-rights approach has its limits--in no small part because many elected officials don't really think of us as humans. It's not pretty to say, but let's be honest. So I think we need to approach this as a property-rights issue (property being one of the few transcendant ideal recognized by Repubs these days). Even having spent about $1,500 with a very nice lawyer this year, David and I still have not been able to construct as seamless a plan for the disposition of our assets as a straight couple gets for a $50 marriage license. And of course, we'll never be able to get Social Security benefits if one of us dies. Likewise automatic estate-tax avoidance the married couples enjoy. If I go on David's insurance, or he on mine, we have to pay Federal taxes on the full premium (both our part and the company's contribution). The list goes on and on.

We pay our taxes, and unless we adopt will draw far less services than the average parenting couple, but we get none of the financial benefits other, straighter, law-abiding citizens do. I get pissed off by this enough to consider leaving the country altogether, and taking my education, skills, and talent to a country that doesn't hate me quite so much. (I'd probably get a decent health care system in the bargain.) If I like Australia, you never know--I might start pestering David to move back and beg my bosses to let me open SS+K Sydney.

It's a sick joke, really. Republicans can't stand the thought of us screwing each other, but they sure seem to be lining up thinking of new ways to screw us. The GOP platform is a turning into a vertitable Kama Sutra!

We need a movement to channel the energy of angry married fags in a way that actually does something. Beware the rage of bourgeois homo homeowner couples!

Posted by jay at November 18, 2003 09:21 AM | TrackBack
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i've been thinking about moving to australia too. can i crash at your place while i scout permanent housing?

Posted by: ray on November 18, 2003 12:31 PM
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