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It Still Doesn’t Pay To Be Gay

From my legal perspective, I see the issue of gay marriages or civil unions as one of civil rights.

The federal government’s civil rights laws prohibit discrimination against people based on race, age, or gender. So how can state legislatures legally discriminate against a class of people – homosexual couples – based on the sameness of their gender?

Having raised this question for intellectual purposes only, I’ve got to admit that I’m not a big fan of civil rights, and I don’t defend them. In spite of their egalitarian motivations, they are a misnomer.

Civil rights are neither civil nor rights. They are privileges bestowed by government on one group of people, which always come at the expense of the equal rights of others.

Marriage privileges are civil rights. Both government and business give married people perks that the rest of us don’t get and that we largely subsidize. Licensed married people get preferential tax rates, better employee benefits and legal protections. Advocates of gay marriages or civil unions want these privileges of marriage extended to gay couples.

I can’t say that I do … and it’s not because I’m against anyone’s sexual preferences. I don’t want government bestowing more privileges upon anyone.

Heck, if gay couples get civil-marriage rights, there will be one fewer disfavored class of people to subsidize the taxes and insurance rates of married heterosexuals. How fair will that be on singles like me and ordinary cohabitants?

It’s one thing to exercise our natural rights to marry under God. It’s another to force others who are unlicensed to subsidize our behavior, hetero or otherwise.

We would be best to dismantle special interest privileges, not add to them. Besides, I wouldn’t wish government privileges upon anybody. They come with too much government servitude and accountability.

Marriage licenses grant the state power to divide marital assets according to the whims of the General Assembly. I don’t understand why gay couples would want their relationship subject to our state legislators.

Ultimately I’d like to see all licensed people freed from their unnecessary commitments to government. This would include not only licensed married people, but also licensed attorneys, doctors, electricians and sports trainers.

The government can no more certify the quality of doctors or lawyers through licensing than it can the quality of marriages or civil unions.

Licensed professions use government as a bully to thwart unlicensed – and thus, unprivileged – competitors. All professional licenses are licenses to steal your opportunity to hire someone possibly more qualified but unwilling to do the government’s bidding. Consumers have better tools than licensing to gauge professional quality.

The history of marriage licensing is equally laden with obvious special interests. Marriage licenses were once used – perhaps invented – to discourage interracial relationships. Today they are used to discourage gay relationships. Heterosexuality has its privileges, and it still doesn’t pay to be gay.

For disfavored singles and unlicensed couples – gay or otherwise – let’s aspire to remain unlicensed. Let’s exercise our God-given rights instead of seeking government’s permission to exercise them. Let’s work to get our own houses in order.

Licensed or not, all adults can draft a will or a trust to pass their property at death to their loved one(s), regardless of gender. Nobody needs a marriage license to fulfill this important function.

No couple needs legislators defining each side’s respective property rights when its relationship dissolves. This can and should be done contractually – not just by gay couples but also by husbands and wives.

I sympathize with people – gay or otherwise – whose employers do not extend the privilege of certain employment benefits to their live-in co-habitants, as they do their employees’ married spouses. The solutions to this are better employers, not government adding a class of people to its A list.

There is only one valid justification for marriage licenses – legal convenience. They are useful to courts in determining legal relationships, duties and powers when couples break up or testify.

However, the common-law privilege against coerced spousal testimony predates marriage licenses. Marriage licenses were never legally necessary to prove marital status.

We would be smart to get government completely out of marriage and give it back to God, where it all began and belongs.

Let God, not government, administer and sanction all of our loving relationships. Make government available to preside over our material disputes.

Submitted by:

Kurt St. Angelo

Kurt St. Angelokenngividen@writersbureau.org





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