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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 unionsas one of civil rights.

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

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

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

Marriage privileges are civil rights. Both government and business givemarried people perks that the rest of us don’t get and that we largelysubsidize. Licensed married people get preferential tax rates, betteremployee benefits and legal protections. Advocates of gay marriages or civilunions 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 sexualpreferences. I don’t want government bestowing more privileges upon anyone.

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

It’s one thing to exercise our natural rights to marry under God. It’sanother to force others who are unlicensed to subsidize our behavior, heteroor 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 withtoo much government servitude and accountability.

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

Ultimately I’d like to see all licensed people freed from their unnecessarycommitments to government. This would include not only licensed marriedpeople, but also licensed attorneys, doctors, electricians and sportstrainers.

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

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

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

For disfavored singles and unlicensed couples – gay or otherwise – let’saspire to remain unlicensed. Let’s exercise our God-given rights instead ofseeking government’s permission to exercise them. Let’s work to get our ownhouses in order.

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

No couple needs legislators defining each side’s respective property rightswhen 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 extendthe privilege of certain employment benefits to their live-in co-habitants,as they do their employees’ married spouses. The solutions to this arebetter employers, not government adding a class of people to its A list.

There is only one valid justification for marriage licenses – legalconvenience. 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 predatesmarriage licenses. Marriage licenses were never legally necessary to provemarital status.

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

Let God, not government, administer and sanction all of our lovingrelationships. Make government available to preside over our materialdisputes.

Submitted by:

Kurt St Angelo

kurt@writersbureau.org




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