Sunday, June 16, 2019

Love vs, Money

This post is primarily about policy, and USA policy in particular.  While the title is Love vs. Money, it isn't written to talk about the merits of one versus the other, but rather to pose the question of "Why?"

Why do people who can't get married want to get married?

This article isn't going to go into the entire history of gay marriage; there are plenty of places to find that information out. (One I sourced was, a site refreshingly listing facts and information without opinions wrapped around them. Do they list all events in the history of gay marriage? That, too, I'm not going to debate here; bring it up with them.

The stance here is simple:

Identify a single law that has ever been written about "love."

It simply isn't done. 

Law by its very nature is dispassionate. Legislation passed by the House of Representatives is primarily involved with budgetary items also.  How does our federal government distribute the revenues that it collects? That's their job. Their job isn't to allow for feelings about one thing or another.  Someone may "love" rabbits, but that doesn't get rabbits a law giving them protected status. Law is written from facts regardless of feelings on the topic. Legislation gives or takes money from one group or another.

So why does marriage get mentioned in a legal context?

The government wants to affect (promote if you prefer) marriage for two simple reasons:
  1. Procreation. It's in a society's best interest to promote procreation of the population.  This continues the society by providing ... more taxpayers.  Which leads to reason #2:
  2. Tax benefits. Women's rights, and their role(s) in society have changed drastically starting in the 20th century.  Prior to women gaining these rights and participating in the tax-paying workforce, a family had a single source of income and spending.  How does a society compensate for the burden of supporting an adult that doesn't contribute monetarily? 
The answer came as the "marriage benefit" tax law.  Two adults (man / woman) filing their income taxes as a single household were given a tax break because of their living situation. A single income is being tasked with supporting others that cannot or will not provide toward that support.  Two people sharing a dwelling, but both working don't have the same burden.

Within the discussion of gay marriage, people have asked for inclusion into this class of people.  Do they love each other more now than previously? What is it they require from being recognized as "married?" 

Again, I'm not here to dispute one person's love for another here.  I truly don't mind whom one person calls a "lover." I am not the person in that situation, so I will not intimate that my opinion is any more important than theirs.

"Protections" for people who live together as a "bonded couple" have come about and exist starting as far back as 1984; we've come to recognize that "families" exist in forms other than one formed in holy matrimony. These new couples can have all legal rights written and clarified regardless of the gender of one or the other.  

"Common law" marriage is recognized by a handful of states (I won't pose a number as obviously it could change) where a heterosexual couple simply "inherits" the same rights as a couple that paid for the privilege of their wedding being official. 

We call these "protections" ... but protection from what? What punishment were ever instituted by law? There weren't punishments by the traditional definition: fines or jail time. It's simply the absence of a benefit that exists for another group.

So why do some want the government to recognize "their love?"


The "protections" afforded to married couples are all fiscal.  All monetary.  Tax benefits, wills, divorce statutes, etc.  These are monetary goals. Are they insurmountable without the label of "marriage?" 

To that end, I offer a different solution: remove marriage benefits as currently written.  This would remove the inequality between heterosexual and homosexual couples.  Thus providing equality.  Would that be a sufficient? If I have the same access to certain items as you - or the same lack of access to things - that is, in fact, equal. Isn't it?

Why isn't today's discussion calling for this?  Why is it calling for different class status?  

I pose this to begin conversation, to welcome comments - for people to THINK beyond the initial, knee-jerk response that comes as from an emotional reaction. Change my mind, or change yours, or not ... that's not even the purpose. But I hope it might enlighten one's position. 

I look forward to talking to you! 

No comments:

Post a Comment