May 29, 2005
Marriage is a legal commitment between two consenting adults. It is about sharing, love, trust, and legal status. Two adults who make this private personal choice to form a life-long commitment should not be denied the right to marry just because they are gay or lesbian. Gay Americans serve in the military, keep our communities safe as firefighters and police officers, staff our hospitals, build our cities, and pay taxes. Denying gay couples the right to legally marry takes away legal rights in employee benefits, government benefits, and spousal benefits that other long-term committed couples enjoy. Gay couples should not be denied the right to marry.
Denying gay couples the right to marry excludes them from employee benefits. For example, unmarried couples are often not covered by laws and policies that permit people to take medical leave to care for a sick spouse or for the kids.
Also with employee insurance unmarried partners can't always sign up for joint health insurance. In addition, many employers don't cover domestic partners or their biological or non-biological children in their health insurance plans. Pensions are another benefit of being married; if gay couples are denied the right to marry it will exclude them from these benefits. Marriage also enables couples the right to their government benefits.
Denying gay couples the right to legally marry takes away legal rights in retirement. In addition to being denied access to shared or spousal benefits through Social Security as well as coverage under Medicare and other programs, unmarried couples are denied withdrawal rights and protective tax treatment given to spouses with regard to IRA's and other retirement plans. Also with filing their taxes unmarried couples cannot file joint tax returns and are excluded from tax benefits and claims specific to...