Posts Tagged → gay marriage same-sex marriage census DOMA gay couples
August 27th, 2008
Now gay marriage is legal in California. And, though New York state does not have gay marriage, our governor, David Patterson has announced that out of state ceremonies will be recognized by the state. Massachusetts, realizing how much revenue they stood to lose by not performing weddings for out-of-state gay couples, quickly changed their laws. And now they’re more than happy to take all the queer cash that will come flooding into the state.
And so, gay and lesbian couples who live in New York state can now easily wed, in two of our fifty states. But should they?
If you want to declare your love for each other in a formal way in front of your family and friends, by all means you should. As focused as I am on the rights associated with marriage, I understand there are couples who strongly desire the spiritual bond that comes with that ritual.
If one of the two members of the couple works for New York state and has a pension (like a firefighter, for example) probably you should get married tomorrow to secure the pension for your spouse.
If, for you, getting married is its own form of protest, hurry up and tie the knot.
If, however, after getting the license and having the ceremony you are expecting to have your relationship recognized by the United States of America, you’re going to have to wait to get married.
I was saddened to read that when next we take our U.S. survey, gay & lesbian couples who have legally wed in CA, MA or Canada and who check the box “Married” when filling their forms, will have the answer changed to living together/partnered. The reason being that, because of DOMA, checking the married box is a lie in the eyes of our government. No matter what you say, Uncle Sam says, “No way. Sorry. You aren’t married.”
We have no money for health care, education or the arts in this country, but, apparently, we do have enough money to pay some guy to cross out married and write in partnered on census forms. That’s someone’s job!
So when people ask me why I’m boycotting weddings when I can so easily get married in California, I explain how thrilled I am that California has taken this step toward equality. How delighted I am for the couples who have chosen to wed. And I tell them that, for my partner and me, it’s not enough. We want all the rights and recognitions afforded straight couples. Assuming the federal government doesn’t burn through all of social security paying the census guys to re-write the forms of homos, I’d like to know my partner and I will receive each other’s benefits, inherit each other’s estates without being taxed and the 1300 other things we’re denied as a gay couple.
Perhaps marriage shouldn’t be about money. But the fact is that denying gays federal marriage is a very effective way to keeps us, as a group, economically disadvantaged. And money and progress go together. When African American’s stopped getting on the bus, things began to change.
Just as Massachusetts began allowing out-of-state gays to wed when they realized how much money they were going to lose to California, pressure on the federal government to recognize same-sex marriage will come from the one hundred billion dollar wedding industry when they realize that five or ten or twenty percent of their income has stopped because people of conscience have ceased participating the marriage economy.
When federal law changes, who knows, California might be a lovely spot for a ceremony.