Sunday, May 17, 2009
A Circumhorizontal Arc Over Ohio
So yes, by all means, let’s abolish state marriage! We’ll let the straight folks go through the same tribulations we do — and then watch how quickly they demand to have state-sanctioned marriage right back again, if only to keep the state out of their family lives. Maybe then they’ll have more sympathy for where we stand, too.
The great paradox of state-sanctioned marriage is that it is very, very often not a state intervention at all. It’s a barrier against the state, and that’s one of the biggest reasons why we want it. We want the state to leave us alone in all the same ways that it very obligingly leaves you alone.
Domestic Partnerships in Nevada?
Recently at a Governor’s Town Hall in the very small and conservative Incline Village, NV, HRC’s Northern Nevada Political Co-Chair David Gordon asked about the domestic partnership bill. Governor Gibbons replied that the protections sought in the bill could already be achieved through private contracts. As David shook his head no, the governor replied, “Don’t shake your head no! I am an attorney. I know. Are you an attorney?” Of course, the reality is that private contracts cannot provide all the rights made available to married couples. Private contracts cannot exempt partners from inheritance or property transfer taxes, they cannot grant partners the right not to testify against one another in court, they cannot provide alimony rights, child support, or child custody rights when couples split up (all rights that are extended to spouses). On a less tangible, but equally important level, private contracts can never provide same-sex couples the dignity and respect afforded to married couples whose relationships are formally recognized by the state.