Thursday, June 05, 2008

An Online Exchange

The voice in quotes is that of Jane Chastain, a political blogger.

The question is simple: how will allowing same-sex unions prevent any heterosexual couple from marrying and therefore providing a more stable environment in which to raise children?

“The answer is simple: It would not prevent heterosexuals couples from marrying but it, in effect, takes away the benefits of marriage.”

No — it would EXTEND the benefits of marriage to a group of people who are currently denied them. In California, domestic partnership is almost identical, but it’s still not equal.

“A married couple is given certain tax breaks and other benefits. If the same tax breaks are given to everyone than — for all practical purposes — the tax break does not exists.”

Yes, it DOES exist. It’s still a tax break for married people. Single people don’t qualify. It supports and rewards the formation of more stable human partnerships, something gay people — and the society we live in — benefit from.

“Also, the state gives certain benefits to its employees, such as health insurance, to spouses. The state has a budget and these benefits must be paid for in the form of higher taxes.”

If I’m getting you right, it’s OK to discriminate — if it’s expensive. Or is that it’s OK to discriminate if it means YOU get more of the pie?

“When you treat same-sex couples the same as heterosexual couples than EVERYONE must be taxed more in order to pay for those benefits. Therefore, you have heterosexual couples with children subsidizing same-sex couples.”

There are gay families with children. More important, there are benefits for couples with children that most gay couples and childless straight couples don't qualify for.

“It is the same thing with a private business that gives the same benefits to domestic partners as married couples. A state or company can pay its workers only so much for a given job. The employer divides this pay into wages and benefits. If the same benefits are given to everyone, the married couple ends up with less, because the pool of money available for benefits is reduced.”

But there is no reason to deny same-sex couples these rights — as long as the couple is willing to take on the responsibilities of marriage, as well.

That’s why the gentleman on O’Reilly was unable to come up with a rational reason — because there is none.

Equality has a cost. But the benefits far outweigh the price.

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