Why Federal Same-Sex Marriage?

Some of my straight friends and family have asked recently, “why it is so important for same-sex couples to get legally married on the federal level?” They really don’t understand why domestic partnerships or marriage at the state level is not fair/good enough. It really is astonishing how many straight, married people take their rights for granted the day they say “I do”. I try to drill into their heads that there are over 1,000 rights straight-married couples have that same-sex couples will not be given until marriage on the federal level becomes a reality for them. My partner suggested I make a simple chart outlining some of those benefits, so here it is.

It is extremely important to keep in mind that the categories Marriage by State benefits and Domestic Partner benefits only apply while the couple resides within the state that they signed legal papers in. Because other states do not recognize their legal relationship as soon as they leave the state they reside in, or even visit another state, the couple loses their legal rights such as hospital visitation rights, medical decision rights or step-parent adoption rights. They are only recognized as “two same-sex people who are in a relationship” – period.

Also, many of the rights listed in the chart for domestic-partnerships are rights that are granted by the company a person works for – not the state. Companies have the right to set its policies on what it will or will not include in domestic-partnership rights.  These rights can be granted in states which there are no marriage or domestic-partnership laws.

If you want to know which companies have broad domestic-partnerships rights and which do not, check out my blog post Support Companies that Support Equality.

I’ve tried to keep this list short because the reasoning behind it is to get the point across that domestic-partnerships and marriages at the state level are nowhere near equal to (straight) marriage at the federal level. This is why we fight. This is why it is so important to realized that Separate is Not Equal.

Cite Sources:
http://gaylife.about.com/od/samesexmarriage/Marriage.htm
http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=16430
Automatic Marriage rights: No Marriage or Domestic Partnership Domestic Partnerships Marriage State Level Marriage Fed. Level
Federal Tax breaks as a married couple No No No Yes
Social Security Survivor Benefits No No No Yes
Wrongful Death benefits No No No Yes
Immigration Rights No No No Yes
Domestic Violence protection orders No Rarely No Yes
Automatic Inheritance No No Possibly Yes
Medical decisions of behalf of partner No Rarely Possibly Yes
Step-parent adoption No Rarely Possibly Yes
Income tax deductions for health insurance costs No Rarely Possibly Yes
Sick Leave to Care for Partner No Rarely Possibly Yes
Insurance Breaks No Rarely Possibly Yes
Right to Partners health benefits Very Rarely Sometimes Possibly Yes
Family and bereavement leave No Sometimes Possibly Yes
Hospital visitation rights No Sometimes Possibly Yes
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7 responses to “Why Federal Same-Sex Marriage?”

  1. pied type says :

    Point well made! It’s hard to deny the obvious in a chart like this.

  2. wok3 says :

    The only good news seems to be that attitudes are changing, and more and more people are accepting that gays should have the same rights as everyone else. It is just that this change is so maddeningly slow, and in some states, they seem unwilling to change at all.

    Of course some states still want seperate but equal laws back for the black population as well, sometimes progress means dragging the idiots along, against their ignorant will.

  3. ar says :

    I’m an ignorant. Are you going to drag me into your lifestyle and make me except yours?

    • penni4urthoughts says :

      Normally I wouldn’t post ignorant, unworthy comments, but yours is almost too funny to let go. Though I’m not sure where the term lifestyle comes into play I have never dragged anyone into my lifestyle.

  4. ar says :

    It was a funny statement wok3 made. Post what you like.

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