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Please Join Me On The Campaign for Equality…

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I am lucky that in April, I get to marry the person who I love most, but I am heartbroken because so many couples are refused that same legal right….

…the right to be recognized by society as a couple, and more importantly, the right to be recognized by the government. The article below, from Nolo, proves that marriage is a legal matter… not a moral or religious matter.

If you would like to support equality for all, then please send a message to The Supreme Court here: http://www.couragecampaign.org/page/s/divorce

To read more about the rights and benefits of marriage… please read on…

Marriage Rights and Benefits

Learn some of the legal and practical ways that getting married changes your life.

Whether or not you favor marriage as a social institution, there’s no denying that it confers many rights, protections, and benefits — both legal and practical. Some of these vary from state to state, but the list typically includes:

Tax Benefits

  • Filing joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities.
  • Creating a “family partnership” under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.

Estate Planning Benefits

  • Inheriting a share of your spouse’s estate.
  • Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
  • Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
  • Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse — that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse’s behalf.

Government Benefits

  • Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
  • Receiving veterans’ and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
  • Receiving public assistance benefits.

Employment Benefits

  • Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse’s employer.
  • Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
  • Receiving wages, workers’ compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.
  • Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse’s close relatives dies.

Medical Benefits

  • Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
  • Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.

Death Benefits

  • Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
  • Making burial or other final arrangements.

Family Benefits

  • Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
  • Applying for joint foster care rights.
  • Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.
  • Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.

Housing Benefits

  • Living in neighborhoods zoned for “families only.”
  • Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.

Consumer Benefits

  • Receiving family rates for health, homeowners’, auto, and other types of insurance.
  • Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
  • Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.

Other Legal Benefits and Protections

  • Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
  • Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
  • Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can’t force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
  • Receiving crime victims’ recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
  • Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.
  • Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family.

Note that if you are in a same-sex marriage in Massachusetts or a domestic partnership or civil union in any of the states that offer those relationship options, many of the benefits of marriage won’t apply to you, because the federal government does not recognize these same-sex relationships. For example, you may not file joint federal income tax returns with your partner, even if your state allows you to file jointly. And other federal benefits, such as COBRA continuation insurance coverage, may not apply. Consult a lawyer with expertise in this area to learn more about the rights and benefits available to same-sex couples.

I pulled the information above from Nolo a website that claims to be the “nation’s oldest and most respected provider of legal information for consumers and small businesses.”

About the author paige green

Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.

All posts by paige green →

4 Comments

  1. OK so I love your dedication to this injustice. And that video struck me in my gut and I am totally weeping over here in Montana at this moment. Love you for your spirit with this important and necessary change in our culture and just in general love you.

    Reply

  2. I believe that gays and lesbians should be allowed to enter into a civil union if they really love each other and want to be together. The should have all the rights a married couple (male and femal) have. But they should not be married the same as male and female. God intended marriage to be between a male and female. That is the only way babies are conceived is between a male and a female. God wants marriage to be between male and female and the gays and lesbians should not try to rewrite the constition.

    Reply

  3. Dear Carol,

    Thank you for sharing your opinion in such a respectful manner. I wish there were more intellectual conversations about the matter, but it seems this topic generates a lot of strong and often angry feelings, so people do not listen to each other, which prevents opportunities for learning and growth.

    However you said, “God wants marriage to be between male and female and the gays and lesbians should not try to rewrite the constition.”

    But that is why we have a separation of church and state… this matter is about the Constitution and not the Bible.

    No one is asking people to change their religious views or to rewrite the Bible; although there are as many ways to interpret the Bible as there are ways to interpret the Constitution. And I don’t understand why there is such judgment and hatred when ultimately it is up to God to decide who lived a pious life and who didn’t.

    People should be allowed to believe whatever religious teachings they want to believe, but I wish that religious views would not hinder other people’s legal right to be respected citizens.

    My mom gave me an interesting book that I encourage you to look into: Would Jesus Discriminate, by Rev. Dr. Cindi Love.

    I also encourage you to look into the history of marriage throughout civilization. Here is an excerpt from a website discussing the topic:

    When we look at the marriage customs of our ancestors, we discover several striking facts. For example, for the most of Western history, marriage was not a mere personal matter concerning only husband and wife, but rather the business of their two families which brought them together. Most marriages, therefore, were arranged. Moreover, the wife usually had much fewer rights than her husband and was expected to be subservient to him. To a considerable extent, marriage was also an economic arrangement. There was little room for romantic love, and even simple affection was not considered essential. Procreation and cooperation were the main marital duties.

    Click here to read more.

    Thank you again for encouraging thoughtful conversation.

    Sincerely,
    Paige

    Reply

  4. […] focus the attention that is needed to change this ridiculous law that prevents people from obtaining basic human rights. And hopefully someday soon everyone will have the right to experience the overwhelming love and […]

    Reply

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