I’m married, but I’m not. Michigan is one of those states run by Republicans intent on cutting funding to education and wasting tax dollars appealing an amendment to the State Constitution passed ten years ago that wouldn’t even make it to the ballot today. Polling shows that fighting the legalization of same-sex marriage is not popular. Most Americans (59%) support same-sex marriage. Even though 24% oppose it, 17% don’t care either way. That’s pretty high support, especially when you consider that only 86% of Americans support interracial marriage. [In the deep South, 29% oppose interracial marriage.]
So how does this relate to my situation? Governor Snyder, a supposed “businessman who stays out of social issues”, has decided to recognize that my marriage was legal, but deny the rights that should come with it. It’s an election year, and I think he’s trying to stay above a messy social issue, but he’d managed to position himself solidly against equal rights. As Atty Gen Eric Holder has the political balls to recognize my marriage, we will get Federal benefits. If I die, Suzy gets my Social Security. Good to know I haven’t paid into it for 26 years for nothing. There are about 1000 legal protections we still currently lack.
1. I have to write a note every year to keep on file at the pediatrician so that Suzy can take our kids to the doctor and make medical decisions.
2. We’ve had to write legal protections into our wills that specifically state who gets the kids, the house, etc, in the event one of us should die. This will can be contested by any of our family members and tied up indefinitely in court–because we don’t have legal status as a married couple.
3. We have to pay $400 extra/month for health care. If she were able to be on my health insurance plan, it wouldn’t cost a dime extra since I already pay for the family plan.
4. Depending on the hospital, we can’t stay with one another past visiting hours.
5. I can be fired from my job at any time simply for being a lesbian, and that’s a perfectly legal, legitimate reason.
Everybody I’ve talked to thinks Schuette and Snyder should let this go, even people who likely voted for the ban in 2003. My friend’s daughter, when told of our marriage, said, “Why wasn’t is always legal? That’s just stupid.”
Wedding toppers: http://butteryobread.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/same-sex-marriage-in-2012-a-political-and-civil-rights-movement/
A Right Denied: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jun/20/supreme-court-same-sex-marriage-ruling