Tag Archives: gay marriage

January Ramblings

I have been very busy, so I haven’t posted lately. That means this morning, you’ll be subject to my ramblings. Sometimes they’re interesting. We’ll see about today. Things on the marriage-equality front have been interesting lately. I live in one of 14 states that continues to deny marriage rights. Bill Schitte’s language in his public comments has been less vehemently anti-gay lately, probably in response to pressure from the Republican party to shut the hell up about no-win issues. This week, the Michigan State Supreme Court ruled that the state needed to recognize 300+ marriages that were legally performed last March. But then they put a 21-day stay on it, pending appeal to the same court that upheld the marriage ban. Outlook not so good. Meanwhile Florida, where most Michiganders move when they retire, now has gay marriage.

Then the US Supreme Court announced they’d take up the Sixth Circuit court issue (which made the Michigan-Ohio-Kentucky decision). The situation is iffy, and I’m not holding my breath. They could have done so much for so many last time, but they didn’t.

On a completely unrelated note, I’m seriously considering leaving teaching, but more on that later. I’ll be working on my resume over the next few months–I have many skills that translate very well to the private sector. Any advice is appreciated!

Don’t Stay

lesbian-same-sex-marriageI’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.

 

Here are some things we have to do now that we wouldn’t have to do if we had legal recognition from our state:Supreme court gay marriage

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.”

 

Images from:

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