Top Of My Head

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Category: Defense of Marriage Act

Gay Marriage: The Real Inequality

Last week, the US Supreme Court ruled that DOMA was unconstitutional.  That means that gay people in states that recognize or have gay marriage will have their marriages recognized.  This is good – for them.

For those of us who are gay, in non-legally recognized marriages and living in the wrong states, nothing has changed.  We still do not have the right to inheritance, hospital visitations and joint income tax returns.  It, also, means we don’t have the responsibilities and protections that marriage offers.

There are legal ways around this.  My wife and I have registered as Domestic Partners, so we have some of these rights.  And, prior to Domestic Partnerships being legal in my state, we had signed power of attorneys for health and legal matters.

BUT…

What we can’t do is file a marriage, filing jointly income tax return.  And, this is what burns my butt.

By myself, I will pay $12,260 in Federal Income Taxes in 2013.  My wife (who earns less than I do) will pay $2,978.  Together, that’s $15,238.  (This is based on the IRS Withholding Calculator.)  Using the same calculator, I calculated what we would owe if we could file as a married filing jointly couple and the amount is $13,901.  That’s $1,337 less than what we’re separately paying now.

I don’t think I’m receiving $1,337 in extra Federal Benefits, do you?  What am I getting for this money?  Why is MY marriage not recognize by the Federal government because a bunch of bigots didn’t want gay marriage nine years ago – and they won. (By cheating, the question was worded so that yes meant against gay marriage and no meant for gay marriage.  I can’t tell you the number of my friends who were happy it passed, because they couldn’t figure out the difference.)

In any case, we have a long way to go.

Gay Rights and the GOP

I’m just going to lay this out for you:  If you are gay, you shouldn’t vote for a Republican.  Period.  End of story.

Yes, I know that you shouldn’t really be a one issue person, but gay rights and our fight for freedom is too high to put it into the hands of the Republican Candidates for President.

There are only two Candidates that do NOT support a gay marriage amendment – Herman Cain and Ron Paul – and neither of them has a chance of winning the general election.  A majority of Americans support gay marriage and the Republican Party is pandering to the extreme right of their party.

I don’t trust anyone of the Republican candidates on the issue of gay marriage.  I don’t want these people making what amounts to an important decision.  Although, I will admit that there is a part of me that thinks it won’t happen.  Afterall, Bush supported a anti-gay marriage amendment and it never came.  It’s a wedge issue and Republicans don’t like to give up their wedge issues.

On the other hand, I never thought the great state of Wisconsin could pass an anti-gay amendment and I was wrong.

So, let’s recap:  Gay = anti-Republican, at least until we have equal rights.

Obama’s DOMA Decision

Man, I’m torn.

On one hand, I’m thrilled that DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) is probably going down.  On the other hand, I’m not happy about the way it is going to happen.

Here’s the thing, Obama is just plain wrong.  Yes, DOMA is unconstitutional.  Yes, DOMA makes some citizens of the United States unequal to other citizens.  Yes, I want to see DOMA gone.

However; there is a larger and more important issue at stake here.

If the Department of Justice doesn’t defend attacks on our laws in court, then no law is sound.  As much as I like Obama, this is a serious oversight on his part.  I would think that someone who specialized in Constitutional law would’ve had a little more sight into the big picture.  Calling on the Justice Department to not defend DOMA is wrong.  It sends the wrong message on our Nation’s laws.  It will allow the next President to decide that he doesn’t like a law and tell the DOJ to not do their job to defend our Nation’s laws.

I’ve heard talk among gay people that Obama hasn’t done enough for us.  But, seriously, did anyone really cast their vote for Obama thinking that him being President would mean gays and lesbians would be allowed to legally marry?  I know I didn’t.

I, also, believe that at this moment in time, we have more pressing matters.  Our economy – though it is improving – needs more hand holding.  We need to put the money taken from Social Security and put it back in.  We need to improve our education.  Gay marriage is a little low on the list.

I know President Obama is a politician and politicians do things to gain political power or to make their base happy (Can anyone say Scott Walker and Koch Industries?), but I a truly disappointed in Obama.  I expected more from him than a cold bone that will harm our legal system for years to come.  I wanted the DOJ to defend DOMA to their best of their abilities and then lose because the law is morally bankrupt and unconstitutional.  I wanted a ruling that would stick for years to come, not a band aid.

Obama should’ve come up with a better way to do this.

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