Tuesday, July 9, 2013

*Record Scratch*

The Washington Post reported yesterday that the federal benefits of marriage won't apply to same-sex couples who are in legal domestic partnerships or civil unions.

My partner and I, who are in a legal civil union with all of the state-level rights, benefits, and privileges of marriage, have been wondering what impact the DOMA decision would have on our lives. At this point, as far as I can tell, it's not even clear that we can receive the federal benefits of marriage even if we were to, say, obtain a marriage license in, say, Iowa, as we do not reside in Iowa.

I'm not particularly looking for advice on what we should do, I'm just noting another absurdity of treating like couples in un-alike ways. Kind of like how civil unions are supposedly a just-fine substitute for marriage. For instance, even though married different-sex couples and some same-sex couples can now file all of their taxes jointly, my partner and I have to complete our taxes roughly 17 times each tax season since we have to file federally as "single" individuals, complete "as if married" federal returns in order to obtain numbers required to complete our state tax returns jointly, and then actually file our state returns jointly like how different-sex married couples file theirs at the state level.

These are nuances and complexities that I don't think many "marriage defenders" really consider when they oppose equality whislt parroting their vague, generalized soundbites and "every child needs a momma and a daddy" platitudes. Or, who knows, maybe these people get off on being able to make other people's lives more complicated and annoying. Kinda like there's some sort of power trip in knowing they can make other people's lives more difficult.

In other news, Ross Douthat recently raised the possibility of Andrew Sullivan being "the most influential writer of his generation."

I don't know how such a thing would even tangibly be measured or if that bold claim was said more for attention, but I'm especially fascinated when generally anti-gay folks try to write, or revise, histories of the importance of various figures in gay politics.  The whole convo seems to have a tone of men only considering other men to be their peers and true competition in life as Douthat goes on to only consider other men - Paul Wolfowitz, Christopher Hitchens, Kenneth Pollack, and Bill Keller, for instance.

So, that's always fun, especially when political conversations, a large one of which is about same-sex marriage, are also largely thought of as same-sex conversations among and by men.

People really love their Great Man narratives of history and politics, don't they?

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