Patchwork of Documents Isn't Adequate or Fair

We often hear from supporters of the ban that gay families don't need civil unions or marriage because private legal documents will do the trick. This is not true.

It's just not possible to draft legal documents to cover the vast majority of legal protections that come with a marriage license. For example, there's no legal paperwork that can allow a life-long partner to avoid being taxed for assuming a partner's estate. There's no legal paperwork that gives someone the ability to take bereavement leave if a partner dies--rather than having to file a vacation request.

Equality Maryland, a statewide LGBT advocacy group, released a report yesterday that details the tremendous obstacles facing gay families. It explodes the myth that private legal documents are enough to keep families stable and secure in times of sickness, health--and taxation.

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At 6:43 PM, Blogger Tom in Rhinelander said...

This does not mention the costs to provide these documents. We spent $3,000 to get the same thing heterosexual people get for a $25 marriage license. Granted our legal documents were a bit more complicated because of our individual situation. But the fact remains that it is unfair to have to go through the expense of having to do this and as the article mentions it only provides you the right to make health care decisions for one another and to inherit property. My understanding is that any property you inherit you must pay taxes on but not married heterosexuals. You do not get the right to use your partners employer provided health insurance, social security benefits, or the many other things married heterosexuals take for granted.

At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Eleanor T. said...

I agree, not only are these legal documents not enough, but the issues surrounding class that this type of argument implies are really alarming. You can buy rights if you want them? That doesn't sound constitutional to me.


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