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1138 Reasons Why
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 2012-05-13 10:30:00

I've always known that there are many reasons why Gays fight for the right to marry, not the least of which is to enjoy some of the same rights that Hetero couples enjoy. But I was not aware there were actually 1,138 Federal Rights that are denied to people who cannot marry. This doesn't include the many that your state may already have!

Here is just a sample, a smidge, a pittance of the rights that my partner and I don't have, or, will have to pay an attorney to provide us. Just a few:

Social Security

Social Security provides the sole means of support for some elderly Americans. All working Americans, including the gay one, contribute through payroll tax, and receive payments upon retirement. Surviving spouses of working Americans are eligible to receive Social Security payments. A surviving spouse caring for a deceased employee’s minor child is also eligible for an additional support payment. However these benefits are denied to gay and lesbian Americans because they cannot marry.

LGBT couples cannot pass their estate to a spouse tax-free, which creates a huge tax burden that can result in the loss of a spouse’s home or business.

The list of tax rights that married couples enjoy is very lengthy, but here are just a few of them:

Estate Taxes: GLBT couples cannot pass their estate to a spouse tax-free, which creates a huge tax burden that can result in the loss of a spouse's home or business.

Property Taxes: GLBT partners must pay property tax when transferring property between spouses.

Joint Taxes: As mentioned, LGBT couples cannot file taxes jointly; as a result, taxes for a LGBT couple can be significantly higher.

Head of Household:
Well, who would be the Head? Adam or Steve? This exemption effects couples that provide for the child of their partner. A married couple would automatically receive this exemption. The only way a gay couple could do this would be to adopt the child of their partner. But guess what.....

Gay partners are not eligible to adopt the child(ren) of their partner.

Child Tax Credit
Taxpayers meeting income eligibility requirements are entitled to a credit against tax for qualifying children in their households. This provision limits the child tax credit to children who meet the relationship test set fourth in the earned income tax provisions, § 32©(3)(B). As set forth above, § 32 does not include children of a taxpayer’s domestic partner if the children are not related to the taxpayer biologically or through adoption.

Earned Income Tax Credit
Eligibility for the earned income tax credit is based in part upon the number of “qualifying” children in the taxpayer’s household. The definition of qualifying child under this provision includes only a child who is the taxpayer’s (a) biological child or descendent; (b) stepchild of the taxpayer; or © adopted child.

Property Taxes: GLBT partners must pay property tax when transferring property between spouses.

Speaking of Property: Married couples automatically receive property and assets from their deceased spouse, gay couples do not.

Work related:
Gay partners are unable to sue for wrongful death of a spouse.

Gay partners are denied payment of wages and workers compensation benefits after worker death.

Taxation of Retirement Savings
Under current law, when a retirement plan participant dies, plan benefits must be distributed in a lump sum or remain in the plan to be distributed in accordance with the minimum distribution requirements. Because gay and lesbian couples are treated as strangers under federal tax and pension law, they cannot transfer plan benefits without incurring significant penalties, and do not have the flexibility to withdraw funds when they choose.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees family and medical leave to employees to care for parents, children or spouses. As currently interpreted, this law does not provide leave to care for a domestic partner or the domestic partner’s family member.

Medical Decisions: During a medical crisis, GLBT couples cannot legally make treatment decisions for their partners.

Indeed, unless you've been to an attorney and have the paperwork in place, gay couples cannot visit the other in the hospital. Additionally, the partner of the non-adopted child would be banned from medical decisions if the child's parent is unable to make decisions. For example if parent and child are in a car accident, the gay partner would be unable to make medical decisions or even to visit either the child or the partner!

Straight couples can marry for love, but they also get rights that are denied to same sex couples. Even if the only reason you wanted to marry was for immunity from being forced to testify against your spouse - you'd still get all these other rights.

My partner and I just used up our daughters college fund on hiring a lawyer. Is that fair?

7 comments (Latest Comment: 05/14/2012 14:50:59 by Scoopster)
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Comment by AuntAzalea on 05/13/2012 12:22:42
Amazing and incredibly frustrating. Thanks for a great article.

Comment by Raine on 05/13/2012 13:32:00
May I please first and foremost say this:

Happy Mothers Day Velveeta and Auntie! you so very much.....

This is a very big point I try to point out to people when they don;t quite understand why there is such a difference between civil unions, etc., and marraige -- and why repealing DOMA is very critical.

There are actual legal rights that are denied to a very large portion of the American population. We need marriage equality, period. It's not just above love -- it is about equal protection and it is imo opinion unconstitutional.

Comment by TriSec on 05/13/2012 15:42:21
Hmm. America, fair or not?

But it all comes down to religion, doesn't it? If we weren't founded on that "Judeo-Christian Values", I doubt any of this would be an issue.

'course, as a closeted Muslim myself, I can only imagine what it must be like to have all these things denied to you just because of who you are. Our forebears lived through the original Civil Rights era, maybe with what happened in NC this past week, v2.0 will have to start.

(And having just passed through North Carolina, we caught an NPR report on a local station about a nice couple that worked at a university, I forget which one, that is now looking for tenured positions in another state because they can no longer live in their home state.)

Very sad.

Comment by Raine on 05/13/2012 17:58:57

What do you think? too much? I mentioned something along these lines a few days ago, with the idea that Clinton was called the first blackPOTUS by Maya Angelou. The reason why she did so made a lot of sense to me, so I pondered then, this very thing.

Comment by BobR on 05/13/2012 19:32:48
excellent blog - informative and concise. Sharing with my fb friends

Comment by Scoopster on 05/14/2012 12:54:40
Mornin' all & Happy Mondee..

As we already know, many of the items on this list will also adversely affect unmarried heterosexual couples. Perhaps as that takes hold these people will realize how their own discrimination is hurting everyone.

Comment by Scoopster on 05/14/2012 14:50:59