Marriage is love.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Semantics Be Damned...

"Marriage" to me means that next year, when my partner's H1B Visa runs out, and she will have to return to Canada for two years if she cannot for some odd reason get a job here...that it wouldn't matter because we could get married.

Today, in our current political and evangelical climate, if I went down to Little Havana on 8th st here in Miami and snagged an unemployed, illiterate, illegal, unbathed, immigrant male, I could marry him and get him full rights and privileges of US citizenship simply because he has a penis and I have a vagina, and that, in the mind of too many, transcends any other factors.

It transcends the fact that I am a law-abiding, Masters-level educated, entrepreneurial, female American citizen, who is in a committed relationship with a person who is Canadian, and an American-educated vascular surgeon, but alas, also a female...she must wait in line with everyone else, with no guarantees...

Forget the word marriage - if unions between two people were NOT tied in with the church this wouldn't matter.

Civil union means nothing - no tax exemptions federally, no spousal immigration rights, no spousal protections in court...

And while some "civil unions" or even state-allowed marriages (Massachusetts) allow for companies to provide domestic partnership benefits, here is a fact:

Many (in fact most) large corporations are self-funded in terms of their insurance benefits. This is different from companies who have an "insurance" plan for their employees like, Blue Cross, Aetna, United, or HMOs...say for example, Fedex - huge, national company, is self funded for employee insurance benefits. So, insurance is regulated by the state - EXCEPT for when the group is self-funded...then it is regulated on a federal level. Guess what? Even in Massachusetts, where marriage is LEGAL, self-funded groups (i.e. Fedex) are not required to provide domestic partner (or spouse, in Massachusetts), benefits, because of DOMA (thanks, WJ Clinton)...

The word marriage means nothing to me. The term civil union means nothing to me. They are both just words, terms, etc. The fact is that I, even if I were straight, would not want to get "married" in any church, in any religion. I would however, like to commit to my life partner - in my case another female - with all the rights and RESPONSIBILITES that everyone else in my family took on and received when they committed to their spouses.

There's my 2 cents.

Ms. Julien in Miami