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Q: Gay Marriage ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: Gay Marriage
Category: Family and Home > Relationships
Asked by: safety-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 23 May 2004 21:28 PDT
Expires: 22 Jun 2004 21:28 PDT
Question ID: 350984
What are the Pros & cons of Gay Marriage

Request for Question Clarification by mvguy-ga on 23 May 2004 21:41 PDT
Do you mean, what are the pros and cons of a gay couple marrying?  Or
do you mean, what are the pros and cons of legalizing gay marriage?
Subject: Re: Gay Marriage
Answered By: digsalot-ga on 24 May 2004 01:51 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello there

Let's begin with some of the pros.  The cons will come into the subject later.

I am also sure that when you asked this question and launched it into
the ether, you had no idea of who would answer it.  You could not know
in advance if the researcher who locked it was going to be a
conservative or liberal, ultra-religious, not religious at all, or
even gay or straight.  So naturally, there will be a great deal of
subjectivity to the answer depending on which of our varied researcher
personality types tackles it.  and if it were possible to have several
researchers answer it, you would get as many opinions about the pros
and cons as the number who answered.  It is not as though there is
some "official list" of pros and cons regarding gay marriage that
somebody can point to and say, "This is it."

There is a human rights issue here as well as the issue of simple humanity.

Millions of gay people are involved in long-term relationships.  They
have built their lives together, created estates, bought homes and
invested together in time, effort and money just as have millions of
straight people.

But be that as it may, many gay couples face a far higher risk of
living the last years of their lives in abject poverty due to the fact
that they are not eligible for many federal and state protections
ranging from social security survivors benefits, estate tax exemptions
and more.  People who have been together for many years may be barred
from visiting their loved one in the hospital because of restrictive
"family only" rules.  They may be denied shared quarters in a nursing
home and many will, and have, lost their homes if their partner needs
government help for long-term care.

Social security survivor benefits are denied.  If one member of a
married couple dies, the surviving spouse can choose to retain his or
her own benefits or accept the spouse's, whichever is higher. The
benefits provide financial security for survivors who stayed home or
earned a lower income than their spouse.  Gay couples live their lives
in the same manner.  One earns more than the other, or one takes care
of the house while the other works.  There are no differences.  Yet
same-sex couples are ineligible for survivor benefits.

Married people can inherit unlimited assets from their spouses without
triggering federal estate taxes. That's not the case for gay couples.
If one partner dies, the other could pay estate taxes, even on a home
that was jointly owned.

And that is not the only tax penalty gay couples face.  If a married
401-K owner dies, the surviving spouse has the option of rolling the
money into his or her own retirement plan, deferring tax until the
money is withdrawn.   Gay beneficiaries are required to take the money
as a lump sum and pay income tax on the entire amount.

Then there is the out and out theft of a gay partners assets.  Most
state inheritance laws don't recognize same-sex couples, which means
the deceased partner's assets will likely go to siblings or other
family members, even if they've been estranged.   A gay couple may
have spent decades building an estate together and it can all be
grabbed away by the relatives of the deceased and this theft takes
place with the assistance of the legal system.

When a member of a married couple goes into a nursing home, the
government requires the couple to "spend down" most of their assets
before the individual is eligible for Medicaid. But the rules allow
the healthy spouse to keep enough money for living expenses. Also, the
home isn't counted as an asset, allowing the healthy spouse to remain
at home.

The emotional horror is just as real as the financial.  Imagine a man
or woman in the hospital waiting area while their partner of many
decades is dying elsewhere inthe building.  Because of restrictive
family only laws, they may never be able to see each other again or
say good-by.

But many of those who oppose gay marriage simply don't care.  The
suffering means nothing against their personal sense of
self-rightousness or against the fact that government has saved a few
dollars in benefits.  Even some of the "real" family visitors who
enter the parients room may not have seen him or her in years.  But
there is a nice estate they will be able to snag onto as soon as the
person dies.

Ending this travesty of financial and emotional abuse is the number
one "pro" of gay marriage.  And it should outweigh any other
considerations the anti-gay marriage crowd may throw together.

One of the "cons" commonly brought up is that that marriage shouldn't
be defined in terms of the financial benefits it provides.  Yet if
those financial benefits were going to be denied those who "commonly
bring it up," you would be able to hear the roar of protest in the
next galaxy.

Many of these same opponents claim couples can protect their interests
through joint-ownership agreements, health care proxies and other
legal contracts.

The fact is that it's impossible to replicate with contracts all the
protections marriage provides, which become increasingly important as
couples get older. Even civil unions, don't trigger any of the over
1,000 federal benefits and protections a marriage license triggers.

That same protection doesn't extend to gay couples.  Many couples have
been forced to give up their homes so one partner can qualify for
Medicaid coverage.  Once again it is a matter of legal theft with
government compliance.

It is a travesty and a national disgrace to force elderly people into
poverty because the person they loved was the same gender.  And like
it or not, it is a disgrace to those who oppose gay marriage whatever
their reasoning might be.

Of course there are quite a few "cons" which really are personal to
the marriage rather than those caused by government or those tied to
some dogmatic absolutism that does not allow them to see past their
own self-rightous noses.

Marriage could save gay couples thousands in taxes or ot could mean
the trouble and expense of redoing wills which are rendered null and
void by marriage.  If a couple splits up, it will mean somebody may
well have to pay alimony, with a cost in lawyers fees of course.

"When gay people are accorded the right to marry, it doesn't just
simply bring with it this big basket of benefits," said Susan A.
Huettner, chairman of the Massachusetts Bar Association's family law
section counsel. "It also brings with it a big basket of

So, I suppose there could be put together a list of pros and cons.  Of
course any such list I put together will be highly opinionated as you
probably have gathered by now.


1 - Denying gay marriage is a violation of religious freedom (civil
and religious marriages are two separate institutions). While marriage
may have a religious basis in certain cultures and faiths, as far as
governmental agencies are concerned it is only a legal contract. 
Those who would deny gay marriage for religious reasons also largely
claim their opposition is based on religious freedom and their desire
to prevent, what in their eyes is a sinful act.  Yet while claiming
"religious freedom" they are more than willing to deny such freedom to
all others who do not follow their version of theology.  Religious
freedom which defines itself as the freedom to impose their standards
on all others is a farce and it is wrong.

2 - Marriage benefits (such as joint ownership, medical
decision-making capacity) should be available to all couples.  Of
course we covered much of that above.

3 - Homosexuality is an accepted lifestyle with a proven biological causation. 

4 - Denying gay marriages is a form of minority discrimination. 

5 - It doesn't hurt society or anyone in particular. 

6 - The only thing that should matter in marriage is love.  This of
course is of no concern to those who oppose gay marriage in that it
doesn't meet with their "socially and morally approved and stamped"
version of love.

7 - It encourages people to have strong family values and give up
high-risk sexual lifestyles.

Some of the "cons" most commonly heard:

1 - Most religions consider homosexuality a sin.   See number 1 above.  

2 - It would weaken the definition and respect for the institution of
marriage.   I haven't the foggiest idea how.  Marriage has already
evolved through many changes in the history of the world.   Many of
those who oppose gay marriage also state that marriage is already
weakened in modern society.  I'm scratching my head over that one. 
Since there have been no gay marriages till just recently, I guess all
those straight people weakened the state of marriage in anticipation
of what was to come???????

3 - It would further weaken the traditional family values essential to
our society.   I find it ludicrus to believe that what brings people
together in lasting relationships weakens family and values.  This
argument is based largely on religious principles rather than any form
of pragmatic thinking.  See number 1 above.

4 - It could provide a slippery slope in the legality of marriage
(e.g. having multiple wives or marrying an object could be next).  On
my, as if multiple-wives were something new and never heard of before
and as far as marrying an "object?" - ok, I'll get this computer a

There is no way I can see anybody being hurt by providing the ability
for us to take care of one we love, emotionallyor financially.

With all the problems and violence in the world, I would think those
who oppose gay marriage should find something more worthwhile to
occupy their time other than sticking their noses in to one area where
love and security is trying to take root.

It is far more beneficial to society to provide a system where people
can take care of each other than it is to bow before the mean spirited
dictates of the dogmatic absolutist.

Search - none
Terms - my own personal views

Thank you for the question.  I think it was one of the more important
we have had in a while.


Clarification of Answer by digsalot-ga on 24 May 2004 02:01 PDT
I have a paragraph out of order so that it makes no sense.

As I typed, I was jumping back and forth with ideas and this one got a
little out of proper sequence when I was cutting and pasting the
ramblings back together.

The two paragraphs which should go together read as follows:

"When a member of a married couple goes into a nursing home, the
government requires the couple to "spend down" most of their assets
before the individual is eligible for Medicaid. But the rules allow
the healthy spouse to keep enough money for living expenses. Also, the
home isn't counted as an asset, allowing the healthy spouse to remain at home.

That same protection doesn't extend to gay couples.  Many couples have
been forced to give up their homes so one partner can qualify for
Medicaid coverage.  Once again it is a matter of legal theft with
government compliance."

safety-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thank you so much.  My daughter is doing a paper on Gay Marriages. 
She is pro gay marriage but was having a difficult time getting her
thoughts to the paper.  I think this will help her.

Subject: Re: Gay Marriage
From: neilzero-ga on 23 May 2004 21:44 PDT
If the government refuses to sanction gay mariages. the legal
complications are unlikely, should the couple decide to go their
separate ways.
 The socialistic government is spared considerable expence if the
couple becomes dependent on welfare,if they donot recognize the union,
so that is an advatage to the government, but a disadvantage to the
gay couple who would like the government to reguard them as married,  
Subject: Re: Gay Marriage
From: owain-ga on 24 May 2004 06:14 PDT
Neilzero commented: "The socialistic government is spared considerable
expence if the couple becomes dependent on welfare,if they do not
recognize the union,
so that is an advatage to the government, but a disadvantage to the
gay couple who would like the government to reguard them as married, "

That can work either way. In a situation where one partner is affluent
and the other is not, by not recognising the union the govt may have
to support the less affluent partner as a single person. By
recognising the union, the govt can assess both partners' assets and
income when determining the entitlement to welfare benefit.

Anyway, as gay people are a fairly small proportion of the population,
those in relationships smaller, and those who would marry if they were
given the choice is smaller still, gay marriage will not have much if
any effect on macroeconomics.

Subject: Re: Gay Marriage
From: dr_bob-ga on 02 Jun 2004 10:29 PDT
They haven't invented Gay Divorce yet???
Subject: Re: Gay Marriage
From: seankubin-ga on 23 Sep 2004 23:31 PDT
I think the Con's were not sufficiently argued nor researched.
That Said I will review your points in greater light.

1. Homosexuality is a sin. America acknowledges the exhistence of God, and 
praises him daily.  Our currency says it, our pledge says it, the year
of the lord is when he died on the cross. Every meeting of congress is
started with a prayer- and has been started with a prayer since the
days of washington.
To simply accept something that is an abomination to God - our
recognized source of strenght and protection - is going to become a
nationally endorced policy will have devastating effects on religion. 
Religion, and in particularly christianity will be antagonized should
Homosexual marriages be recognized.  I would rather antagonize the
homosexuals personally- but you go watch a "gay pride" parade and
decide for yourself.
I see this forced acceptance of Sin as an attack on the church. Even
now we see reverse-discriminations against traditional marriage
groups. The boy scouts for example, have wisely seperated the men that
like to have sex with men, from the children.  This common-sence
precaution has lost them federal dollars, and even more dollars in
discrimination courts.
 "Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."Our constitution made
efforts to protect Religion.  These efforts are being subverted by the
"black plague" the liberal judges.  In the comming years after gay
marriages you may well see more and more churches lose their 501c3
status, and pastors goto jail for preaching hate messages- even if
they are non-violent.

2. Weakening the marriage.  Traditional marriages were a young couple
that built their life together.  Non-traditional marriages (the weaker
ones) are the repeat husbands, with multiple divorces.  Wives today
can leave their husbands, collect alimony and child support, while
living with another man.  That is why there are so many "Dead beat
dads"  Marriage has competition with live in spouses, wife swapping.
(the concept of which has been piloted on the "mommy swap"), and
easier methods of commiting adultry. (Internet communication, and
automobiles) Gay marriages will annihilate any familiarity society had
with the institution of marriages.  This is an obvious obvious point
that *I* am scratching my head about.

3. Traditional family values.  This is a tricky one but none the less important.
 Traditionally, in the good christian family home, Dad went to work.
The Son helped dad, and the daughter helped mom. Each learned how to
be a good mother/father by being with their mother/father.  Discipline
was done my dad, and chastisement by mom.  Both loved the children,
and the children were obedient to their parents.   This family picture
is distorted when dad leaves mom for another mom.  But the picture is
shattered when dad leaves mom for another dad.  There are two kinds of
people readin this right now, half dont see my point because they cant
relate, and the other half see my point and do relate.  For the former
group, I put it another way.
  The ability to bond with a male is corrupted.  This has religious
roots and common moral grounds.  The idea is just as natural to reject
as a "father that fondles his daughter."  Both notions lower that
moral platform. (The children will grow up thinking that sort of
behavior is acceptable.)

4. The slippery slope. 
Once the "Barriers" that prevent gay marriage are beaten- then
precedence is made.  And new forms of marriage are allowed to enter
into exhistance, polygamy suits and petitions have been knocking on
the door for years.  Inter-generational relationships aka child
molesting, is next.  And if beastiality- incedentaly another "accepted
lifestyle with a proven biological causation."- can be the next animal
rights case.  And why stop there? The joke about a computer, who is to
say that a woman can't find enough satisfaction in a collection of
loved objects that she can dedicate her life too.  Other than moral
grounds- no there will be no stopping these issues.

Responce to the only Gay "pro"
There are thousands of benefits given to married peoples, and each of
them made with the understanding that a traditional family would be
recieving them.  Property disputes and the like even if it is a
thousand, or tens of thousands, should be handled as such, their
findings documened, and made law to make sure that justice is done to
those who die, and those who live.

In conclusion-
The moral barriers in place are not harsh, they are not enough to keep
profanity off T.V., they are not enough to keep pornography from the
hands of children, nor are they enough to keep children out of
pornography.  They are also not enough to prevent a couple from living
together in any lifestyle they choose.  The moral barriers are like a
set of brakes.  Every once in a while they may lock up, and annoy the
driver.  But to remove them from service entirely- as allowing such
radical concepts as same sex marriages, polygamy, incest, child
pornography and so on, may seem like political wisdom, until our
little car goes crashing into the ravine.

On a side note,
Kerry and bush both oppose same sex marriage.
Bush wants one definition for America.
Kerry wants each state to have one- up to fifty different definitions.
 Kerry also voted for partial birth abortions, and a bill that would
allow children to undergo abortions without parental notification.
 Bush opposed all forms of abortion.
Subject: Re: Gay Marriage
From: raxis-ga on 26 Sep 2004 09:11 PDT
One of the biggest problems in all of this is the word "marriage" its
self.  Because the word marriage has such strong links to religion, a
lot of the problem is that the same partnership between a man and a
woman cannot be found in any recognized religion for two men or women.
If the word "Partnership" or something similar (just an example) had
been used to define, describe and name the legal contract entered into
by two people.  Most of this problem would not exist.  Without a
religion a god cannot exist. Without a religion a form of marriage
cannot exist. yet a belief can exist without a religion because the
word "belief" is not so harshly linked to religion as god or marriage

If the only thing that gay couples are after is the legal recognition
of partnership rather than the social confirmation and acceptance of
their Status. Maybe all that is needed is a law that would allow two,
unrelated people to be recognized as "related", much like laws
surrounding adoption do between a gownup and a child, and the level of
that relation (is it equivalent in standing to parent, sibling,
cousin, etc).

(the problem that still exists in this... the closest legally
recognized relationship between two unmarried people, does not come
with all the legal rights and benefits of two married people).

I'm sure that people can also see how this goes beyond same sex
relationships in allowing two or more, unrelated people, not in an
"intimate" relationship, to declare themselves equivalent to any
legally recognized "natural relationship".  I wonder to myself, what
other problems and questions, in society, this would answer... or

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