Saturday, May 31, 2008

Recognition of Same-Sex Unions in New York

Gov. David Paterson of New York has directed all state agencies to begin to revise their policies and regulations to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, like Massachusetts, California and Canada. The New York Times reports that in a directive issued on May 14, the governor’s legal counsel instructed the agencies that gay couples married elsewhere “should be afforded the same recognition as any other legally performed union.”

The revisions are most likely to involve as many as 1,300 statutes and regulations in New York governing everything from joint filing of income tax returns to transferring fishing licenses between spouses. This appears to be the first step in the legalization of same-sex unions in the state of New York. Currently, Massachusetts and California are the only states that have legalized gay marriage, while New Jersey and Vermont allow civil unions. Forty-one states have laws limiting marriage to a union between a man and a woman.

Read the entire New York Times article on same-sex unions here.

plez sez: i sincerely believe that everyone should be treated equally under the law. without benefit of a binding contract, gay couples do not have the same benefits as married couples (taxes, estates, insurance, etc.) in most states.

plezWorld was raised in a strict baptist household, went to church every sunday. to my way of thinking, marriage is a construct of religion. marriage was created to foster the stability of a household and build the continuity of a community. marriage was created for the purpose of procreation (i.e. having and raising children according to the norms of the community).

gay marriage doesn't seem to fit the construct that benefits the continuity of the norms of the community. my daughter has a school chum who had two mommies. those two mommies broke up and each has a new partner. now my daughter's friend has four mommies! parent-teacher conferences must be a real bee-yotch! i'm afraid that doesn't fit well with any social norm that comes to mind.

i think there is a simple solution to this conundrum: reserve marriage to a ceremony that is performed in a church and allow the state to sanction a civil union that can be recognized as a contract between two people for legal reasons. this way, the church can maintain the sanctity of marriage and the state can provide equal rights to those who religious beliefs don't fit into the constructs of a marriage (between a man and a woman). currently, you have to fulfill a number of requirements before you can get a state issued license to get married. why not make a slight change to that license to include any civil union between two people and then reserve the church sanctioned marriage to those who would rather preserve the religious recognition of their union?

my solution probably opens up another "can of worms" that hasn't even been considered, but i will leave that up to the reader to ferret out and set me straight!

1 comment:

Hathor said...

I don't see 4 mommies as any more convoluted than 2 or more mommies or 2 or more daddies, with step siblings, half siblings and whole siblings; whole custody or joint custody. These aren't just celebrity's families, but could be 40% of your neighborhood.