by Ed Felien
You have an absolute right to love whomever you please (if youíre both over 18 and you donít do sexual acts in public). The U.S. Constitution guarantees you the right of freedom of association. You have as much right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as anyone else.
government grants special tax benefits to married couples, and most states recognize
marriage as something between a man and a woman. This is clearly unfair to homosexual
couples, and it is clearly unconstitutional. The state cannot declare a section
of the population second-class citizens. In spite of the fear and bigotry that
is being whipped up by Karl Rove and the Republican Party locally and nationally,
it is inevitable that gay couples will be recognized as having the right to
marry. But that only means itís inevitable if progressive people work
for it. It could take five years, or it could take five hundred. That choice
is dependent on how hard we work.
What is marriage?
Marriage is a contract of mutual responsibility. You agree to take care of another
person. Carol Hogard, one of the co-founders of the Womenís Studies Program
at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (and, in the interests of full
disclosure, my wife,) says case law has stated that marriage means you canít
abandon your spouse at a freeway rest stop. In the interests of a well-run society,
it is good that individuals assume responsibility for each other. Conservatives
should appreciate that this saves taxpayers that responsibility. You donít
have to be gay to benefit from gay marriage.
We have provided a Commitment
Covenant. It is not a marriage license. It will not be recognized by the
State of Minnesota as a marriage license, so you cannot file a joint Minnesota
tax return. It will not be recognized by the federal government as a marriage
license, so it will not entitle couples to federal tax benefits.
It is a simple contract that says two people agree to love each other, to share
their fortunes and to take care of each other and any children that they should
pick up along the way. Absent
any other legal documents or declarations, this document should be recognized
by Probate Court, hospital administrators and financial institutions as a statement
of intent, but there are no guarantees. Admittedly, this is a new and controversial
area of law.
If you have any doubts, please consult an attorney.
Good luck. Best wishes. ||
Ed Felien is the
publisher of Pulse of the Twin Cities
Jack Baker cautions