M Is For Marriage Equity
I'm a little late posting today. I've spent the day finishing up our taxes. The spouse and I file a joint return, one of the many benefits of being a married couple. A few years ago when the spouse had a heart attack, I was the person the hospital notified. We have great medical insurance because we're double covered by both his employer and mine. Our retirement income is secure because if either of us dies, the remaining spouse will continue to collect the benefits. For forty-two years I've taken the perks of marriage for granted.
I have friends in committed long term relationships who can't count on these same benefits. If their partner is ill, they have no right to be informed of their medical condition. If their partner dies, they won't collect survivor benefits. There are a lot of benefits that marriage bestows that I never think about.
I live in a small town in a conservative part of the state. There are very few openly gay people. Oh, there are plenty of people who identify as gay, but our area seems to have accepted don't ask, don't tell as a way of life. When I think about it, I realize how terribly hard it must be to live a lie. How heart breaking that a gay person doesn't feel safe holding their partner's hand while walking down the street. How unfair it is that a couple can't formalize their relationship legally.
Oregon has not yet legalized same sex marriage. It's time.