Tuesday, February 24, 2004

ATTN: John Derbyshire

Today on the National Review Online, conservative columnist John Derbyshire wrote:
I am totally at a loss with this "gay marriage" business.

Can someone please tell me

(A) Which civil right homosexuals citizens currently do not have,


(B) Which civil right they currently have, that they will no longer have if the President's FMA proposal is enacted?

Thank you. Brief answers only, please.
I assume Derbyshire's truly concerned and not just being a condescending, heartless bastard, so I wrote him to alert him to the following facts.

A brief visit to GLAD reveals that a gay couple, regardless of how long they've been together does not have the following rights and/or benefits:

  • Lesbian and gay couples are not automatically entitled to medical decision-making powers and hospital visitation rights when his/her partner falls ill.
  • A same-sex partner of a worker injured or killed is not entitled to dependency benefits from the worker's compensation system.
  • Protections for families of crime victims, including confidentiality of address, the right to information, and the right to make a victim impact statement are not available to a same-sex partner.
  • Same-sex partners are not entitled to family medical and bereavement leaves from employers.
  • Lesbian and gay couples lack access to family health and auto insurance policies.
  • The surviving same-sex partner is not entitled to protections such as taking a forced share of the estate, and transition protections related to staying in the family home, receiving allowances from the estate to meet current expenses, and being allowed to drive the family car.
  • Surviving lesbian and gay partners are denied automatic inheritance rights, along with spousal preference for administering the estate and taking care of a loved one's remains.
  • A same-sex partner of a public employee is not entitled to pension survivor rights and accidental death benefits.
  • In addition, partners of police officers, firefighters and prosecutors who are killed on the job do not have access to line of duty benefits
  • Gay men and lesbians do not have standing to bring claims of wrongful death or loss of consortium when a loved one's death results from wrongdoing.
  • Lesbian and gay couples are not entitled to legal protections upon the dissolution of their relationship, such as equitable division of property based on both parties' contributions to the relationship and the possibility of partner support.
  • If the couple has children, there is no automatic system for deciding on adequate child support as well as custody and visitation based on their best interest.
That's a good start, isn't it?

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