Thursday, October 08, 2009
The high price of being a gay couple.
My partner and I live in Madison, Wisconsin. The state legislature recently passed a bill granting domestic partnerships a small fraction of the benefits that go with conventional marriage (like being able to visit your ill partner in the hospital, or by default have health care or legal power of attorney if one partner is incapacitated.) This bill is being challenged in court by the same right wing religious nuts who backed the successful drive to add a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. I've become acutely aware of some of the financial downside of being a gay couple over the past 20 years of my current partnership, having been in a conventional marriage for 21 years before that. Now some hard numbers on just how unfair the situation is have been generated by Bernard and Lieber in the New York Times. The lifetime penalty for being in a same-sex couple can range between ~$30,000 and ~$200,000, depending on the circumstance.