Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Start

Federal legislation would give gay couples equality in Social Security

I knew when I saw Rep. Jerrold Nadler performing his duties on the House Judiciary Committee that I was a fan. I had no idea how big a fan! He's introduced legislation that would provide same-sex couples the same Social Security benefits as married couples. While, of course, I want to be able to get married, it's good to see someone pushing the envelope--and calling the bluff of Republicans at the same time:
"I've heard many conservatives say that other than the case of marriage, they don't want to discriminate against the LGBT community," Nadler said. "If they truly don't want to discriminate, here is their chance to prove it. Same-sex couples pay the same taxes as married couples, and they deserve the same Social Security benefits as everyone else."
This is an issue of fairness, and that's why, while the bill only has 17 co-sponsors right now, I fully expect that it will pass long before I retire. 30 years ago no one had ever heard of gay marriage, and 30 years from now it will probably be considered a commonplace. I suppose I should remember that when I get so impatient with the pace of progress...


Jonathan said...

Then in 50 years! Polygamy!!!!

Richard said...

And just how would you extend Social Security benefits to the three wives of a polygamous man? Divide them in thirds? If one wife dies, do the other two each claim half of her share, or does that third go away?

Polygamy is not the same thing as gay marriage. I understand why people keep bringing them up together, but the rationale for legalizing one does not demand legalizing the other, and I don't see polygamy advocates finding much success. Changing the gender of one of the participants changes very little about how marriage works, at least from a legal standpoint. Changing the number, though--that changes everything.