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March on Springfield for Marriage Equality October 22nd, 2013
Marriage is an important institution. It is through marriage that
adults throughout our country and throughout the world express their
commitment and devotion to each other. In turn, governments use the
institution of marriage to recognize and protect family units.
However, the definition of marriage has not been static throughout
history. The definition of marriage has changed considerably from
biblical historical days, when the marital unit might have included more
than 2 adults and when every participant’s consent may not have been
readily apparent. In past traditions, marriage was sometimes used to
consolidate wealth, produce children, and create kinship between
powerful families. The legal and social benefits of marriage continued
to evolve to accommodate changing needs of societies.
Marriage continues to serve as an important civil institution in
America today. Its protections continue on many levels: financial,
legal, social, and emotional. Even while the institution of marriage
evolves, it is still the avenue through which our society provides
benefits, rights, protections, and responsibilities to partners.
Marriage bestows a host of benefits -and responsibilities – to
couples who choose to marry. The following is a short, illustrative
list of some of the more than 1,000 benefits and responsibilities that
married couples enjoy automatically, yet are denied to same-sex couples
that cannot wed.
- Automatic inheritance, even without a will
- Responsibility for each partner’s debt
- Ability to put partner and partner’s children on medical or life insurance
- Hospital visitation rights
- Ability to make partner a U.S. citizen and prevent deportation
- Right to take leave to care for a sick partner
- Ability to make medical decisions in an emergency
- Privilege from testifying against partner in court
- Ability to file joint tax returns and use tax benefits for married couples
- Exemption from gift and estate transfer taxes
- Right to joint parenting, adoption, foster care, and visitation of children
- Right to recognition in all states
- Right to file wrongful death claims for a partner’s death
- Right to a divorce, court division of property, and visitation of children in times of breakup
GRAB A BUS RIDE THERE AND JOIN US!