No More Empty Fortune Cookies!

Friday, February 15, 2008

One small step



I just
read this from the ACLU website
"
NEW YORK – In a unanimous decision, a New York appellate court today ruled that marriages of same-sex couples entered into outside of New York must be recognized. The case, filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union, is the first appellate court decision in the state and the first known decision in the country to hold that a valid same-sex marriage must be recognized here." This is a monumental moment for my community! " Unanimous decision"... That makes me smile. This means that without contest, the New York appellate court agrees that a marriage such as mine and Macey's is equally worthy of the same rights and protections as my mom and dad's. As it stands today, here in Tennessee, our marriage is not even worth the paper that the license is printed on. We flew all the way to Canada, we went to Niagara Falls City Hall and got a license and then we went to a chapel and had our wedding by an ordained minister. Just like thousands of heterosexual couples do every year. Unlike them, our marriage meant nothing to the state or to the federal government once we crossed the border back into the USA. We can't file taxes jointly. Macey can't add me to her insurance policy. We can't even join the YMCA or adopt a kid as a couple. I am going uninsured until my coverage kicks in with the new job. This can be devastating with a chronic, sometimes debilitating, potentially life threatening condition like mine. It certainly is risky. Without the assistance of insurance, my anti-seizure medicine alone can cost close to $300.00 a month for just one prescription. I thought ahead and filled my Rx before my old insurance expired. Luckily my new insurance will go into effect before I need another refill. But if I have a grand mal and hurt myself or go into status epilepticus before I am insured again, the trip to the ER could be devastating to my savings account. Sure, much needed legislation to stop the drug companies from raping us over our meds would be a huge step in the right direction, along with ensuring that every American has access to affordable health care... but that takes us into another realm of injustices. Right now I just want to bask in the glory and consider moving to New York where they will recognize and honor the commitment that my wife and I have made and afford us the same rights as our married heterosexual neighbors.
Now, if we can get this implemented on a federal level...

6 cookies cracked:

Jay said...

Eventually either the US Supreme Court is going to rule that all states must recognize same sex marriages performed legally in other states. That's why the conservative whack jobs are fighting so hard and are so angry about this issue. They know they are on the losing side of history here. They can fight it and prolong it as long as they want, but in the end they'll lose.

No More Empty Fortune Cookies said...

ah, I sure hope it's sooner rather than later. I remember a time that no one I knew believed we'd even get this far in the battle, huge strides have been made. I want to see my marriage recognized by the federal government in my lifetime.

Karen said...

Sad to say, but I don't see it changing on the Federal level for some time. Here in NJ we the Civil Union as the alternative to marriage. We have had same sex partners adopt for more than 10 years. And a lot of companies are allowing same sex and domestic partners to be covered on in medical insurance. But there are a lot of protests here about the Civil Union concept becuase it is different than an actual marriage. I don't think other states are as progressive as NJ.

The reason why I say I don't see it changing on the federal level is that I don't think it is a federal issue. The federal government doesn't have the right to regulate any of our domestic issues. We don't have any National policy on divorce, adoption, child services, etc. Those are state rights and the fed. is supposed to keep their hands off. If they try to bring the issues before the Supreme Court, the Court legally would have to pass on the issue. And the chances of the House/Senate doing anything on the issue are not super. (That is the lawyer in me talking.)

It is such a difficult issue. It is one thing for these religious conservatives to argue policy, but it quite another when you see how it touches lives and families - like yours. One thing is for sure though, it is not American to punish any group of people or to give them less rights than another group.

Sorry I babbled so much...

No More Empty Fortune Cookies said...

Karen,
Thanks for the input...no need to apologize! I see where you're coming from regarding this being a state issue, not federal, but do you think that at some point we have to recognize the unconstitutionality of forbidding homosexuals the safeguards that others enjoy without constraint? By definition it is discrimination. That said, it would then be unconstitutional for states to ban gays from marriage, requiring action at the federal level to interviene.

Karen said...

It is absolutely Unconstitutional to discriminate against any group of people - including homosexuals. Same-sex couples deserve the the same rights and responsibilites as "traditional" couples. I don't think it is a questions under our rules of governmnet. The conservatives who are trying to inject their religious beliefs and their "morality" in to the government are completly wrong. We need to take power away from these a-holes. And I think that will certainly happen in our lifetime.

No More Empty Fortune Cookies said...

"The conservatives who are trying to inject their religious beliefs and their "morality" in to the government are completly wrong." - Agreed! I actually think that the fundamentalist conservative base is loosing it's hold on mainstream politics. We shall see come November I suppose.