Wednesday, 17 March 2010

No Wonder Gays Want to Marry

The issue of equal marriage and I first met in the early 80s. I had a brief but mad crush on a guy in one of my classes who, natch, turned out to be gay. We became best friends though and still are.

Soon after he outed himself to me, he outed himself to the world and got involved in gay activism.

Early 80s. 'Gay plague'. They didn't even know what it was yet.

Several of my pal's friends and acquaintances got sick. And died.

And some died alone. Or surrounded by family members they hadn't spoken to in decades. Some had end-of-life and funeral arrangements made by loathed and loathing relatives.

Because, you see, when you are very sick, hospitals will allow only 'family members' in to see you. And a partner, no matter of how long standing, is not technically 'family' unless you've got that piece of paper saying your union has been sanctioned by the state.

And since then -- as now -- there are vicious homophobes in all walks of life, some sick people and their partners were subjected to smirking cruelty by hospital staff who took this delightful opportunity to bash a gay one more time and exclude his partner from his death bed.

Further cruelties were on offer in all subsequent legalities: funerals, wills, child custody, adoption. (Though not many of my pal's young friends had children.)

So, when my sweetie got bad heart news a few years ago, then more bad heart news a little later, all this came back to me.

We weren't married. And we didn't live together, so did not technically qualify as common-law partners.

Medicine has changed a lot since the 80s. It's much less formal now. When I go with sweetie to an appointment, I'm waved into the consultation room too as a matter of course. They assume we're partners or don't care.

But still, we had no legal connection to each other. So we started talking about getting hitched. In 2006, telling nobody beforehand except for the two friends we brought as witnesses, we slunk off to City Hall and did the deed. (Man, was his mother pissed! But then, she was the main reason we eloped, so she couldn't make a big damn deal out of a wedding.)

In my research into the pro's and con's of marriage, I had run into some details to do with money, taxes, pensions, and whatnot. None of this interested or affected either of us much. It seemed that the only change was that now we have to put the other's first name, SIN, and net (?) income on our tax returns.

I do my own taxes, but sweetie uses an accountant. A couple of times, the accountant has transferred to me charitable donations sweetie made and I've saved a few bucks, which of course I use to take us out to dinner.

Sweetie just phoned. He's at the accountant's who has had a fast look at the paperwork. Sweetie had a bad year financially last year. Me, about the same as usual.

Upshot: I get to claim him as some kind of dependent and get a WHACK of dough back.

Marriage -- Come for the sickness and death privileges. Stay for the financial benefits.


deBeauxOs said...

"some kind of dependent" ...? Indeed, of the uxorious kind. Does that term apply to hobby hubbies?


West End Bob said...

Don't you love it when the radical "wrong" gets all up in people's faces about protecting the "sanctity of marriage"? It's especially convincing when they're on their second or fourth spouse . . . .

Torontonian said...

Shhhhhhh Don't let Stephen Harper know about that tax benefit in this special situation.
He'll cut it off because it doesn't square with his religious and world views.

Ask some Liberal MPs like Carolyn Bennett about Harper's aid to Africa not including condoms and you'll see more vividly how mean spirited a man he truly is.

And he's a Christian? Not my brand of Christian.

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