Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Friday, May 27, 2005

This does not sound unfair to me

Don't ask me why (Really. Don't ask.) but I get San Francisco Focus Magazine, one of the more hip, liberal publications in this great Bay Area of ours. The June edition focuses on weddings and so, inevitably, it sweeps in gay unions. One of the articles is entitled "An All-Too-Fragile Union : Thousands of Bay Area gay and lesbian couples are learning that domestic partnership isn't in their best interest -- and may never be." This article basically focuses on the fact that all the various benefits and rights California law extends to gay and lesbian partnerships may give them some tax problems. In this regard, yuppy gays may find that it is in their financial interests not to register as partners. So it goes. It was this paragraph, however, that took me aback:

And the impact of AB205 [the Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act] is not limited to families of means. Although legally helpful to some poor families with children, the law socks it financially to many who can least afford it. Generally, in California, same sex couples raising kids have significantly lower incomes than their heterosexual counterparts, according to a 2004 study by the Williams Project on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at the UCLA School of Law, a think tank on gay and lesbian issues. That means they're more likely to qualify for some kind of welfare of public health benefit. However, if they register under AB205, their total household income is used to calculate their benefits instead of the individual income of each partner. According to the Williams Project, this means that thousands of couples could be forced out of state-run public assistance programs, collectively losing as much as $127 million per year. [Emphasis mine.]
Let me step back here. Poor married people are considered as one financial unit for purposes of government aid. That's one of the things that happens when you marry -- the government views you as one for financial purposes. Even in the ultimate nanny state, spouses are supposed to help each other out for the greater good of the family. As I read the above paragraph, though, the gays and lesbians who are demanding that they get treated the same as married people are complaining that their semi-married status means that they're -- gasp -- actually being treated like married people. And this means that the government is viewing them as a financial unit, and they are expected to pool together for the good of the unit. Hello marriage, bye-bye financial aid. I find it shocking that the article implies that people who decide to share their lives, to have children together, to register to get all the benefits society bestows on married couples (pensions, visitation rights, joint property rights, etc), complain because it means a lessening of their government benefits. It appears that they want to be treated the same as married people, only better. I think it was Orwell who said, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." Now I know what he meant.