Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Unintended Consequences

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:17 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

First, let me start by saying that I think this is all a good thing.

So, I saw in the news this week that another state has upheld the right of same sex couples to marry. I think this is a good thing. If one truly believes in the separation of church and state then defining marriage in terms of a particular religion’s view of a committed partnership, the lines are being blurred. A civil marriage is a contract, plain and simple. Call it by any name you like, marriage, domestic partnership, I don’t care. It’s still all the same. It’s a contract. A commitment to another person, primarily, a financial and fiduciary commitment, but, still, it is what it is.
Perhaps I’ve read too much science-fiction, but I think it’s time we, as a nation, learn to accept that people are going to arrange their love lives along lines that, frankly, we cannot dictate. People’s hearts will do what they will and trying to legislate something else is, well, foolish, I think. I suppose it would irk my conservative father, but I really haven’t seen anything wrong with marriage as a simple, civil contract between two consenting adults who wish to simplify certain financial arrangements for a long time. And, I’d even take that a step further and allow plural marriage, among legal adults, if it was so desired. It’s an old-fashioned notion that marriage, as a contract, should be between just two people. Of course, we have to draw the line somewhere, I suppose, and same-sex marriage is at least a start

But, I think some people are forgetting the Law of Unintended Consequences.
Consider, for a moment, taxes. Will same-sex marriage partners be assessed a marriage tax? I think they should be, just like heterosexual couples. Will employers count them the same? Will benefits pay the same? Will this finally end all justifications for pay inequality between men and women? After all, one of the several justifications I’ve heard for paying men more than women was that men more often had to take care of a family. Well, now, the reverse may finally be true in the eyes of the people who matter, regardless of how long it may have actually been true. Perhaps, I dream too large.
Still, the real ramifications of these decisions being made won’t be felt for many years to come. By definition, we cannot know all the myriad ways this will effect our society. I hope everyone who has wanted this so badly is willing pay the prices to go with the change.
Both the prices we know now, and the prices that have yet to be tallied.

UPDATE:  You know, after reading this entry this morning, it occurs to me that I should have added that I hope the people who have agitated for this are, in fact, willing to pay all the prices for this to truly succeed everywhere.  Because, I think it’s worth the price.  Truly, I do.  It’s just that so often, we want the change without considering what the change will really mean.
I hope it means that some of my homosexual friends can finally enjoy the same misery, and joy, of being married that the heteros have for, lo, these many years.

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