Marriage: Rights & Privileges

I read a post on a blog about marriage earlier that I typed a four paged rant, then deleted it, and then wrote this one instead. I am a lot calmer now.

Bear with me, okay? I’m not people bashing.

I am going to be abundantly clear on my stance on marriage, and before I go into that, here are some facts about me:

  1. I am a woman, as defined by the body parts I was born with.
  2. I am a mother of 2 children.
  3. I have a life partner who is, in the eyes of the governments around the world, my husband. Yes, he is the father of my children.
  4. Both my children were born BEFORE I said the words “I do” in front of the mayor who conducted our marriage ceremony and two witnesses.
  5. I do not believe in the institution of “marriage” as far as love is concerned.
  6. I am an LGBTQ equal rights activist.
  7. I also believe that we are all entitled to our opinions and live by our beliefs.

Now, marriage… is not about love. (I have a feeling I’m going to get flamed for that.)

It is not about showing anyone that you and your spouse “love” each other. Marriage, and that piece of paper that establishes the relation you have with the person whose name is on there with you, is a contract between two people defined by government law (and in many countries between two families) that establishes any and all legal actions that are applicable if any fallout was to happen. People get married mostly for financial reasons and gains. It is about the stability of people groups. And if either party was to “violate” the agreements of this “coming together,” then consequences will ensue.

We all know this list of “violations” – infidelity, abuse, neglect, imprisonment, etc. There are certainly many more, depending on the country one lives in and the laws that country has in place.

Marriage is about rights and privileges granted by the government so parties involved can be protected and other institutions understand how to regulate their clientele.

For example, when I was in the hospital for the delivery of my son, I was not married to my son’s father at the time. For him to be in the delivery room with me, I have to request for him to be there – and I didn’t remember this until he was asked to leave during my epidural. After that incident, I informed everyone in the room that the father of my child is to remain with me at all times and have the right to make any decision regarding my wellbeing if I become incapacitated or incoherent. I was brought documents to sign for this to go into effect. If we had been married, he would not have been asked to leave. This right is only given to married couples – not people in domestic partnership or any other status.

If I was ever incapacitated and in ICU, and not married to my husband, it didn’t matter that he fathered my children, he wouldn’t be able to visit me, be notified by medical professionals about my condition, much less be the person to make decisions about my healthcare. Those related to me by blood would be – parents, siblings, children – but he wouldn’t have those rights unless I put through more paperwork before an incident was to happen. I believe some people believe that to be bad luck.

Another important right given to married couples is the protection from incriminating your spouse. That means one party cannot be forced to offer information against his/her spouse no matter what. This is simply one of the very few reasons my partner and I did get married. As a legal resident, I can become a pressure point against my partner by threat of the removal of my status. As far as my understanding goes, within the United States of America, not even a warrant can override this. Don’t quote me on that. I’m not an attorney.

Health insurance, what I believe is to be the most expensive scam of this country, refuses to add “family” members to an employee’s health insurance plan unless they were married. My husband had insurance coverage. His children had coverage under him, but for years, I didn’t have any. Being his life partner wasn’t enough nor was being the biological mother of his children. Proof that we reside in the same house wasn’t enough. Domestic partnership isn’t accepted. Only married people, and we had to provide a copy of our marriage certificate for that to be accepted. So this would be another privilege not given to anyone unmarried.

Am I getting the point across or do I need to keep adding to the list? *sighs*

Procreation, my dear friends, associates, acquaintances, and family members, is a miracle granted to all species that reside on Mother Earth. It is the result of evolution for the sole purpose of survival, not a “God-given right.” Without it, everything will die out. Whether one was married or not has nothing to do with procreation. Species without a “marriage” ceremony still procreate and reproduce. Some mate for life. Others have multiple partners. Every species have their way of doing things, but that doesn’t mean none of them could have been homosexual. In fact, wolves can be homosexual.

Being able to “procreate” shouldn’t be made special. While it does take a lot for procreation to occur, it still requires everything involved to be perfect for that sperm to meet that egg and continue to stay in specific conditions for a baby to result at the end of 10 months.

I’m over simplifying it, but that is the gist of it.

You know what I believe?

I believe the system of so many different types of people exist because we all need one thing to live a quality life – love. It takes an egg and a sperm for a baby to grow from, but it takes more than that for a baby to survive. It takes community, and the people power required to raise children, hopefully in the best environment possible, is a high ratio per child. That’s why family members are often involved.

Do we not have children in the system from all sorts of backgrounds who do not have a loving, caring home? This is where I want to bring up the issue of nature-versus-nurture. So what if a homosexual couple couldn’t procreate (well, gays anyway. Lesbians have the option of IVF these days)? They have what it takes, regardless if the relationship is monogamous or polygamous, to give these children – all borne from hetero relationships, mind you – that love, care, and security that will hopefully allow them to live full and productive lives.

I would have thought that most governments would be well invested in future citizens capable of earning incomes that will help pay down the national debt instead of doing everything in its power to try to move in opposite directions at the same time.

And before I forget…

“Marriage” comes with risk as much as rewards, mind you, to anyone. If I was to die tomorrow (*knocks on wood*), whatever debt I have incurred becomes the responsibility of my spouse. As an unmarried homosexual (or any other, actually) couple, if things did fall through, they can walk away from each other a lot easier than a married couple, and I assure you, even as a married couple, homosexual partnerships will still be taxed heavier than heterosexual ones.

So in the face of all this, understanding that the battle for the equal right of “marriage” has nothing to do with procreation but have a lot to do with privileges and rights…

(For something as simple as standing at the bedside of a life partner in the hospital as an example and having the privilege to be included in updates… THAT is love.)

…who are we to say no? What do we, as heterosexual couples, lose by letting homosexual couples have what should be their rights and privileges as much as it is ours?

And how do you classify the people born with both sets of genitals? Are they man or woman? Who can they marry? What are their rights? (Well, guess I’ll be doing research tonight.)

There is something good to be gained here by sharing the good with everyone. Change is inevitable, so why can’t we try to make it a change for the better instead?

.

I’m not trying to be a bigot, or insult anyone’s intelligence (I don’t think I did), but as a realist and an optimist, I hope we can improve and move up the world. Not fail upwards.

.

❤ Lavender Wynter

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