Thursday, October 21, 2004

Our Tax Dollars at Work

In addition to my consulting worok I'm also working for an interior designer and her business manager husband in a small town south of Indianapolis. It is so much fun, and my new bosses are very nice. The husband, like most people in this little rural village, is a life-long Republican and we have interesting and genuinely inquiry-based political discussions.

I mentioned once that one of the main reasons I'd prefer not to have Bush as president is that his support of constitutional bans on same-sex marriage puts my family at a disadvantage financially, especially as we get older or have kids. I also mentioned that John and I would probably move from Indiana if the state rewrites its constitution to further exclude us. He seemed surprised. He then said that he didn't think most people felt as if it should be a political discussion, to which I said that enough people did for the issue to end up as amendments on several state ballots this election cycle.

He asked me if not having marriage rights really put John and I in a bad position. He wasn't being argumentative, he just wanted to know what all of the fuss was about. He asked if there was anything he could read to learn more about it. He's not really a web person so I told him I'd find him something that would explain our situation.

Thankfully, the General Office of Accounting archived a report it wrote back in 1997 at the governments request for a summary of benefits and protections attached to marriage. It is still available and is the source for the over 1000 benefits and protections number quoted frequently by the Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal.

The list is long, which kind of makes my point to my boss, but the report's unwieldy nature makes it difficult for most people to read through quickly, especially folks who are not computer-prone. Imagine my surprise when I discoverd that you could order your own copy, all 50-odd pages of it, for FREE from the U.S. government! Just go here and fill in the information. (Note: you don't need a customer ID number). The report number is OGC-97-16. I ordered a couple of copies--one for my boss and one to plop down in front of my dad, a CPA who ended up arguing with me one night over whether or not John and I really needed all of that marriage benefit stuff.

I'll keep you posted on how it goes with my boss and my dad (I think I may have convinced him, but I never really know)!


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