Saturday, November 12, 2005

Spain is Nice This Time of Year

A friend who reads my blog was joking with her husband about the possible need to leave Texas as a result of the passage of the recent anti-gay marriage amendment. She lives in Travis County, which was the ONLY county where the proposition failed. She was discussing the tax thing with him. He pointed out that there was no place in the U.S., whether they have passed a law banning gay marriage or not, where we would be granted the same tax benefits as heterosexual married couples.

This is true. Even in Massachusetts, the only state where gay people can be legally married, inheritence tax issues are governed by federal, not state law.

End of life decisions, hospital visitation and other rights are protected (or denied as is the case now in Texas) based on state laws. But if the religious right has their way, states will remove even those protections. How? Through the Federal Marriage Amendment , which was reintroduced into Senate business one day after the Texas vote. The religious right couldn't be more happy.

The Federal Marriage Amendment would make it impossible for gay people to protect their families not only in Texas but in every state. And the Supreme Court would not be able to rule that such treatment is unconstitutional because if the amendment passes, discrimination in fact would be constitutional!

If you care at all about any gay friends you have--even if they don't talk with you about this issue (some people are afraid to)--call or write your congress persons and tell them that you believe discrimination should not be written into the U.S. constitution and that you prefer they not vote for the FMA.

So, you may ask, what is Troy and John's plan if the FMA passes? Well, we've been talking about that and about what we would do if Indiana passed a state constitutional ban, which looks likely in 2008. Both of us have decided that we've waited long enough for the good people to "get it", and we know the scary right never will. If Indiana passes its ban, we likely would work to relocate in one of the countries where same-sex marriage is now legal. It used to be that just a few places where neither of us care to live were options-- like the Netherlands and Belgium. But as of this year Spain and England support gay marriage.

You may think moving to another country sounds ridiculous. I believe living in the 19th century is. If the FMA passes, we probably would stay in whatever welcoming country we find. If just the Indiana amendment passes, we likely would live abroad for three years and then move back to one of the three states where we can be married or have a civil union. Our greatest hope is that we can remain U.S. citizens. We love our country and our friends and family here, but when even the possibility of freedom and justice is written out of our story, America ceases to exist for us.


Anonymous David said...

Stay here? Why? Whats in it for us? When does the next plane leave? Perhaps Ken and I will join you.

7:43 AM  
Blogger Troy said...

I wish you would Dave. If the FMA passes, I suspect many people will feel the need to migrate. Moving away from our networks of family and friends will be heartbreaking enough. It will be easier if we move with or near people that we know. I also believe the wealthier among us should help those who want to but cannot afford to move on their own. I know several families who fall into this category. And they are the ones who would benefit most from relocating through the retirement/end of life and child protection provided by marital status in a place like Spain.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Gabster said...

It is an embarasing thing to have to live in this darn Lone Star hell. I apologize in behalf of the few people with any sense of fairness that exist here (and believe me, there are just a few.) I was requested by my boss to remove my "Yellow equal rights" sticker from my caar as it was bothering some of my co-workers. So I promplty put an L sticker in my car (for Liberal, you see-but they don't know-Let them think whatever they want).

10:07 AM  

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