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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Our View

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Not a gay issue?

There is something seriously wrong with a system that penalizes people for marrying.

Although it may be hard to prove in today's society of no-fault divorces, most people believe that marriage is (or should be) a sacred vow between a man and woman, legally recognized by the government and eternally recognized by God.

When a young man and woman marry they become a family. They share assets, liabilities and benefits their spouse is given through their employment -- like health insurance. If employment ends with a company they still have the opportunity to continue that health insurance for a specified period of time, but at a much higher premium.

When a man and woman marry late in life, after their retirement years have begun, the situation is quite different. Often times their income, including pensions and Social Security, is dramatically reduced because of marriage.

Recently, in Eureka Springs, Ark., a couple in their 80s (a man and woman) approached the mayor about this dilemma. Why the couple thought the mayor of a small town in Arkansas could do something to fix this government loophole is beyond me, but the mayor evidently decided he had the power. The subject was brought before the city council who eventually passed an ordinance establishing a "domestic partner registry."

According to The Morning News of Springdale, Ark., a domestic partnership is "a legal or personal relationship between individuals who live together and share a common domestic life, but are not joined in a traditional marriage or civil union. Many companies recognize registered partners for purposes of health benefits. The partnership has no legal standing."

Call me ignorant, but I can't see how this ordinance would have helped the couple in their 80s who brought this problem to the mayor's attention. A man and woman young enough to qualify for an employer's health insurance would benefit IF that company recognized this registry -- but I'm going to guess that number is pretty low, percentage wise.

So, what was the result of this special ordinance? According to The Morning News, on June 23, the first day to register, a same-sex couple was the first in line -- a same-sex couple was also the second in line. They were followed by a man and woman who had lived together for a year and could legally marry, but "wanted to lend their support to show people this was not a gay issue." The article continued by saying that one of the same-sex couples who registered their relationship did not do so for insurance, pensions or medical benefits. It was simply a symbolic day for the couple to put their commitment to one another on paper.

Not a gay issue?

Little by little, we are losing the foundation of this country -- the family.

Hollywood is showing our nation's young people that "cool" people live together, have a baby or two or three, then, if it "feels" necessary (and the woman has her pre-pregnancy figure back) they will marry in a lavish, virgin-white, million dollar ceremony. Usually followed by a divorce a few months later.

And, same-sex couples are rapidly going from the closet, to forced acceptance by all, to an elevated position in society as the ultimate role model.

Sex has become the defining factor in our lives. It determines who we are, how we live, and who our friends are. And now, sex is determining our laws. How did we ever get so far off track?

Agree or disagree? We'd like to hear from you. Send us your opinion (complete with your name, town and phone number) to Opinion, PO Box 248, Salem, AR 72576 or by e-mail at newsopinion@yahoo.com.