Trace and I are finally starting a family! We’re having a baby in April and are so incredibly excited. More on this soon.
In planning for the arrival, Trace looked in to adding me and the little one to his insurance plan since I am currently on my own and have terrible coverage. Even though his company and Blue Cross Blue Shield honors partnerships, the group plan vendor does not. I cannot be added to his plan.
In 2007, Trace and I sealed our relationship with each other by celebrating with friends and family. However, we choose to forgo legal marriage in order to stand in solidarity with our queer friends and family that don’t yet have that privilege.
And it really is a privilege – a HUGE one.
To me, love is love and that should be enough to argue for marriage equality. But there is more.
The barrier to health insurance is just one piece. When Trace and I file our taxes, we have to file individually as single, so we miss out on a huge tax brake that our friends estimate to be around 1K a year. When Trace was sick and had to go to the hospital, we were worried that I would not be able to accompany him to his room. Fortunately, I was able to. And a few of our queer friends that I’ve talked with have also been allowed to accompany their partners. Though, the uncertainty is utterly nerve wracking.
In talking with a friend that shared a homestead and farm with her partner, she told me that when her partner passed she had to pay $7K in inheritance taxes for the land that they co-owned as a family. Since they had no legal option of marriage, they were not legally recognized as family and thus she had to incur a tax that blood relatives or married couples do not. I assume she’s also not able to benefit from any social security benefits like my mom does.
I was adopted, and I was very interested in going that option (and still am for the future), though, without being married only Trace or I am able to legally adopt a child. Could you imagine loving and caring for your kid and ending up not having any legal rights to share custody if the relationship falls apart?
And, if one of us were to go to prison, we would not have the same visitation rights as if we were recognized as a family.
I’m sure there are more things that I have not yet run across that make it clear that not allowing certain people to marry is unmistakably discriminatory.
These are reasons why ALL PEOPLE need to fight for marriage equality – and we need to fight hard. Not only should we vote down the proposed amendment here in NC, but we should work to make marriage legal on the state level while working on our communities, workplaces, and agencies to better support every family’s needs.