I had a recent conversation with a friend during which I was asked if committed same-sex couples are the same as committed opposite-sex couples. Aside from opposite-sex couples being comprised of a male and a female, I’d have to say that the answer is a resounding yes.
I explained that gay and lesbian couples in committed relationships do pretty much the same things that their opposite-sex neighbors do every day. They go to work, mow the lawn, pay bills and jointly own real estate.
Lesbian and gay couples have car loans and student loans. They have high school diplomas and college degrees.
Gay and lesbian couples cook dinner or enjoy a meal at a nice restaurant. They take vacations together. They go to plays and movies. They read novels and listen to music on their iPods.
Essentially, committed same-sex couples live lives that are very similar — if not the same as — committed opposite-sex couples.
There is one enormous difference, however.
Opposite-sex couples are allowed to marry in every state and in every foreign country. Opposite-sex couples can adopt children without restriction. Opposite-sex couples can collect their spouse’s social security benefits.
Same-sex couples can only marry in a handful of states. In most states, gay couples cannot adopt a child. Same-sex couples can’t collect their spouse’s social security benefits (even if they are legally married).
Basically, opposite-sex couples enjoy hundreds of rights that are denied to same-sex couples. DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) has allowed this discrimination to be written into federal law.
So, my friends, I’ll ask (and answer) the question again: “Are committed same-sex couples the same as committed opposite-sex couples?”
Yes. Except in the eyes of the law and the minds of the ignorant.
Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog. Read my entire disclaimer.
copyright 2010 Irene C. Olszewski