Publius / October 7, 2015

The Marriage Law of Unintended Consequences

It boils down to an insistence that law rules the nation.

Now that the Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage the law of the land, the laws regarding domestic partnerships are unequal. In the slow tilt toward redefining marriage before Obergefell v. Hodges, the Obama administration issued a series of changes, one of which same-sex couples could reap federal insurance for their partners and children. Now the Office of Personnel Management, effective immediately, overturned that policy. For same-sex couples to reap federal insurance, they have to be married. If we’re going to redefine marriage, we must also insist that marriage is equal across its benefits and responsibilities. That includes the same responsibilities that come after the honeymoon — of tax laws, insurance policies and in divorce. “This is a legal question more than a moral one and I think people deserve to expect some consistency,” Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw writes. “If a dating, heterosexual couple can have the boyfriend barred from the girlfriend’s hospital room (even if they live together, have kids, etc.) then why would we bend the rules for another unmarried couple simply because they happen to be of the same gender?” It boils down to an insistence that law rules the nation. Not that the ruling had anything to do with democracy, but for some reason it brings to mind the H.L. Mencken’s quote: “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

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