Liberty and Justice for All?
Naturally everyone believes that they deserve the rights they are granted by the government. Paying taxes to the country, serving the community and abiding by the law should be enough to be afforded the rights of an American. However, every day there are people being denied their basic American rights. Gay, and lesbian couples are consistently denied rights that most Americans don’t even appreciate. Many gay and lesbian couples are denied the right to marry despite the freedoms the great American nation was founded upon. They are constantly being looked over and held at an unfair disadvantages, only because of their sexual orientation. Gay and lesbian couples are still made up of two, real, feeling people, who should be afforded the same rights as heterosexual couples.
An issue gay and lesbian couples that are denied the right to marry is their inability to claim their partner’s social security after he or she has passed. This problem does not occur to heterosexual beings after the death of their spouse. The Human Rights Campaign, which work to obtain equal rights for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people, supports the efforts to gain survivor benefits for domesticated partners. Because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), insurance plans are not required to provide a qualified joint and survivor annuity (QJSA) or a qualified pre-retirement survivor annuity (QPSA) to a participant with a same-sex domestic partner or spouse. The Human Right Campaign made a statement, “The equity issue here is not the total amount of the benefit, but rather the right of a participant to elect survivor benefits for his or her surviving same-sex partner or spouse.” They do not necessarily care about the money as much as the principle of the matter. Presently, there are no programs that give homosexuals survivor benefits like the ones that are provided for heterosexuals couples, divorced or married. Gay and lesbian couples are not able to claim benefits of their departed partners, regardless of the fact that all working citizens, heterosexual or homosexual, pay taxes into the Social Security system that pay for survivor benefits. Even though homosexuals and heterosexuals both pay the taxes on survivor benefits, people who divorce can even claim survivor benefits. Same sex couples that have been together fifty years with a life-long, loving relationship get less help from our government than a divorced heterosexual couple. This is a picture perfect example of discrimination against people of different sexual orientation. This is only one instance of the government’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages and deny homosexuals the rights that are supposed to be protected by the state.
It doesn’t stop with domestic partners not getting any benefits, the ones who suffer the worst of such injustices are the children of gay and lesbian couples. The non-biological children of homosexuals cannot receive their survivor benefits if the deceased partner did not legally adopt them. What does this have to do with whether or not homosexuals should be allowed to marry? Same-sex couples also have the right of adopting children, however, they are often typically rejected because of their unmarried status. The children should always be cared for, regardless of the government trying to make it financially hard on their homosexual parents. The government discriminates against the children of homosexuals by not granting them the same rights as children who have heterosexual parents. The Human Rights Campaign also pushes for the fair treatment and rights of the children of homosexual couples, they support adopted children’s right to survivor benefits. It is ludicrous that children are being denied basic rights because of the sexual orientation of their parents. The pain of losing a loved one is hard enough without having to worry about how to get benefits left to the surviving partner, the last thing...
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