Benefits fairness or special treatment

Benefits fairness or special treatment

Regarding the Benefits’ Fairness Act now being pushed by the VoteonMarriage crowd, which claims that there is need to set out in Massachusetts law rights and benefits for those “ineligible” to marry. I already addressed this fallacy about ineligibility, but there is a second fallacy.

The reality is that you can already assign these benefits to another person.

Specifically the Act entitles two Massachusetts adults who are ineligible for marriage to enter into a legal arrangement which provides for reciprocal hospital visitation, health care proxy designation, after-death decisions, inheritance and estate designation, and mental health decisions. The legislation also enables employers to include this new designation in their life, health and other benefits programs.

But nothing is preventing two people from going to a lawyer and signing powers of attorney over to each other in these situations. What the law would do is make these options automatic for certain classes of people granting them a status akin to marriage.

This Act offers Massachusetts citizens a practical and cost-effective way of securing legitimate and necessary rights, responsibilities and benefits based on need, not on sexual preference,” said Rep. Philip Travis (D)-Rehoboth, the Act’s key sponsor.

Cost-effective. They’re making it cheaper and creating a special class. I think they’re hope is that since any two people will be able to assign such benefits to one another easily that it will undercut the drive for gay marriage, taking away some of the arguments of the pro-gay marriage people. But I think it will backfire on them, because what it does it removes the uniqueness of marriage and the incentives for people to enter into marriage.

Fr. Clark alludes to the fact that it was the easy accessibility of divorce through the no-fault laws that began us down this path. Where will it lead? Same-sex marriage is not the end point. How about polygamy? Don’t laugh. The Canadian government is already considering it. Group marriages? It will only result in chaos. A time will come when real marriage—one man, one woman, and their children—will be seen as an archaism. I hope I’m not around to see it.

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Domenico Bettinelli

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