Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Partial List of Legal Discriminations Found in the United States

The recent post 'Senator Rob Portman's Support of Gay Marriage Results in Bigger Government' argues that:
  • Heterosexual marriage is a tri-party agreement (husband, wife, community) with benefits and responsibilities for all parties involved.
  • Because the community -- specifically a State -- has the right to define a marriage, it can also require standards for that recognition: monogamy, parenting obligations, probate, etc.
  • If a community considers extending the benefits of marriage to a same-sex couple, it should identify the benefits with a small government philosophy in mind before developing policy that grows government.  In essence, govern not only with heart, but with mind as well.
One argument heard during the recent Supreme Court hearings was that same-sex couples were being discriminated against when offered a "skim milk marriage".

Extending the definition of marriage to same-sex couples has real costs to the community.  That's the basis of the recently argued U.S. v. Windsor DOMA case that involved an estate tax of $363,000.  What it boils down to is that the community is being asked to invalidate the collection of this tax because two same-sex individuals 'love' each other.  It does not diminish the actual emotions the individuals may have for each other to ask the legitimate question: "Is 'love' the minimal threshold for legal recognition and benefits?"

If promoters of same-sex marriage are arguing that the benefits should not be extended to childless couples, that's an argument that can be made.  The cost/benefits of administrating marriage benefits at such a granular level would have to be debated as well.  Perhaps we can 'settle the accounts' at death and the community can make claims against the estate for marriage benefits extended to a couple that did not 'hold up their end of the bargain' with procreation.

It's worth considering that legal discriminations are written into our current laws that are consistent with the founding and revised (through Amendments) principles of the Constitution.

'Discrimination' in this context is defined as extending (and thereby denying) benefits to a designated legal classification of individuals.  Individuals that are not part of the designated classifications can't rationally argue for the benefits extended to individuals in the 'class'.

 Here's a partial list of some of these 'discriminations':
  • Veteran benefits at the State and Federal level
  • Benefits for disabled individuals at both the State and Federal level
  • Homeowner tax benefits at both the State and Federal level
  • The right to start consuming alcohol once an age is reached at the State level
  • Subsidies for attending college at the State and Federal level
  • Disaster relief benefits at the State and Federal level
  • Non-profit tax benefits at both the State and Federal level
  • Rights of use for private property in designated zoning areas at the State level
  • Retirement account tax benefits at both the State and Federal level
  • Medical savings account tax benefits at both the State and Federal level
  • Minimum income-level discriminations for social services benefits at both the State and Federal level


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