On Marriage, Part 2: Abolish Marriage

Quote, straight ally: “I have the privilege to marry, and gay people deserve access to marriage too.”
Why? What does marriage give us that we can’t otherwise get?
Hey allies
You know how to give us all power?
Give yours up
Stop getting married
Get rid of the institutionalized, government-sanctioned power of marriage
I’m not talking civil unions
I’m talking about wiping the slate clean and dealing with all this shit piece-by-piece
Kids, hospitals, insurance, assets
There’s already most of the legal groundwork
Every one of us has the potential to be in a variety of legally bound relationships with other people
Allies, gays, everyone who believes that all people deserve access to the legal benefits of marriage
We need to engender a cultural shift away from questions like “are you married” to questions about your relevant specific legal relationships. Let me explain:

1.) Children. Every child needs a family,
Cousins and uncles and aunts,
There are all kinds of parents
All kinds of lifetime responsibilities to care for a person
If the state’s asking,
legal guardians have certain kinds of responsibilities till the kid turns 18

2.) Hospitals. Health care directives are legal documents stipulating loved ones who can see you in the hospital and decide what to do if you’re unconscious
The first question in the hospital to someone inquiring after an unconscious loved one should be, do you know how where their health care directive is?
Are you in it?
This directive can include any important information about your body and who can make decisions regarding your health,
Maybe there are some members of your biological family you’d like denied this access,
Maybe there are life partners who you want doctors to report to
Maybe you need emergency room doctors to know things about your body like past surgeries, medications, hormones, allergies
To do a health care directive you just write it all up, go to the notary with your loved ones and sign it. Health care providers are legally required to follow it.

3.) Money. There are a variety of financial partnerships for life already set up:
shared assets; beneficiaries to bank accounts; living wills
Taxes? You can own a house with whomever and the tax break is split
Government benefits?
We need a little work on social security, veteran and military benefits.
We need a whole conversation about immigration, citizenship, and partners –
We’ve needed that conversation for a long time.

4.) Health insurance. We need some lobbying on this one although lots of companies are already there – health insurance through your employer or medicaid should be shareable with partners of your choosing and all children under your guardianship.

5.) Legal rights. Power of attorney. You can give any partner any list of rights to sign for your shit – for some of your shit, for all of your shit, for just certain shit.

Allies, gays, queers,
do we think every person deserves the family and life partners of their choosing?
Do we think these relationships should be legally recognized when it might make a difference for life and health?
Abolish the legal ramifications of marriage.
We’ll all be better for thinking about these legally bound relationships piece by piece.


Published by kris gebhard

Kris (pronouns they/them) is a clinical psychologist, poet, percussionist, and gardener currently residing in Chicago, IL.

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