Post Classifieds

Same sex marriage debate continues

By Amanda Leon
On March 28, 2013

  • Taking it back to the roots. A dancer takes it back to the roots of Africa as she dances to the rhythms.

 A lesbian widow was denied the same rights that are granted to heterosexuals after her wife died serving in the armed forces.
 Although the couple was legally married, the National Guard did not recognize it. Tracy Dice Johnson was not the first to be informed of her wife's death by casualty officers, nor did she receive the flag that draped her casket. In addition, Johnson is ineligible for even the most basic survivor benefits.
 The ineligibility of the couple for benefits that is guaranteed to heterosexual couple lies in the Defense of Marriage Act. The DOMA federally defines marriage as the legal union of one woman and one man, leaving married homosexuals without access to the same rights as heterosexuals.
Sophomore civil engineering major Tyrell Dean said, "I do not like that the military lets gay people serve our country, but does not allow their partners to receive benefits that straight couples are allowed to have regardless. It is selfish of the military."
Although nine states have passed laws recognizing the legality of same sex marriages, the federal law bars the partners of homosexual marriages from receiving benefits, for civilians and military personnel.
The amount of benefits granted to heterosexual couples, married or unmarried supersedes those of homosexuals bound by marriage or even civil unions. If counted there are over 700 more benefits for married straight couples.
Freshman nursing major Taylor White said, "It is really unbelievable how different same sex couples are treated. Anyone who wants to be in a committed relationship with someone should be able to and get the benefits of a married person."
Marriages are recognized universally, whereas civil unions and domestic partnerships are not. Therefore, depending on what state or country the couple is in, one of the partners may not be granted equal rights. For instance, same sex couples are not allowed to make decisions on their partner's behalf in case of medical emergency. Specifically, if an individual is unmarried and needs emergency medical attention, the legal "next of kin" may not be the significant other.
If the ill partner were to die, the other may not be eligible to receive Social Security, income and estate tax, disability, family-related military and veteran benefits. In addition without the right to inherit property, the surviving spouse may be left with nothing.
Freshman education major Jalisa Wilson said, "As a lesbian, I am a firm believer in equal rights for all. I support it because I do plan on getting married one day. If anything were to ever happen to me or my wife, I would want to know she would be taken care of."
Also, when it comes to raising families, unmarried couples are denied the automatic right to joint parenting, joint adoption, joint foster care, and visitation for non-biological parents. In addition, the children of unmarried couples are denied the guarantee of child support and an automatic legal relationship to both parents, and are sometimes sent a wrongheaded but negative message about their own status and family.
As a result of such inequality, homosexual couples are fighting for their rights, not only for the right to marry, but also to receive the benefits heterosexual marriages are allowed.
"I will continue to fight for the right to equality, nothing will ever stop that," said Wilson.

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

More pvpanther News Articles

Recent pvpanther News Articles

Discuss This Article



For Panther reads thinking about LASIK surgery. Our LASIK Houston eye doctors are highly experienced and trained ophthalmologists offering LASIK vision correction options to patients in the Houston area. Your Source for LASIK eye surgery in Houston.

Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format