What The Hell IS A Domestic Partnership? Maybe Us Gays Aren’t Doing Our Part?
On October 1, 2009 consenting adults meeting the requirements (and a review of their information by the State of Nevada) may legally enter into a Domestic Partnership. Of course the question everyone is asking me is if I’ve pre-registered, if I’m going to register, what it means for me and my partner (who I will have shared 21 years of my life with this next week) and what I’ve found is that after reading the actual law I’m not so sure anyone should be buying a Monte Blanc pen for us to sign or “register” with the state as it were. So I began to look online. I looked a lot. I wanted to see what the difference was between a marriage and a Domestic Partnership in the eyes of the law and do you know what I found? Nothing is what I found and suddenly I could no longer scream (inside my own head) that it was the right wing Catholic crazies or the Mormonians but perhaps it’s us gays not even getting the information that we need to our own group? What the hell IS a Domestic Partnership? Maybe us gays aren’t doing our part? – Don’t Get Me Started!
When someone asked me recently if I was excited about being able to be registered as a Domestic Partner, I went into my usual spiel about how it doesn’t give us all the rights that married people get, that it doesn’t state that employers are required to provide health benefits (because health benefit companies pressured lawmakers to remove that from the bill before it was a law) and then I finished up with what I heard Kathy Griffin say on her show, that there are at least 1,000 rights and benefits that married people get that Domestic Partners do not. The only problem with this argument is that I have no idea if what I’m saying is true in the least. Where is the spreadsheet that shows Domestic Partner benefits/rights on one side and then marriage rights/benefits next to it? A simple list with check marks next to what each one offers. I mean, if I can get that when comparing two different cameras online you’d think I’d be able to get if for something as important as my rights under the law, right? So where the hell is it?
My pal who asked the question about Domestic Partner vs. Marriage rights suggested that I create the spreadsheet myself but I’m not a legal expert and I had trouble reading through the actual law as it’s printed on the Nevada State site as it was, surely there must be some legal gay somewhere who has all ready done this, yes? Well, I’ll keep you posted as I wrote to a couple of the gay legal services and if the spreadsheet indeed exists and they answer me I’ll be sure and post it.
What I can tell you from reading the law is that it’s so confusing that it’s no wonder most of us don’t read the laws of our state or nation. For example, in the Domestic Partner law for Nevada it says over and over again that a Domestic Partner must (under the eyes of the law) be considered a “spouse” and as a spouse cannot be discriminated against. So that sounds good, right? But as you read along you begin to see the paragraphs that tell you the word “spouse” with regards to a Domestic Partnership does not and cannot imply a marital spouse, employers do not have to provide health benefits and that Domestic Partners are responsible for one another’s third party debt. Okay, so what does this tell me? It tells me that if I’m a registered Domestic Partner and the hospital won’t let me in, I can try to get a judge to order them to let me in before my spouse dies. It tells me we can own property together and have the same rights as married people if one of us dies. It tells me that I can’t put my Domestic Partner on my benefits unless my employer allows it and even if my employer allows it, I have to be taxed on the portion paid in by my employer as though it’s additional income (this does not happen to married people). It tells me that although we’re responsible for one another’s third party debts, legally we must still file separate income tax returns because the Federal Government doesn’t recognize our union.
And so I began to wonder if I was only looking at the negative of this situation. Maybe I am, I don’t know because I can’t find the facts that I’m looking for all I can find are lots of opinions (from bloggers like me and we all know how unreliable I can be so can you even imagine what some of these other bloggers are spewing?) but no real facts can I find. Where is my spreadsheet? Where are the legal gays when we need them? It isn’t Pride Week and I don’t think there are any White Parties happening at the moment so will one of you please take a moment from looking at porn online and let me know if my righteous indignation is needed on this issue? Because I can no longer blame everyone else in the world for this injustice if I don’t fully understand the injustice being done, right? And the more I think about it, the more I’m thinking the fault lies within us gays. (I know, shocking, right? The Gay Mafia is bound to be at my house when I get home to take my membership card.) But I’m just asking for the gays to consider for a moment… What the hell IS a Domestic Partnership? Maybe us gays aren’t doing our part? – Don’t Get Me Started!
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An acquired taste, like Tab cola, Some Like It Scott is one gay man's experiences with love, life and things that make him crazy, all done to a musical theatre soundtrack.