It provides a mechanism for emotional stability, economic security, and the healthy rearing of the next generation.We rig the law in its favor not because we disparage all forms of relationship other than the nuclear family, but because we recognize that not to promote marriage would be to ask too much of human virtue.
Last month in New York, a court ruled that a gay lover had the right to stay in his deceased partner’s rent-control apartment because the lover qualified as a member of the deceased’s family. Conservatives saw judicial activism in favor of gay rent control: three reasons to be appalled.
Chastened liberals (such as the editorial page), while endorsing the recognition of gay relationships, also worried about the abuse of already stretched entitlements that the ruling threatened.
To be sure, potential DPs have to prove financial interdependence, shared living arrangements, and a commitment to mutual caring.
But they don’t need to have a sexual relationship or even closely mirror old-style marriage.
The concept of domestic partnership ignores these concerns, indeed directly attacks them, this is a pity, since one of its most important objectives—providing some civil recognition for gay relationships—is a noble cause and one completely compatible with the defense of the family.
But the way to go about it is not to undermine straight marriage; it is to legalize old-style marriage for gays.
Several cities have “domestic partnership” laws, which allow relationships that do not fit into the category of heterosexual marriage to be registered with the city and qualify for benefits that up till now have been reserved for straight married couples. In these cities, a variety of interpersonal arrangements qualify for health insurance, bereavement leave, insurance, annuity and pension rights, housing rights (such as rent-control apartments), adoption and inheritance rights.
San Francisco, Berkeley, Madison, and Los Angeles all have legislation, as does the politically correct Washington, D. Eventually, according to gay lobby groups, the aim is to include federal income tax and veterans’ benefits as well.
The New York rent-control case did not go anywhere near that far, which is the problem.
The rent-control regulations merely stipulated that a “family” member had the right to remain in the apartment.