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Survivorship Rights For Homosexual Couple: A Step to Equalize America
The fight for and against homosexual rights has been raging for years. The fight has become increasing brutal in the last decade. This article aims to help compromise the issue. Love is love. Regardless if the love is considered sinful, you can’t deny that love is there.
You and your partner have been together for eight years and ten months. You both are happy, content, and more in love than ever. You share everything; a bank account, a house and your lives. Tomorrow, your partner will die at work in a contained fire. Neither of you ever made a will, because you thought you would be together forever. You now have utilities and house bills to pay, on top of losing the only person you ever truly loved. You were barely making ends meet to begin with, and now you don’t have their help. The state treats you like strangers. You want to start a new chapter in your life but the law won’t let you. They don’t recognize the love and memories you shared and because of this you’ll never truly be able to move on. The courts have deemed you excusable. You receive nothing from the life you just lost. You are alone. Alone and clinging to the past.
Only a handful of states recognize any form of homosexual rights. This ranges from adoption rights all the way to full blown marriage. Our country is divided on the issue.
“This is a celebration of individual freedom, not of homosexuality. No government has the right to tell its citizens when or whom to love. The only queer people are those who don't love anybody.”
- Rita Mae Brown
Death is the great equalizer, everything will eventually die out; People, ideas and way of life, will all eventually decay into nonexistence. Gay couples, currently, have no legal claim to their deceased partners’ insurance claims, realty, or possessions. They cannot make any medical choices for their partner nor can they visit them in Intensive care. Many Conservatives and Religious people are not open to marriage for marriage is defined, to them, as “the holy union between a man and a woman.” There isn’t anything wrong with this but the definition has begun to change in past years. The Great Compromise will be decided in the near future. That event is imminent. A possible solution is to grant Survivorship rights to Homosexual Couples across the country.
A formal definition of marriage, in my state Kentucky, is "marriage" refers only to the civil status, condition, or relation of one (1) man and one (1) woman united in law for life, for the discharge to each other and the community of the duties legally compulsory upon those whose association is founded on the distinction of gender.
Basically, the requirements for getting married are simple:
One man and one woman have to be the ones getting wed.
You need to be legal residents of the United States and of the individual state.
After these requirements are fulfilled, the law views you as a joint “claim” for the duration of the marriage. This definition stands strong in many more conservative and religious states (KY, TX, FL, AL, etc.). By granting survivorship right to gay couples, you achieve a harmony between the Pro-Gay and the Anti-Gay. This enumerated right doesn’t infringe on the institution of marriage but, at the same time, allow homosexuals the protection of the law before and after death. Four basic rights fall under the title “Survivorship Rights”, they are as followed:
The right to health insurance coverage on the other's policy (Joint Health Insurance)
The right to make health care decisions on behalf of the other party if incapacitated without a valid Health Care Directive. (Deciding Medical Actions if a specific person has not been designated or cannot be present.)
The right to put in a claim to inherit from the other's estate.
The right to share in business enterprises, real property or personal property owned or in the possession of the other party.
This is in no way violating the constitutional clause but still allows homosexuals to care for their partner when on Death’s doorstep. The granting of these rights is not exclusive to this act but does provide a “starter kit” for many states that cannot agree or are hesitant on the issue.
The question of eligibility and applicability comes to mind when dealing with any group that cannot be legal bond. The answer is simple; the Common Marriage Line. Once again, I feel the need to mention that is this act is not a gay marriage act nor is it promoting the bonding of said individuals. The mission of this bill is to simply allow basic rights for a disputed group of people. The Common Law Marriage Line, for the purposes of the act, will be defined as “the amount of time needed for a two heterosexual people to be considered married in a strictly legal sense.” While Common Law Marriage is not recognized in every state, the act will simply use the clause of seven years minimum for the age of the relationship to be eligible. In this case, they would then become eligible for the Survivorship Rights after the said seven years of being together.
The couple will not automatically receive these rights on their seventh anniversary; they will simply become eligible to apply for the rights. Application is simple, more of a process than an “application”. The authorization to decree a gay couple survivorship rights can occur before death by visiting a lawyer and filling out the corresponding paper work; paperwork similar to those when creating wills. If the couple has not filed for survivorship rights, the surviving widow/widower can protest the court to identify their relationship as such. Alternatively, the opposing legal party can petition for the removal of said rights, with sufficient reasoning and evidence. The right to approve either petition will be made either by a jury or a court-appointed judge.
The presence of such a policy inhibits the room for fraud as well as saves time and money for the judicial system of the respective state, more specifically the district in which the claim falls. The act includes the possibility of revoking the rights based on whatever reasons the judge deems compelling enough. The act will also make do with any existing anti-discrimination laws and passing of such act will extend those anti-discrimination policies onto the homosexual couples while filing the claim in court. That means that the judge cannot rule against them on the sole fact that they are of homosexual orientation. The presence of such anti-discrimination policies does not require the judge to automatically allow the given rights they are, it is simply to deter the judges that do not practice “blind Justice” and allow their personal morals to influence their decision. Any discrepancies with be dealt with on the state level, and if need be, the State’s Supreme Court. Any further action after the Supreme Court ruling will be overruled unless convincing evidence to reopen the case is presented. This decision will be made by a judge that had no previous connection to the original case.
The presence of these rights helps to clear up the jurisdiction concerning gay couples in states that have no laws against them but do have constitutional definitions of marriage and/or the ban on civil unions and gay marriage. This act does not necessarily fit into every state’s individual rulings and law on the topic of homosexuality but does act as a catalyst in which the idea can be rewritten and conformed to fit any state’s polices.
The love you once shared has been lost. The law keeps you from moving on and society even more so. You want the courts to recognize your relationship but they won’t. You are excusable. This act makes life better for all. It cleans up the cluttered Judiciary System and prevents the loss and use of state funds used in any legal battles between the State and the survivor.