Political moment

What’s the difference between domestic partners and spouses?

Today I found out that because domestic partners are not recognized by the IRS, while I can get my partner insurance (entirely out of the goodness of the company’s heart), I can’t pay the portion of the premium that covers my partner pre-tax. If I could, I’d go down a tax bracket. For both of us to see a doctor, I’m now bringing home around 50% of my gross rather than 75% because I’m still getting taxed at a higher rate and yet not seeing as much money in my pocket.

“Separate but equal” isn’t. I’m staring at my calculator and my credit card bill and I’m too exhausted to find words to describe how fucking bigoted this is. My partner and I aren’t even in a homosexual relationship! But because we’re not legally married, we’re considered nothing to each other, total strangers who happen to cohabitate.

I suggest everyone try a long engagement period before marriage. It really gives you an appreciation for how wide the gulf between married and not-married is in our society. Married is a binary state in the USA, end of story. Domestic partnership is a joke of a label, a pat on the head meant to appease people who can’t get married.

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5 Responses to Political moment

  1. Jarred H says:

    Well said! I wish more people understood this.

    • yamikuronue says:

      It’s the little things that really get to me – like, re-entering the country, we weren’t allowed to approach the customs counter together because we’re not married. Why does that even matter? Nobody knows. But it does. The rule was probably one at a time only, then someone somewhere probably said “well, families can go through together, that will speed up the lines” and someone else probably clarified “family means married or blood related” and now I’m being told by some bitchy lady that I’m not special enough to answer some questions and walk through a gate with my partner.

  2. Literata says:

    I have come to think that marriage, on the government level, is essentially a personal relationship recognized as a type of corporation. Congratulations, you may now kiss your partner and co-member of the board! To be more precise, it seems to me that it’s a shortcut to establishing the kind of joint political identity that is usually conferred upon corporations, with several special adaptations. This is true historically, as well, except that at most times it was fundamentally a property transaction with women as wealth, being brought in to the corporation so that it could pass its holdings on to the next generation appropriately. This is one more reason the “marriage is sacred” argument just doesn’t hold water.

    • That just collided in my head with the idea that poly folk who wish to get married should form corporations. I need to think on this.

      • yamikuronue says:

        Fun fact: the paperwork to register as domestic partners for insurance purposes includes the declaration that we are each other’s only partners and intend to continue as such. Apparently our partnership is legally invalidated if we’re poly or one of us cheats.

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