I am in a long term heterosexual relationship. We have been discriminated against in various little and legal ways because we are not married. There is also a bit of a social stigma that comes with being an unmarried woman in a long term relationship that I deal with more than I care to share. Yes, even in our post-feminist world I am still not an "honest woman" unless I am married.
I say this, not for sympathy, but so you understand my standpoint on this issue.
There's an up coming election in which my adopted home's government is writing discrimination of unmarried couples into the state constitution. The State board of elections
and the amendments proponents claim such an amendment won't really affect unmarried people in ways that people think matter. But language stating exactlythe rights and laws it does NOT effect is NOTwritten into the amendment.
Further those few laws they says this amendment won't change doesn't cover the entire picture.
Bottom line, no matter what you think about same-sex marriage, Virginia's Ballot Measure #1 discriminates against unmarried heterosexual couples.
If the government really gave a shit about marriages, they'd pressure Health Insurance to cover marriage counseling and would teach relationship skills and matrimony/divorce law in public schools, right next to their abstinence until marriage agenda.
But as government pushes the state of matrimony blindly
, without ANY realistic government support for existing
marriages, they become more like those regions of the world that enforce religious mores through law. (You know, the ones we keep saying are "extremists.")
This happens because the CHOICE of following such mores is deteriorated through legislation that it must (or should) be done in 'X' way. When governments do this, such rites and customs become stripped of spiritual significance because there is no personal (or coupled) decision to be different than others who lack faith or beliefs.
When it is legally sanctioned to make conducting regular business so difficult for unmarried couples that it is easier to be single or married than stay together it becomes coercion to marry. Higher finance charges or ridiculous surcharges for unmarried couples in various aspects of business is very probably when a capitalist state declares only one legitimate way for a couple to exist on paper - as this bill does.
Imagine rent being higher for unmarried opposite sex pairs than married ones. Think it inconceivable? They already do this in subtler ways in some areas of VA by requiring that ALL members of a household over 18 make 3x the rent in order to get a lease.
How many unmarried couples have high debt or work paycheck to paycheck as it is? How many have high medical bills because one person is limited in their ability to work and doesn't qualify for insurance? Will this bill do anything more but create new ways for businesses to make money of a select population?
I don't think it will.
If those in power want people to choose marriage, they need to make it a absolute personal choice and NOT one made out of legal and financial desperation. Marriage needs to be entered with eyes wide open and faith that the couple will work things out and not fall back on prenuptials and divorce when things get rough. It shouldn't be entered like a business merger if there is to be anything sacred about it. It shouldn't be rushed into just because it would save money.
Such an amendment takes away choices to live outside of matrimony and, therefor, erodes the sanctity of the choice
to be married. Testing a couples love by penalizing them for existing outside an arbitrary legal standard is not the way to lasting marriages (Though Divorce lawyers must LOVE this bill).
If people really believe in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a women, they will vote NO on VA Ballot Measure #1, and other amendments like it. When you take away choices until there is only 2, nothing is sacred.
Not even marriage.