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09/29/2010

Maggie on the record: To grasp her desired future, let's look back

by Jeremy Hooper

Maggie-GallagherThese days, Maggie Gallagher is more mum about the specifics that she would and would not deprive to same-sex couples. But pre-NOM, M.G. had a few more things to say on the subject. So we thought we'd take a brief journey back in time, to August of 2003 to be exact, to get some more concrete answers. Have a look:

(2) health benefits granted by the state to the same-sex partners of state employees?... One-one hundredth of one percent of GM employees extend health benefits to a same-sex partner. Maybe it is not worth fighting about, one way or another. But neither is it an urgent crisis that this is denied. (Hint: why can you extend your health insurance to your spouse but not your sister? Because this particular scheme was designed to allow husbands to protect women from the high costs of childbearing. Take children out of the equation, and most adults work and maintain their own health insurance benefits).

(3)
the right to visit a same-sex partner if he or she is sick or dying in the hospital? I think this is very important and the stories I hear are shocking and distressing. One solution: why not pack some oomph into the medical power of attorney, by allowing the holder to sue on behalf of the deceased if his or her instructions are ignored?

(4)
inheritance rights if a same-sex partner dies without a will? Sorry, if you die without a will you gotta presume you either did not care, or wanted your nieces and nephews to get it.

(5)
the transfer of an estate untaxed to a same-sex partner upon death? Well if the Republican have their way, the death tax will only apply to millionaires anyway, so how many peole [sic] will really be affected?

(6)
the right to take time off from work to care for a sick or dying partner under the Family Medical Leave Act? (you may have doubts about this Act as a whole, as I do, but as long as it exists...) This I am sympathetic too but would have to figure out how.

(7)
the right to have a same-sex partner immigrate to the U.S.? Nope this is a spousal right.

(8)
the right to refuse to testify against a same-sex partner in court? Nope ditto. I doubt very much this one is keeping gays and lesbians (or straight people) up nights.
ALTERNATIVES TO MARRIAGE: THE MINI-ANSWERS [MarriageDebate.com Archive]

So in summation: (1) Equal spousal benefits should be denied because of the low number of employees that supposedly utilize them, (2) hospital visitation denials are "shocking an distressing" but not enough to back the easiest route to shore up these protections, (3) same-sex partners who die without a will were too negligent to be of real postmortem concern, (4) estate transfers are only for the rich, (5) gay family protections under the FMLA must be "figured out" in ways dissimilar from heterosexual families, (6) binational partners are shit out of luck in Maggie's marriage equality-less America, and (7) same-sex couples of fifty years do not get the same refusal to testify right as a opposite-sex couple that has been married for three months. Gee, and here we thought it was all about "protecting children"!

Now, to be fair: We don't know if Maggie still holds all of these views here seven years later. But considering the decidedly more targeted direction that her activism has gone in those years, it's fairly safe to assume that no major change of heart has taken place.

Although perhaps we should call her husband to find out. After all, if there was any kind of heart transplant, at least he would've been by her bedside to see it. Benignly. Easily. Non-controversially. Exactly as it should, would, and could be for all couples, if certain people would just find new hobbies!

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