Cape Gazette

Responding to letter on civil unions

By Sandra Snowberger | Feb 21, 2013

I wish to respond to the letter that you ran last week that addresses gay marriage. I am not disputing the numbers the author presented, but I do want to address the why.

My partner and I did take advantage of the Delaware law that permits civil marriage for gay couples in Delaware only because she is an employee of the State of Delaware. (We have been a couple for 25 years.) This then allows the civil partner to be covered on the state health insurance policy of the partner who is a Delaware employee.

I can attest that the gay population in Delaware is interested in gay marriage, but civil marriage offers nothing to gay couples unless at least one of them works for the State of Delaware.

Several of my friends only saw it as a “registration” of their sexual orientation and it offers no advantages to them to engage in a civil ceremony.

So, we still need gay marriage that will offer the same opportunities that straight marriage offers to the participating partners. If the federal law is ever modified to include gay marriage, then we will have equality.

Sandra Snowberger

Comments (2)
Posted by: Jim Austin | Feb 21, 2013 12:52

The DE civil union law for same-gender couples is certainly not equal to the marriage statutes that heterosexual couples enjoy, but it's a step in the right direction. It offers a few new benefits--and responsibilities--not previously known in the First State.


About a thousand of the legal benefits of civil marriage come from Federal statutes and customs. There will not be true equality for gay couples until those who are legally married in states that have legalized it are covered on an equal basis Federally. That starts with the repeal of DOMA, and ends with legal recognition of married gay couples for purposes of inheritance, IRS filings, Social Security, and much more.


In this interim period, gay couples having a civil union or marriage in a state that offers it has this drawback. They must still file individual Federal tax returns--OR they must file a joint state return, then recalculate to file separate Federal returns. Two sets of rules, some in conflict with each other. This is complicated, and can be expensive compared to married heterosexual couples who file both returns jointly. This is a huge burden that fairness dictates be resolved.



Posted by: Barry Wayne Price | Feb 21, 2013 19:01

Marriage = Equality

-End of Story

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