Monday, July 23, 2007

"This is not about gay or lesbian.... This is about the law being fair."

In New Jersey, a lot of companies haven't been giving out insurance to the partners of gay employees and so on because civil unions aren't marriage. And now, in Los Angeles, we see something similar. A married couple separated, and the woman is now living in a registered domestic partnership with another woman. However, the man has to continue paying alimony because, the judge ruled, domestic partnerships aren't marriage.
The judge ruled that a registered partnership is cohabitation, not marriage, and that Garber must keep writing the checks, $1,250 a month, to his ex-wife, Melinda Kirkwood. Gerber plans to appeal.


Lawyers arguing favor of same-sex marriage say they will cite the June ruling in the Orange County case as a reason to unite gay and heterosexual couples under one system: marriage.

In legal briefs due in August to the California Supreme Court, Therese Stewart, chief deputy city attorney for San Francisco, intends to argue that same sex couples should have access to marriage and that domestic partnership doesn't provide the same reverence and respect as marriage.

The alimony ruling shows "the irrationality of having a separate, unequal scheme" for same-sex partners, Stewart said.

I predict that the court could simply say "Well, yeah, but that's only because the judge in that case misapplied the domestic partnership law. Legally domestic partnerships and gay marriages are indistinguishable." Which would then bring up what conceivable, possible reason the legislature would have for denying gays "marriage" but giving them "domestic partnership". I don't think that could pass even the "rational basis" test.

Anywho. The man of the couple, Ron Garber, didn't much like the ruling and plans to appeal.
"This is not about gay or lesbian," Garber said. "This is about the law being fair."

Bingo, Mr. Garber.

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