I want to point something out to folks…
Forrest and I are in a domestic partnership. We’ve been together for just over two years. Neither one of us is in any particular rush to get married, but we have talked extensively and come to the conclusion/decision that we’re going to be together as long as we can. It’s the same decision that people who decide to get married come to, except ours culminated in a mailing of notarized documents to an insurance company, rather than in a ceremony and a trip to a government facility for our papers.
The reason we’re able to make this decision is NOT because of the government – it’s because his workplace (and their insurance partners) have decided that if two people, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, wish to be together and benefit from one another’s company both emotionally and physically, there’s no reason to NOT allow it, nor is there a reason to keep them from being able to benefit from an employee’s health insurance, if they’re willing to pay the cost to add a person on to the plan.
In my mind, while the government voting on this is a positive step, because it means that there will hopefully be fewer roadblocks for those who want to have an actual marriage ceremony, I feel that the ones who need the most change in regards to policy are insurance companies of all kinds, along with hospitals and other places where the issue of someone being allowed to make decisions for their partner is a sticking point.
Even when I was married, I never even saw the certificate, and people took it for granted that I was married just because I reported the name of a male when updating my records at various institutions…I was part of a hetero couple, so the automatic response was acceptance. Our last names didn’t match, but I wore the “right” jewelry and we were the “right” orientation, so it was no big deal. If we hadn’t gotten married, with the way things went, nothing would have been different.
It didn’t MATTER what the government piece of paper said. The fact that we were saying we were married was likely assumed to be provable if necessary at a future time. Well, our domestic partnership is provable at a later time, if necessary. Right now, our proof is that both of our names are on the same insurance card. I have a sheaf of notarized papers that we signed outlining our assets, but that’s not the definition of our relationship, to me. And no one’s asked to see them in regards to my medical care of late. Again, because a major insurance carrier (Aetna) has recognized our legal ability to be on the same insurance plan, they say jump, and everyone does.
Get the legal definitions of a domestic partnership changed in companies that control things like health care, asset management, and the like, and I guarantee that you’ll see an improvement, with or without the government.
(Taxes have nothing to do with it, either – married couples can file as “single,” so there’s no obligation there.)
To end our domestic partnership, you know what we have to do? Fill out a form stating that we no longer wish to share our lives/residence, nor the benefits of such, and get it notarized by anyone with that certification. No legal fees, no lawyers, no mess outside of what we’d already be going through, personally. That’s the way it should be, in my opinion.
(reposted from my Facebook, because it’s really more of a blog post, anyway)
And here’s the obligatory photo to go with the tag: