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California domestic partner bill misguided

Scott Tibbs, August 20, 2003

I have been thinking about the debate over homosexual marriage. My conclusion is that I agree with President Bush that marriage should be defined as a union between a man and a woman. I do not believe the state should be giving homosexual unions the weight of law. I support a Constitutional amendment that would allow states to not recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. I do not, however, support a Constitutional amendment that would define marriage at the federal level. If a state wishes to recognize homosexual marriage (or "civil unions") they should be able to do so under the Tenth Amendment.

However, it is reasonable that homosexuals should be able, under freedom of contract, to legally designate some of the same rights available to married couples, such as rights regarding property, inheritance, wrongful death, and power of attorney. But there is no reason these rights should be available only to homosexuals. Canada has implemented this into its Adult Interdependent Relationships Act.

But the major problem with legislation such as this is that it imposes a burden on the private sector. For example, California Governor Gray Davis (in a move calculated to bring homosexual Californians to the polls as he fights the recall) has pledged to sign a bill that would entitle homosexuals to "health insurance and pension coverage and collection of government benefits, including public assistance."

Businesses should not be forced by government to treat a homosexual couple the same as a married couple. In addition to the obvious First Amendment implications, this is another unfunded mandate by the government that will cause the cost of doing business to increase. Mandating insurance coverage (among other things) is for all intents and purposes a tax increase on not only business, but on the consumers who those costs are passed on to.