Pittsburgh Family Examiner
There is no area of our lives which has been more deeply invaded by government than our traditional families and family relations. First, you must have the permission of the government to get married. Why is that important?
First, you may not be able to marry the person you would otherwise choose. Generally speaking close family members are not allowed to marry. Family as far removed as cousins are restricted in this regard, as are other close family. Also, people with certain illnesses, both mental and physical are not permitted by the state.
What about your housing? many areas are restricted by zoning laws which limit occupancy of dwellings to single families. It is much much easier to avoid zoning hassles with a marriage license. The Courts have ruled that certain people qualify as families without the traditional husband, wife, and children relationship. Not every landlord or municipal government agency automatically allows non-traditional families, however.
Will you ever get sick? Most states still restrict family insurance benefits to a trasditional husband and wife (and children thereof). If not married, is there a separate policy for each husband or wife? And the restrictions on same sex couples are even more restrictive.
Retirement can also be tricky. If there is no legally recognized union. Your elected officials (and mine) have enacted laws which restrict the payment of so-called 'survivor' benefits only to surviving partners of legally recognized unions.
Finally, the sensitive subject of end of life decisions. Who can make the decisions for a person who is in a terminal, permanent vegetative state? No legal union - could be the hospital, doctors or in extreme circumstances, the government itself.
Who gets deceased persons stuff? With no legally recognized spouse, then the children if any, or if there are no other heirs, then the state. Look for more information on these issues in the future.
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