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  • Supreme Court’s Supreme Ruling

    2013 - 06.27

    You know how they say you’ll never forget where you were when something really monumental in society happened?

    For me, I was in the parking lot of Moorhead McDonald’s, when a couple of e-mail alerts came across my smart phone. One from a civil rights organization newsletter I subscribe to, and another from a lifelong family friend sending a photo of a rainbow color enhanced photo of the pillars of the supreme court building.

    I ordered my cheeseburger and went back to the office so my failing eyes could read the news articles on a larger computer screen.

    There are over 1,000 Federal Laws that will now apply to Ricky and I, although we do need to find out if our Canadian marriage license will be valid in the US, or if we’ll have to purchase a license in one of the states who have legalized same gender marriage.

    One of the snarky arguments I’ve used here is to challenge people to explain how same gender marriage would harm them, and then offer a substantial reward.

    In three years, I have never ever, not one single time had one single person give me an example and claim my $10,000 reward. There were more than a few times I worried if I’d get in some legal problems if someone actually did come up with something.

    Turns out, I had nothing to worry about.

    Of the 1,000 laws that now support Ricky and I, the one that really matters to me is the Social Security right of survivorship benefit.

    Ricky and I did well for a few years, and both contributed the maximum required into our social security accounts.

    Those of you of my vintage probably watch those annual statements that come through to see where the benefit you paid into would pay out should the need arise.

    In our case, my death benefit would pay my surviving spouse nearly $30,000 per year. But since I was married to someone of the same gender, that $30,000 per year would be reduced to $0 per year. I’ve had two heart attacks before age 50, so life insurance and survivor benefits are a really big deal to me.

    We have a mortgage on our Fargo home that costs us about 30 grand a year. My death would mean that Ricky could struggle to keep this home. Or pay off some college debt for our kids, or any number of things 30K coming into the household would help.

    That’s how the demise of DOMA changed our life for the better. I’m also anticipating a more favorable income tax bill next spring, along with a number of other pleasant surprises I cannot even imagine.

    We still have a little ways to go. I doubt ND marriage discrimination laws will be struck down in my lifetime. Will we need to move across the river to Moorhead? Claim our home in California as our primary residence? What would be the litmus test for the amount of time spent at a residence for it to be considered primary residence?

    We’ll get that figured out.

    So for today, I’ll remember sitting in Ricky’s sexy SUV at Moorhead McDonald’s and the chirpy notifications than came through on my iPhone with the great news.

    Today’s Gay Agenda: June 26, 2013 will be one of those days that goes down in history for any number of reasons. And most of those reasons will be good, and the ones that are ‘bad’ will die out with the current generation.

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    6 Responses to “Supreme Court’s Supreme Ruling”

    1. Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      A great day for the United States. A great day for you and Ricky when you can have the same benefits as straight couples.

      • Avatar of Mac Mac says:

        So true Sally! A few years ago some friends and I said being at a gay bar after 11 p.m. was like being an animal in a zoo. People came to gawk and the native animals and see what it was all about.

        Gay bars of the early 90′s were great. (before internet) Now, they’ve become obsolete, which is really sad. I met Ricky in a gay bar 11 years ago and it changed my life.

    2. opinionated says:

      Hey squirrel, just so you know, in my book you’ll always be the same. Even if a few queer states pass laws to allow queer unions, pedophile behavior or bestiality encounters, the general public never will acknowledge them. I realize you probably can’t possibly understand such a complicated discussion, but try to understand it’s just “lipstick on a pig”.

    3. kathy says:

      Where did you go???? no posts since late June and I miss reading your ideas and adventures. COME BACK

    4. Laura says:

      Hey Mac ~ Just wanted to say I’ve missed your writing. And thank you as well. Recently, I attended the legal wedding of my friends Sharon and Lorrie. They married on the 21 st anniversary of their original commitment ceremony. It was truly one of the most joyful, love filled weddings I’ve ever attended. My thanks are for your part in bringing about the wonderful changes in people’s perceptions and attitudes. Despite the hateful, negative comments sometimes slung at you, you carried on with good humor, intelligence, and hope. I so appreciate your bravery in opening your heart, your life to us all. And for the laughter!! Wishing you well always!

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