Marriage Rights & Responsibilities

Hey all! I am finally stepping back into the blogosphere after a mini break. I have lots of new topics planned, so check back for extra videos and posts every week! :)

Being surrounded by lots of folks in their late teens/early twenties getting married, I decided that this week on my YouTube I would vlog about marriage and the question of getting married young:

In the video, I talk about the legal implications of marriage in the United States. Here is a more comprehensive list of the rights and responsibilities, compiled from the Partner’s Task Force for Gay and Lesbian Couples, Wikipedia, and the General Accounting Office (GAO). You can find a full original list with all 1,138 rights (written by the GAO) here!

Typical Rights Granted by the State:

Assumption of Spouse’s Pension
Automatic Inheritance
Automatic Housing Lease Transfer
Bereavement Leave
Burial Determination
Child Custody
Crime Victim’s Recovery Benefits
Divorce Protections
Domestic Violence Protection
Exemption from Property Tax on Partner’s Death
Immunity from Testifying Against Spouse
Insurance Breaks
Joint Adoption and Foster Care
Joint Bankruptcy
Joint Parenting (Insurance Coverage, School Records)
Medical Decisions on Behalf of Partner
Certain Property Rights
Reduced Rate Memberships
Sick Leave to Care for Partner
Visitation of Partner’s Children
Visitation of Partner in Hospital or Prison
Wrongful Death (Loss of Consort) Benefits

Federal Rights

Access to Military Stores
Assumption of Spouse’s Pension
Bereavement Leave
Insurance Breaks
Medical Decisions on Behalf of Partner
Sick Leave to Care for Partner
Social Security Survivor Benefits
Sick Leave to Care for Partner
Tax Breaks
Veteran’s Discounts
Visitation of Partner in Hospital or Prison

Some things to think about when considering these rights:

-The rights are applied in a heterosexist fashion. Only “straight” couples (in most places) qualify.
-Marriage includes a legal contract; these rights will not fix/maintain/insure the social aspects of your relationship.
-If you need to break the contract, you will need to file for divorce. More on that here.

I’ll see you all later this week! <3

17 thoughts on “Marriage Rights & Responsibilities

  1. laci, this video just doesnt seem to fit the ideals that your videos were made for. while most of your videos simply present the facts of an issue, giving me the viewer the chance to make my dicision, in this one you present a very one sided veiw of the issue. it is your right to have an opinion, but don’t force that opinion on others, especially in the pretense of a show meant to bring light on issues with fully objective veiws. i don’t mean to sound like i’m hating on you, it’s just that i felt you were shoving your opinion on marriage down my throat, something that you have heavily critisised others of doing in your other videos/posts

    • Dear Laci, would you please cease to give your opinion? So, just because you have a Youtube channel, you have freedom of speech…you crazy? Telling people your opinion and then allowing them and encouraging them to express their views on facebook/youtube/website/twitter really is the equivalent of shoving your opinions down our throats!

      Or something like that.

      • She has freedom of speech prior to having a youtube account. With a youtube account she has the freedom to express her opinions and beliefs to you the viewer. Encouraging a debate based on the information she has provided is not equivalent to “shoving her opinions down your throat”. You have the freedom to watch he videos. You have the freedom to comment/argue your opinion or difference of opinion, thereof.
        It is incredibly idiotic to think that she forces her thoughts on you. It is idiotic to think the youtube accounts GIVE you freedom of speech.
        If you don’t like her opinion – comment. No need for you to tell her to cease and desist because you don’t agree with the content.

        Maybe you should consult a dictionary on the exact definition of “imposition” prior to claiming she is imposing her opinions on everyone watching.

        Just a thought on your evident lack of understanding on how freedom of speech works and imposition of views and beliefs on others.

  2. I got engaged at 18, but insisted (dispite his protests) to leave the wedding until I had finished uni. I’m VERY glad i did! It took 3 and a half years after that, (most of which we were living together) till i realised it was not meant to be.

    If you’re planning on spending your life together, what’s a couple of years to wait? The love won’t be any different with or without the contract and you probably won’t need the legal ‘perks’ of marriage till you’re older anyway.

    Nice video Laci :)

  3. I found this video and the post on your website to be really really unsettling especially since gay and lesbian couples don’t get all those rights and immunities </3

    • I’m glad you find it unsettling. I do too. I think that when people realize how many rights are attached to marriage, it gets them thinking about same-sex marriage in a different (and important) way. It forces bigots to confront the “hurr durr but god hates gay people!” attitude with the real, tangible outcomes of their actions.

  4. In Holland, couples can get a “registered partnership”. This gives them the same rights and benefits marriage gives, but without the wedding, dress, fights over who sits where and the traditional rice thrown in your face. Does the US have something like a registered partnership?

    • Sort of. There’s domestic partnerships and civil unions. These are similar to marriage but are not an equivalent because they don’t grant all the same rights.

  5. I’m 18 and engaged, however I am not planning to get married until after college. I don’t like to be told that I’m hasty. I am just planning accordingly for a future in which I’ll be married before I am thirty. And I think that an engagement ring is still a sufficient validation of my commitment without the issue of divorce if we don’t work out in the next few years.

  6. I think a big issue that you completely missed was the one of reproduction. A lot of people I know tying the knot before their mid twenties are people who are getting married because of a child. And then three to four years later get a divorce, leaving all participants in a special brand of hell.

    Granted in the most broadest of strokes a child could be considered an outside influence that effects both partners, but that is a pretty broad leap to make.

  7. Falling in love very often recognises none of the things you want people to consider, in fact it blinds us to them and we go with an emotional gut feeling. Sexual relationships don’t have to last forever, It’s the quality of friendship that’s most important.

  8. Rights are not granted by the state. Rights are acknowledged by the state, or protected by it. Allowing rights to be granted by the state is what allowed interrace marriage to be banned and is obviously having implications today. If a captain or priest is willing to marry Chris and Leslie (to use gender neutral names :P), what business is it of the state to legitimize that further? Marriage is something for people to accept or not. I tend not to accept marriage with large age difference, but it is legal.

  9. Hi Laci. I think that you might consider my husband too young to be married. His brain is a little unusual since he has Asperger’s and he’s more emotionally mature than older people I’ve known and dated. We married for one of those Federal benefits you listed above: immigration. We wanted to be together and I was willing to come to live in his country so that was really the only route available to us since he couldn’t come to me at that time. I would love to take him home but that’s not possible today.

    For what marriage means to me personally; basically nothing. I was as committed to him the day I proposed as I was when we first started dating. I’m an all or nothing type of lover. If I don’t intend to be with the person in a committed relationship then I have no interest in being with them at all. If not for immigration laws holding us apart, and how important the symbolism behind that legal document is for him, I may never have married. It actually clashes with my beliefs as a pansexual and polyamorous person.

    And please look back further in the history of marriage at ancient Egypt. There women had property rights, the right to divorce and many other legal rights that the Western world has only recently granted. They didn’t have the same social standing as men but the legal footing was a lot more equal. It was basically a contract between the couple rather than a whole legal status with the government situation.

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