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RI’s Terrible Civil Unions Are Costing The State $8 Million, And Only 14 Gays Have Entered Them

Gay couples leaving RI to get married: wpri.com

Last time we checked, only nine gay couples had even bothered entering into Rhode Island’s near meaningless civil unions. They provide gay couples with only 15 out of over 2,300 legal marriage rights and they don’t even exempt partners from estate taxes when their partners die. So it’s no surprise that the state has lost about $8 million from gay couples who leave the state to get married in other states and then return to have RI recognize them as actual marriages with more rights. What can we learn from this sad little illustration?

A recent study from the Williams Institute shows that gays enter marriages more than civil unions or domestic partnerships. So while straight swing voters might like hearing that LGBTs wanna get married to express our love and commitment (awwwww) the legal and tax benefits matter a heck of a lot more than they take for granted.

On:           Nov 10, 2011
Tagged: , ,
    • Cam

      “the legal and tax benefits matter a heck of a lot more than they take for granted.”

      Or maybe it’s the fact that they don’t want to enter into a defacto second class status when there are other options available.

      Leave it to Queerty to miss that part of it.

      Nov 10, 2011 at 1:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fodolodo

      This post has two important, related errors.

      1. “They provide gay couples with only 15 out of over 2,300 legal marriage rights”–simply false. Rhode Island civil unions offer comprehensive relationship recognition: they grant to same-sex couples all the state-level rights and benefits of marriage, with the exception of the estate tax rule (because RI law says that tracks federal law), and with the important qualification that its decidedly overbroad religious exemption lets any religious organization refuse to recognize a civil union. The civil unions bill that passed in RI was not the reciprocal beneficiaries bill talked about in the link. (It also doesn’t bar the recognition of out-of-state marriages, contrary to what is said in one of the Queerty articles linked to above: it’s silent on that topic.)

      2. “the legal and tax benefits matter a heck of a lot more than they take for granted.” This is just nonsensical. If the legal and tax benefits were all that mattered, then same-sex couples would flock to civil unions: they generally offer the same legal and tax benefits on paper (they don’t offer federal benefits, but thanks to DOMA neither do marriages), and though in practice they suffer from a lot of non-recognition, in rights and benefits terms they’re still much better than nothing. The fact that same-sex couples prefer marriage to civil unions is support for the *precise opposite* of this post’s claim: same-sex couples want MARRIAGE, above and beyond the rights and benefits of marriage, because marriage is the socially-recognized means of affirming one’s love and commitment for one’s partner, and civil unions aren’t.

      Nov 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Greg

      Headline: “Only 14 gays have entered them”

      Article: “only nine gay couples…”

      Probably a joke in there somewhere?

      Nov 10, 2011 at 7:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • unclemike

      Maybe they’d just rather be married than civil union’d.

      Nov 10, 2011 at 10:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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