16 September 2005

Time to Get Real...

I'll be leaving in about an hour. In the meantime, I saw an article over at MSN Lifestyles, discussing about the status quo of American families. Now, with rising divorce rates, births out of wedlock, and gay families, the traditional family - Mom, Dad, 2.5 kids, and a pet or two - make up less than a quarter of all households. Other things I've found:
  • Solo singles (those completely living alone) make up 26% of all households - outnumbering the "traditional family."
  • Most unmarried couples with kids end up getting hitched - or splitting - within 18 months.
  • Marriage has 1,100 federal benefits, a few penalties, and a huge wage advantage. You gotta love the discrimination against singles, unmarried couples, and gays.
  • W sees marriage as the way out of poverty. Experts disagree, seeing a marriage and a divorce as being worse financially than not marrying at all, especially for women.
  • It is legal to discriminate based on marital status.
It's about time that lawmakers got real about the situation. The marriage advantage (and so-called penalty) should be taken away from tax codes; I don't use more government resources as a single, so I have no need to pay a higher tax rate. Marriage at the government level should be reduced to a simple civil code, and nothing more; what counts sentimentally, and what causes all these straights to vote against gay marriage, is the religious portion - where the houses of worship should take over, and the government should not legislate. In addition, discrimination based on marital status should be outlawed.

Instead of focusing narrowly on legalizing marriages for same-sex couples, I think making life easier for all unmarrieds - including solo singles - should be the priority.

MSN Lifestyle article

P.S. In addition to minivan commercials, I've found another place where "traditional" families rule supreme - Mary Kay meetings. Everyone was a married mom of 2.5 children, doing Mary Kay cosmetics sales in order to pay for the kids' Christian school tuitions. (Moreover, everyone wanted the ultimate prize - a pink Cadillac, or at least a Chevy Blazer SUV - to ferry those kids to the Christian schools. By contrast, I was already fixated on BMWs back then!) I could never feel more out of place, as a single lesbian with no kids and not much of an interest in Christianity - transgender did not even come in here.