February 3rd, 2008

Single

Why do we even have to tell?

From time to time I read about gay couples being denied some benefit for spouses, at work usually or perhaps from the government. Lawyerdom ensues. I am sure most humans get all excited about the fact that gay people are treated differently from straight people, whether or not you like it. Me, however, I notice the real issue. That codependent people are treated differently from independent people. What is up with that?

I can see society taking an interest in people having kids. If society subsidizes the kids now, the kids will normally subsidize society later. Good investment. And until around 1960, this may have been a valid argument for encouraging (heterosexual) marriage. If a man and woman lived together long enough, children wre likely to result. Well, that changed when cheap and effective contraception started flooding the market. Since then, things have continued to change. In some places, children are more likely to be born outside of marriage than inside. In any case, marriage does not equal children. It never did, but there was a strong positive correlation.

For workplaces not run by the government, it makes even less sense to ask whether you live with a man, a woman, two men and a border collie, or none of the above. It is none of your concern. Is the spouse supposed to show up at work in my place if I'm sick? Yes, married men are generally more healthy than single men. With women there is no such correlation. (This strongly implies that women, like all other female vertebrates, prefer healthy men over sickly men. Oh the humanity.) On the other hand, dogs are scientifically proven to prevent heart attacks.

Your marital status is a private matter.