January 23, 2006
Within literally days after Maryland's anti-Gay governor Robert Ehrlich
announced his scraps from the table offering of an Advance Directives Registry
to take the place of the Medical Directives Registry he vetoed last year, a
Maryland Judge declared discrimination against same sex couples was against the
To appreciate why Maryland gay rights activists were willing to eat the
governor's scraps, you need only consider the case of
Ocean County New Jersey policewoman Laurel Hester, who while dying of
cancer, had to fight the Ocean County freeholders for the right to leave her
pension to her spouse after she died, so her spouse could continue living in
the home they shared for years. And anyone who thinks a simple will could
solve that problem has never had to navigate the complexities of joint
property ownership outside of marriage. It doesn't work. Marriage makes a
couple into a single economic unit in a way nothing else does. The tax
burden alone can force the spouse left behind out of the home they shared for
But to bigots like Robert Ehrlich and his political base, so much the better.
In a relatively liberal state like Maryland, Ehrlich had to be seen to at
least be offering same sex couples something...even if it was
barely anything. And gay rights activists would have to accept even that
meager pittance because it might make the difference between survival and
calamity for some couples.
But now Maryland gets to have its conversation about same sex marriage, and
that great cornucopia of rights heterosexual couples take for granted as merely
their due, that same sex couples can, for now, only dream about. When its
over, if nothing else, we'll all know who can see the people for the
Copyright © January 23, 2006 by Bruce Garrett
All Rights Reserved.
Bruce Garrett Cartoon. Weekly gay editorial cartoon.
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