Friday, June 19, 2009

Unforeseen legal effects of same-sex marriage

In the single minded focus of the liberal media and same-sex marriage advocates on granting equality in the area of same-sex marriage there is an entire disregard for the overwhelming impact legalizing same-sex marriage will have on our entire legal system. These issues must be arising in those states that recognize same-sex marriage, but they are obviously not getting any media exposure at all.

The changes in the laws will unevenly affect women and children in a negative way. Although both sexes seem to support same-sex marriage, the effect will be to dramatically reduce the advances made for the protection of women and children in our society. Many of the laws that have been passed protecting these members of our society will be modified out of existence in the name of uniformity and equality.

Here are a very few of the areas of the law that will undergo substantial adjustment assuming substantial passage throughout the country of same-sex marriage laws. entirely negative, I might add that this effect will be entirely negative.

1. The impact on divorce laws.

In every instance of same-sex marriage, if there are children involved, the children will not be the natural children of at least one member of the marital community. Although this is the case in situations involving prior divorces and remarriage, it will always be the rule for same-sex couples. Some states are adopting a new standard with respect to the traditional emphasis on the rights of a natural parent. That standard is articulated as and holding that a natural parent who voluntarily relinquishes custody of a minor child, through a court of competent jurisdiction, has forfeited the right to rely on the existing natural parent presumption. This presumption will undergo even further changes, likely eroding the rights of natural parents to custody of their own children. In many jurisdictions the mother has been given the priority of custody. That rule will undoubtedly change.

Because of no-fault divorce laws, spousal maintenance (formerly alimony) has all but disappeared in the U.S. What is left of spousal maintenance will disappear completely leaving many women in an even worse situation than they presently are.

In many divorce cases the division of property has been strongly influenced by a desire to provide for the "wife." If there is no "wife" then the laws will all change, probably to the detriment of wives everywhere.

2. Inheritance laws

Many states still recognize the dower rights of the wife. Who will be the "wife" in a same-sex marriage? Dower rights will disappear, it is impossible to predict what will replace it.

3. Real estate and personal property laws

Some states recognize community property laws instead of the common law. Community property laws developed to protect the "wife's" interest in the real property. What will happen to community property laws and the protection they provide if there is no "wife?"

Do we really want to re-design our entire legal system around the so-called rights of a small and very militant minority? Do we want to abandon our whole cultural and social system just so a vocal minority can feel good about themselves?

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