Why Obamacare is a threat to marriage

by CynthiaYockey on March 24, 2010

One of the consequences of Obamacare becoming law is that its means-tested benefits will destroy marriage for the middle class the same way that the Great Society welfare state destroyed the black family with financial incentives for staying single.

This information was tucked away in a piece in the New York Times on March 24, “Gays May Still Pay More for Health Coverage,” on the effect of Obamacare on same-sex couples, which is mixed. The following was presented as the good news for same-sex couples, even those legally married under the laws of the states that permit same-sex marriage, because the federal Defense of Marriage Act means their marriage is not recognized by the federal government and they still must file their federal income taxes as single persons (boldfacing mine):

There is arguably a potential upside to not being married. Low to moderate income uninsured partners who are not covered by their own employer or their partner’s may be more likely to receive subsidies on premiums and cost-sharing expenses (which include out-of-pocket expenses like co-payments, coinsurance and deductibles).

After all, since they cannot file joint federal tax returns, their partner’s income would not increase their income to the point where they are no longer eligible. So as long as eligibility depends solely on federal tax returns, their income for subsidy qualification purposes will actually be lower than their true household income.

NOW how do you feel about repealing the federal Defense of Marriage Act?

I predict the means-tested subsidies and cost-sharing in Obamacare will result in middle class straight people finding out that they are better off living together in a “gay marriage” than if they got married. (I think “gay marriage” should be the term for any couple that cannot marry or does not want to marry and instead creates powers-of-attorney, trusts, wills, adoptions, joint tenancy deeds, pre-paid burial arrangements (non-blood relatives cannot make post-mortem funeral arrangements) and other legal and financial instruments to give each other standing and authority in one another’s lives and the right to inherit.)

By the way, Obama and the Senate Democrats made sure to punish same-sex couples in committed relationships by taxing them more than straight married couples under Obamacare. The New York Times piece notes (boldfacing mine):

As it stands, employer-provided health benefits offered to domestic partners are counted as taxable income if the partner is not considered a dependent (the amount of the tax is based on the value of the partner’s coverage paid by the employer). Coverage extended to opposite-sex spouses, however, is not subject to the additional tax.

P.S.

The work linked above, Kay Hymowitz’s landmark essay for the City Journal, Summer 2005, contains an observation that explains why the goal of marriage is socializing (boldfacing mine):

Implicit in Moynihan’s analysis was that marriage orients men and women toward the future, asking them not just to commit to each other but to plan, to earn, to save, and to devote themselves to advancing their children’s prospects. Single mothers in the ghetto, on the other hand, tended to drift into pregnancy, often more than once and by more than one man, and to float through the chaos around them. Such mothers are unlikely to “shape their children’s character and ability” in ways that lead to upward mobility. Separate and unequal families, in other words, meant that blacks would have their liberty, but that they would be strangers to equality. Hence Moynihan’s conclusion: “a national effort towards the problems of Negro Americans must be directed towards the question of family structure.”

I only need to tweak the sentences I boldfaced a little bit to explain the benefit to society of same-sex marriage: it orients lesbians and gays toward the future, asking them not just to commit to each other but to plan, to earn, to save, and to devote themselves to advancing their prospects as a couple and as a family, if they have children. With separate and unequal marriages/unions/families, lesbians and gays may have their liberty, but they are strangers to equality.

Hymowitz’s essay was a response to a New York Times series in 2005 entitled, “Class Matters.” She took issue with the Leftist arguments in the series. The “Moynihan” report cited above is Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s Department of Labor report from 1965 entitled “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action,” which she calls “the prophetic report [that] prompted civil rights leaders, academics, politicians, and pundits to make a momentous — and, as time has shown, tragically wrong — decision about how to frame the national discussion about poverty.”

Judging from Hymowitz’s essay, the modern race-baiting, racial entitlement and feminist anti-family grievance industries were born of the rage, wounded narcissism and opportunism unleashed in the backlash to Moynihan’s report, which really just said that the goal of marriage and strong families are the foundation for economic prosperity and social advancement. The essence of “the gay agenda” is simply to have the goal of marriage and a family, shouldering all the duties and responsibilities that straight people do, but with a same-sex spouse. This is why I see the quest for homosexual equality as a repudiation of the identity grievance industry, an affirmation of the Moynihan report and an embrace of conservative values.

Update, 3/25/2010, Thurs.:

Thanks to recommendations from Moe Lane (who has video of the author, Kevin Jackson) and Smitty at The Other McCain (who has read the book), The Big Black Lie looks like a timely contribution to the discussion:

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  • http://www.conservativepup.com Conservative Pup

    Well said, Cynthia. Excellent piece. I really like your idea of using “gay marriage” the way you described.

    With the left, we have to always realize that the goal and agenda is to destroy the middle class, economically and morally. They use disguise well enough to fool millions by pretending to be in pursuit of noble and worthy goals, when in reality the prize is the destruction of the middle class and America as we know her.

    Great job!
    .-= Conservative Pup´s last blog ..Sarah’s 20 =-.

  • http://www.rightpride.org Mark Ciavola

    Great post Cynthia. You touched on a very important issue in this post that affects gays and lesbians every day. Liberals do not have our backs.

    Three openly gay Democrats voted for this Health Care Bill, which does nothing for the gay community — and stripped the LGBT-specific and HIV/AIDS-related provisions that were included in the original House bill that passed on Christmas Eve.

    Those three openly gay Democrats — Barney Frank (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Jared Polis (D-CO) — did nothing to highlight the fact that the Senate version of the bill (which they passed) did not include these LGBT/HIV/AIDS provisions. These three votes could have been the difference in the bill passing or failing. We all know Bart Stupak made his voice heard on the issue of abortion — where were OUR advocates?

    I am a firm believer that homosexuality should not define us as a people, nor should it define the vast majority of our issues. However, I did not force the Democrats to become the “Gay-Friendly Party.” They did that on their own. Now that they have, we need to hold them to their Swiss-cheese-holed promises.

    If this isn’t evidence that the Democratic Party lies to the gay community, what is? The issue of relationship equality for gays is a conservative principle, not a liberal one. Our rights are already cemented in our Constitution. We have allowed the left to paint us as a “special” segment of society, in need of “special” rights. But that is not the case.

    We are all Americans, and therefore entitled to AMERICAN RIGHTS. We already have them. We just need to make sure they are not infringed upon — and the same goes for our freedom from government oppression.

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Mark Ciavola,

      I appreciate your thoughtful reply. However, we are everyone’s patsies and dupes as long as we don’t insist that our first and foremost issue is equality, FULL EQUALITY, none of this piece-by-piece, state-by-state foolishness — which by the way, is the maze our opposition is sending us into for the purpose of dissipating our energy, dividing and defeating us. We do NOT have American rights — we cannot marry the spouse of our choice or serve openly in the military, which are both rights that illegal aliens have as soon as their backsides clear the border.

      Cynthia

      P.S.

      I am adding your blog to my blogroll and hope that you will find a place for me on yours as “Cynthia Yockey, A Conservative Lesbian.” Also, if you think this post is important, it would be awesome if you linked it at your “Headlines” page.

      • Liz

        “…none of this piece-by-piece, state-by-state foolishness — which by the way, is the maze our opposition is sending us into for the purpose of dissipating our energy, dividing and defeating us…”

        Cynthia, how would you respond to the argument that going for broke is all very well, but we’re never going to get 100% of what we want and need right now, but that something would be better than nothing? I agree that marriage is something sacred that would both enrich LGBTs lives, and be strengthened by our involvement, but there are people who need some protection now. (I hate this line of arguing, but I’m never sure how to counter it.)

        Also, how would you suggest getting full equality? Gay marriage would probably lose on a nationwide ballot, and a court decision would cause resentment and could be overturned the moment the opponents get their people in there.

        • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

          Liz,

          Margaret and I lived in the heart of an area that was overrun by illegal immigrants. They came from countries where women are property and gays are killed. Obama is about to open our borders and the people who will be rushing in also share those attitudes. Our culture is about to change dramatically and the changes are going to be bad for women and bad for homosexuals.

          So gradual acceptance is just not going to work. We really are going to have to resort to the courts. And, frankly, there will always be resentment. I don’t care — I just need the equality. I just wrote to Amy that I am going to have to write a book to state my case. But one thing I realized this week is that the movement fighting homosexual equality always does so in religious terms and/or defines marriage as something that should be available only to couples who are directly capable of producing children from their sexual union. Well, it is religious discrimination to force people into second class citizenship because they don’t follow the commandments of someone else’s religion, or produce children to the satisfaction of other people. I think I’m the first person to argue for homosexual equality from this angle. It’s also a liberty issue — the rationale that homosexuals should be denied equality due to the failure of same-sex couples to produce children for other people’s purposes should shock the conscience of true conservatives.

          We have to go for that we want, not what we think we can get because that always the wisest way to pursue a goal AND because our arguments in favor of full equality ARE our arguments for same-sex marriage equality, the right to adopt, the ability to serve openly in the military and protection from discrimination in public accommodations (restaurants, theatres, stores, parks, etc.), housing and employment.

          Cynthia

  • Stinky

    I have been in mourning. I told my husband that I feel like a Jew in 1932 Germany.

    Anyway, forgive my rambling, I am not yet thinking clearly. You might be interested in knowing that the new Health Rationing Bill imposes a new tax on medical “devices,” including condoms, birth control pills, breast pumps, and bandaids:
    http://www.redstate.com/snarkandboobs/2010/03/25/democrat-health-care-bill-is-sexist-and-anti-mom/

  • I R A Darth Aggie

    These three votes could have been the difference in the bill passing or failing.

    Actually, not. The bill passed with 219 yea’s, and only needed 216. You’d need one more vote.

    We all know Bart Stupak made his voice heard on the issue of abortion — where were OUR advocates?

    We also know that Stupak bent over and assumed the position. You can’t sell out one’s principles if you haven’t got any to sell. Judas Iscariot at least got 30 pieces of silver and a bag. Neville Chamberlain got a scrap of paper with Hitler’s autograph, which is probably worth quite a bit. Bart Stupak? not even a scap of paper (so far).

    Stupak got…stupaked.

  • Serapia

    Excellent post. You’re spot-on what traditional values ought to mean when it comes to gay marriage.

    But I dunno about federal equality or nothing… I’m one of the ones that thinks there’s a better chance of success if gay marriage is decided state-by-state.

    Existing marriage laws are already state-by-state. Here are some things that can differ, depending on the state one lives in: consanguinity (what does and does not count as incest), the minimum age for marriage, how long one must wait after the license to have the ceremony… It seems to me that what marriage is and is not has always been left up to the states, and so gay marriage is a states’ rights issue.

    I know, I know… it’s easy for me to say this, being in a conventional marriage myself and never feeling the frustration of not being able to marry my true love. Still, I think federalism is the solution.

    Either way, it starts with killing the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, and preventing a heterosexual-marriage-only amendment from being added to the US Constitution.

    Speaking of which, I somehow got on a tea-party list that forwarded me the following survey, which really burned me up:
    http://www.traditionalvalues.us/morality.aspx?pid=pu2
    I’ve already filled in the survey with answers contrary to their expectations and it submitted (without donation), and I encourage anyone who wants to to do the same thing. This is not what I want “encouraging traditional values” to be about. This is not what I want the tea-party movement to become about.

    I have my bets on ObamaCare turning out bad for gays in the end, on our healthcare devolving into a one-size-fits-all/one-size-fits-nobody system where anyone the least bit queer (sexually or otherwise) can’t get the care that fits their needs.

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Serapia,

      Thank you — traditional values ARE what gays are embracing when it comes to marriage equality.

      I know very well that marriage laws are state-by-state. However, the General Accountability Office says that there are 1,138 federal rights and responsibilities associated with marriage and denied to homosexuals married under state law alone. I think it’s just crazy that a same-sex couple can married married in one state and not in another. We need federal equality and the states can then amend their marriage laws solely to permit the choice of a same-sex spouse without any changes in the rights and responsibilities of married couples.

      In addition, Obama and the Democrats are about to open our borders to a tidal wave of immigrants from countries where people feel morally entitled to kill homosexuals and who believe that women are property. We really do not have a lot of time to get our equality before they are here and voting against us in such large numbers that we will never be equal (and women will become property again).

      Cynthia

      • Serapia

        I honestly didn’t know that there was already a system of federal rights and responsibilities enumerated towards marriage — never heard of it before (why didn’t one of my other gay friends bring it up?). Will have to ponder a while… Thanks for educating me!

        • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

          Serapia,

          The GAO came up with the information about the 1,138 rights for a report to Congress on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Also, when “don’t ask, don’t tell” is repealed and gays and lesbians can serve openly in the military, remember the military are sent on far-flung missions and must move frequently within the U.S. and abroad. They have to be able to marry their same-sex spouse because only married couples qualify for the housing they would need and for the spouse’s property to be eligible for moving allowances. Right now DOMA, as a federal law, prohibits the recognition of all same-sex marriages by the federal government. Since it’s the federal government moving these service members and their spouses and families around, DOMA would prevent same-sex couples who are legally married from qualifying for these benefits. We need to repeal DOMA.

          Cynthia

  • Amy

    On the subject of insurance…I do the benefits at my company. Right around renewal time an employee came and asked if their partner could be covered under their policy. I was literally like “Huh? I dunno.”.

    So I talked to my agent and turns out there is (at least from our provider) a domestic partner rider, but you have to send a letter to add it. Which I did, but then my agent said the language of the letter had to be more specific: “same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partnership”. So I adjusted the language, and voila, now they’re covered.

    My long winded point is, I had no idea you could even add that. Which I guess is to say…there’s more acceptance than we know? I know it’s not enough (don’t holler at me now, Miss Cynthia) but it’s out there.

    My bestie and I always say if our menfolk die off we can’t see any reason why we can’t be each other’s partners in our old age. Set up a house, share finances and just generally take care of each other while our rotten kids are off living their own lives.

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Amy,

      I appreciate your relating your experience. And I apologize that you are concerned I would holler at you. But you know what? Looking back over the last 38 years since I came out — shortly after the dawn of the gay rights movement — the way we’ve made progress is by refusing to settle and saying “now is the time.”

      You provide another angle on same-sex marriage that I never thought about, which is that straight people who have decided to stop looking for an opposite sex spouse and build a life with a same-sex friend would benefit from same-sex marriage. Marriage under civil law — as opposed to religious law — really seems to be defined as as structure that provides rights and responsibilities for two persons who have committed to one another for life, forsaking all others.

      I realized today that I am going to have to write out the case I’m making for homosexual equality as a book.

      I do appreciate your comments — thank you.

      Cynthia

  • Amy

    I’ll be first in line to buy it.

    Holler on. : )

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Amy,

      Thank you, my sistah!

      Cynthia

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