As a New York City resident, I am appalled that this city, one of the most liberal cities in the world, has not legalized same-sex marriages. Granted, this is more of a state issue than it is a city issue, but maybe that should change too.
Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Iowa and Maine.
Know what those states have that New York doesn’t?
The legalization of same-sex marriage.
Those states are not nearly as liberal as New York City, yet they have gotten it done. Of course, if the vote was left up to the people within New York City limits, I am sure that same-sex marriages would be legalized by a ratio better than 5 to 1. Nevertheless, New York City and its political representatives don’t get to decide this matter, so a city-wide vote is not the case.
But maybe it should be.
Because of financials, it is impossible to make this a city issue. Afterall, one of the most prominent reasons homosexuals want same-sex marriage is so that they can take part in the economical, social and statewide benefits that come with being married. Such benefits would include jointly-filed taxes, untaxed inheritances, or being able to have hospital visitation rights and medical decisions over your spouse; rights that really can only be granted by the state.
However, why doesn’t New York City do the best that it can?
Why not, if voted on, start to recognize same-sex marriages within New York City institutions? Sure, it is not the answer to the problem and homosexuals should want more and should get more in the future. Yet why not do the best we can with what we’re working with at the moment?
Certainly, I am no legal expert, but maybe I can play one on the internet for just a second here. Is it impossible to give those hospital visitation and medical decision rights to married same-sex spouses here in New York City? Is it impossible to give same-sex married couples whatever New York City tax-relief we give to other married couples within the 5 boroughs (and Yonkers too!).
I am sure that a lawyer could hit me with 17 indictments just for suggesting that the city shun its State capital like that, but as a New York City resident, isn’t it the right thing to do? Why should this city, the most liberal in the world, be entirely bound by a legislation that clearly does not represent the majority of New York City residents?
As I said though, I am no lawyer. I do not know how feasible giving same-sex marriages certain rights in New York City is. However, it is definitely worth a shot. And I hope there is someone out there, with a better legal mind than my own, who is willing to approach the idea of doing whatever we can to maintain this city’s personality, as well as the inalienable rights of those who aren’t like everybody else.