As the US erases marriage law distinctions, they expose another enormous layer of inequality: the difference in treatment and taxation of married and unmarried Americans.
Every argument the alternate sexual orientation community has used to demand rights and privileges equal to traditional heterosexual marriage must apply to the legal status of the unmarried. How can our society continue to maintain discrimination against single people?
Our social, legal, and tax structures assume that the man/husband, as father would support his wife/mother and children with his labor and that the wife/mother would manage the resources of the family and nurture her children until they became self-sustaining adults.
Are these and the related assumptions still true in America?
Today, single is the rule, not the exception, in personal social, tax, and legal relationship status in America. At least half of the parents of dependent children in our country are single. More than half of the married couples in America have no dependent children.
So why are married people given preferential treatment under civil and tax law? Why does our society give special dispensations to families? We operate under historical religious and cultural assumptions that marriage is socially expected and desirable for bearing and raising children.
The legal trend towards sex-indifferent marriage exacerbates the treatment of unmarried people as second class citizens. What logic supports this discrimination?
If we are ready to redefine social contracts, we must modify and reform the law to provide equal treatment regardless of marital status.