Gay For Payday

A Proposition: October 11th is National Coming Out Day, a day when fundamentalist Christian mothers and fathers hold their breaths in anticipation of finding a therapist to de-Gay their son who enjoys Dolly Parton and flower arranging a little too dearly. This year, October 11th falls on a Monday, which means you can attend church one day, and then cite Leviticus the next, which is not only convenient, but also heretical. Fun!
Here in the United States, our Executive branch seems to think that we gay people should not be allowed the same rights as non-gay people, and they’d love it if the Legislative branch voted that segregation into the Constitution, and that the Judicial branch kept their grubby, activist hands off the whole process so that homosexuals can be denied a few legal rights because we’re homosexuals.
On October 11, 2004, I propose that the GLBT members of the work force stay home from work and refuse to allow the federal and state governments to impose income taxes on our paychecks for one day in a simple act of civil disobedience to illustrate that although we are expected to pay the same money to the government to uphold our rights and provide certain services as everyone else, we are being told that we should be denied certain rights and cannot take advantage of some services and should be, henceforth, treated as second-class citizens.

Incidentally, we get a three-day weekend out of the bargain, so we can take a short vacation and go have sodomy in Texas – or anywhere else in the country for that matter. At least that, for now, is still legal.
I mean, let’s look at things logically, which I know flies in the face of the entire “let’s keep marriage safe” argument, but I’ll pretend that there’s some sort of point to it all if you will – after all, we’re talking a three-day weekend here, people. Let’s get real.
In all seriousness as a web site author and internationally renowned faggot (meaning: people in Italy, Portugal, Japan and Ireland, among other countries, know that I’m gay), it’s appalling to me that my government wants to make it a constitutional law that I cannot get married. And if I cannot get married, I am also denied the 1,049 federally regulated rights and responsibilities based on marital status as the qualification that the federal government provides, including:

  • Assumption of spouse’s pension
  • Bereavement leave
  • Immigration
  • Insurance breaks
  • Medical decisions on behalf of partner
  • Sick leave to care for partner
  • Social Security Survivor Benefits
  • Tax breaks
  • Veteran’s discounts
  • Visitation of partner in hospital or prison

I think that last one’s going to be very important once they also constitutionally outlaw leather pants, drag performances and Italian shoes.
And what about your state taxes, hmmm? You think it’s just the feds you’re being reamed by? Oh, no, friends, here’s just a few state-granted legal marriage rights you’re being denied:

  • Assumption of spouse’s pension
  • Automatic inheritance
  • Automatic housing lease transfer
  • Bereavement leave
  • Burial determination
  • Child custody
  • Crime victim’s recovery benefits
  • Divorce protections
  • Domestic violence protection
  • Exemption from property tax on partner’s death
  • Immunity from testifying against spouse
  • Insurance breaks
  • Joint adoption and foster care
  • Joint bankruptcy
  • Joint parenting (insurance coverage, school records)
  • Medical decisions on behalf of partner
  • Certain property rights
  • Sick leave to care for partner
  • Visitation of partner’s children
  • Visitation of partner in hospital or prison
  • Wrongful death (loss of consort) benefits

Your tax dollars at work! (For somebody else.)
So, that’s my simple proposition. It probably won’t make a big dent in the overall picture, and it certainly won’t influence the current presidential administration from backing off its stance, but maybe it will show that we’re not the hidden population they would have us be.
On Monday, October 11, 2004, stay home. Do not go to school, do not go to work, do not report to your police precinct or firehouse, don’t show up in court, don’t sell another cup of Starbuck’s, don’t fold another sweater at Banana Republic, don’t drive the bus, don’t audit that tax form, don’t support a government that doesn’t support you.
And if you haven’t come out, please consider doing so. The decision is one only you can make, but speaking as someone who waited over 30 years to do it myself, I can only tell you that I wish I had done it decades earlier. Be yourself, be proud of who you are, and show the world that the stereotypes are wrong and you are who you always were before you came out. Nothing changed about who you are now, you’ve simply provided one more piece of the puzzle to your friends and family.

gay for payday 10.11.04
gay for payday 10.11.04
gay for payday 10.11.04
gay for payday 10.11.04

See also:
No Gay Marriage Benefits at the Federal Level” – The Washington Post, Dec. 21, 2003
U.S. Federal Regulations Triggered by Legal Marriage
Legal Results of the Defense of Marriage Act” prepared by the United States General Accounting Office [PDF]
Coming Out” from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation

April 20, 2004

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