Maryland to Extend Medical Decisions to All Unmarried Couples

Though the gays are likely to throw a fit, the Maryland Senate has decided (since it didn’t have the votes to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples) to extend medical decisions to all unmarried couples, regardless of gender. The bill now goes to the House. The Washington Blade has the full story.

Though it is not a sweeping bill to grant all couples, regardless of married status the same rights that married couples get, I think it is a step in the right direction. But there are the “marriage and marriage only” gays who will decry this decision as another block towards gays getting full equality. Blahblahblah.

Why would I want to deny unmarried people, regardless of relationship status, the ability to have legal protections?

The main problem with the Maryland bill is that it requires people who want to apply for this benefit to show, as the Baltimore Sun reports, “an affidavit attesting to their relationship plus two pieces of proof, such as joint checking accounts, mortgages or car leases; coverage on health insurance policies or the designation as a primary beneficiary in a will.”

Not every couple has joint checking accounts or owns property. Not all couples even live together! My ex and I lived in a month-to-month rental agreement where there was no lease. What would we have done? This seems to still privilege a certain class of couples who have access to some of the kinds of documentation that a lot of poor people do not.

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