Must "domestic partners" be gay?

Even though I’ve long been banned from (for expressing non-orthodox opinions on race), I still get their petitions  via email. Their latest petition renewed my interest in a long-standing question I’ve had: Must “domestic partners” be gay? When two same-sex people choose to become domestic partners, it’s generally assumed that they are homosexual. When domestic partnerships for straight people is discussed, it typically refers to a man and a woman who want to formalize their relationship – but not actually get married.
There are benefits to being recognized as a couple (married or “domestic partners”). If I want to share my medical insurance with my straight male friend, or housemate, making ourselves “domestic partners” is a good way to do so. We can both also save money on auto insurance.
As soon as we recognize the concept of non-sexual domestic partnership, we wouldn’t  see anything wrong with two brothers, or a man and his son, being domestic partners. Nobody would even blink an eye – since the bond of a domestic partnership is not sex but trust. If two people trust each other enough to share insurance plans, bank accounts or what have you, then they can be domestic partners. For all the talk of “gay rights”, does anybody actually check to make sure that the couple in question is gay? Are they required to have sex in front of witnesses? Of course not, because just as two people can have regular sex without ever getting married, so too can people be domestic partners without ever having sex. In fact, even a man and a woman can have a “marriage of convenience” without the slightest pretense of love or affection. If a man and a woman can do it, so can two men or two women.
But why stop at two? As soon as we’ve established that a domestic partnership is merely a matter of trust, then what’s stopping 3 or 4 people from trusting each other enough to enter into such an agreement? Why not 100? The only reason to limit it to two is that the concept of “domestic partnership” is rooted in the old-fashioned, Christian concept of marriage between one man and one woman. By limiting domestic partner benefits to only two individuals, gay rights activists are showing their own backwardness and bigotry. But perhaps I assume too much. It could be that many gay rights activists would have no objection to multitudes of people entering into domestic partnerships.  So I’ll ask right now.
Gay rights activists, do you support domestic partnership benefits for straight people who are just good friends? Do you have a problem with more than two people becoming domestic partners? If so, why?

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9 Responses to Must "domestic partners" be gay?

  1. I love this line of reasoning. It seemed absurd in 1965, and it sound patently logical today. 🙂

  2. Jehu says:

    Convenient way to get around estate taxes if so…welcome to the world of rational economic man. People were generally loathe to do anything like this with marriage, because it was sacralized. Domestic partnerships will never be thus sacralized.

    • destructure says:

      JAY’s theory that domestic partnerships may be nonsexual sounds reasonable, But I doubt the IRS would allow children to use it to avoid paying tax on their parents’ estate.

    • Jehu says:

      They’d have to. Here’s how it rolls.
      Let’s say you’ve got one child you want to transfer things to, and he’s married.
      You do a sham divorce and so does he.
      Your wife then does a domestic partner with the son’s wife.
      She then transfers assets to him and does a strategic dissolution
      Then you officially remarry.
      How can the IRS stop this? Divorces aren’t taxable events like death.

      • destructure says:

        They’d call it “fraud” and put you in jail. And they’d be right. Not that I’m a fan of taxes or the IRS. I’d like to see the IRS dissolved and replaced with a flat tax, consumption tax, etc. But it’s still fraud.

  3. Apopkian says:

    I would say that for gay marriage advocates, it was never about the tax or contractual benefits of marriage. Most of the these benefits can be achieved with power of attorney agreements or just getting private organizations to recognize civil unions. Political gays are just mentally ill, and like all crazy people they tend to project internal turmoil on unrelated external factors.
    If the economy doesn’t collapse, it will be a matter of time until marriage is redefined to mean two or more people of any sex. It is after all a civil rights issue, and the democrats can probably gain even bigger majorities by allowing third world immigrants to marry multiple wives they’ve never met and importing them into the US.

  4. Doug says:

    How about civil rights for domestic partnerships for humans and their pets or the animals they have sex with (beastiality). The love between some humans and some animals is as strong as the love between some humans.
    Since we are now living in the era where all people, cultures, practices, religions, etc. have equal validity, then why shouldn’t a woman be able to marry her loving donky?
    When will animalphiles be given equal rights? Love is love, no matter who practices it! Stop the hate!

    • Yarilo says:

      I’m just going to assume you’re being facetious in comparing legal (read: non-sexual) partnerships between consenting adults to bestiality.
      Great post JAY – the whole way in which society looks at adult relationships from a legal standpoint needs to be changed radically. As long as laws are in place to prevent domestic partnerships forming between people of two different citizenships (like Apopkian’s example), then it really shouldn’t be a problem.

  5. As soon as we’ve established that a domestic partnership is merely a matter of trust, then what’s stopping 3 or 4 people from trusting each other enough to enter into such an agreement?
    I know that was a partly rhetorical question, but if I may give a straight answer:
    3-party arrangements are way more complex than bilateral ones. What if one wants to get a divorce and the other two don’t? Does the exit of one dissolve the bond between the other two? What if two want to adopt and the third doesn’t? What if the two who do adopt die–does the third have to provide room & board to the adoptive child? Which decisions must be unanimous, and which require majority rule, and which require supramajorities? Should each marriage have separate powers (judicial, legislative, etc.) or should their be legislative supremacy?
    Those things can’t be settled under existing marriage law, which assumes bilateralism even more than it assumes heterosexism.
    On a tangential note, I think a father and son adopting a child together would actually be a pretty nice arrangement, relative to some of the other choices. Retired fathers, emptynesters, could make excellent caregivers with working sons as breadwinners. They’d already have a good idea of each others’ parenting styles.

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