The turtle blog salutes Equality Maryland for doing the lord’s work. Marylanders can easily get involved in protecting our civil rights using their website as a starting point.
Some of the more than one thousand rights, benefits and responsibilities that accompany a civil marriage license include:
· The right to visit a spouse in the hospital
· The right to make medical decisions for a sick spouse
· The right to make funeral arrangements for a deceased spouse
· Access to family courts for dissolution of relationships
· Death benefits for surviving spouses of firefighters and police officers
· Mutual responsibility for debts
· Joint assessment of income for determining eligibility for state government assistance programs
· Ability to sponsor a spouse from another country for a green card
· Community property ownership protections
· Child custody, visitation, and duties of financial support to children
· Eligibility for health benefits (without taxation) and COBRA benefits through an employer
· Ability to take leave to care for a sick spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act
· Right to inherit a spouse's pension
· Entitlement to inherit social security and disability benefits upon the death of a spouse
· Ability to inherit jointly owned property without incurring tax penalties
· Right to file joint income taxes
· Ability to put a spouse on the deed to a home without incurring tax penalties
· Access to "family memberships"
· Domestic violence protections
· Immunity from testifying against a spouse
· Right to sue for wrongful death of a spouse
The Maryland Court of Appeals could issue a verdict any day now. Keep your fingers crossed everybody!
Sign the petition! Get involved!