37 Cities Across the Nation to Protest for Equal Marriage Rights at Post Office

Thu. April 15, 2004 12:00 AM

Chicago Activists Plan Rally at City's Main Post Office

North Hills, CA - On April 15, activists for gay rights will be standing in front of post offices across the country to protest the discrimination in the tax code against same gender couples who cannot get married.

From Washington state to Texas, from Massachusetts to Florida, from States all over the nation and in every city in California, activists will be demanding same-sex marriage. For a complete list of cities and states go to http://www.dontamend.com -- tax
day protests.

In Chicago, activists plan a "No Taxation with Discrimination" rally at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Main Chicago Post Office, 433 West Harrison. (Details)

"The government takes our tax money but then refuses to treat us as equals before the law," says Robin Tyler, executive director of DontAmend.com - The Equality Campaign.

"We are protesting at post offices around the country to highlight the extra pain we feel on tax day when the federal government forces many of us in committed relationships to enter into a legal fiction of being single -- when we are actually couples, many in long-term relationships. We demand equal respect for our relationships, and are angry that the government which taxes us refuses to grant us the marriage rights that others take for granted."

"Our families are treated differently under the law, when in reality we have many of the same responsibilities, but without any of the legal obligations or benefits. According to the US Census data, 33 percent of gay male couples and 42 percent of lesbian couples are raising children compared with 51 percent of straight couples raising children. We all love our children and want to protect them just the same as any family would -- yet the government refuses our children and our families the same legal protections and tax advantages provided children of straight couples and that is wrong. Older same-sex couples are denied Social Security survivor's benefits if one partner dies. The surviving partner is also denied automatic inheritance rights, potentially leaving him or her penniless."

"We demand nothing less than full and equal marriage rights. Some have suggested that we settle for "civil unions" or "domestic partnerships," but both of these measures fall far short of full equality. It is absurd in principle to attempt to erect a "separate but equal" marriage-like institution and segregate gays into it. Few would seriously suggest that women, or any racial or religious minority accept less than full legal equality; it is insulting that some think that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered people would or should settle for anything less. As a practical matter, given that thousands of federal and state laws use the word "marriage" to confer rights and responsibilities to couples, it would be a Herculean task to retrofit those thousands of laws to accommodate a "separate but equal" institution for gays, rather than simply grant equal access to the institution of marriage."

"We are not fighting for our lifestyles," says Ms. Tyler, "we are fighting for our lives."