Thursday, April 4, 2013 | 2 a.m.
Letters from Tom Jones and Tom Keller on Monday commented on two disparate subjects, though do bear connecting. Jones writes that marriage is for churches to decide, especially same-sex marriages.
Marriage is, and always has been, based on legal arrangements. Churches profit from the institution but hardly can legally divide inheritance, alimony, palimony, survivor benefits, visitation rights, etc. Lawyers are kept busy.
Churches may bless a marriage but turn a blind eye to divorce. According to Time magazine, a majority of people favor marriage for same-sex unions now, but with the plethora of laws and antiquated customs to overcome, the question has to be resolved legally.
Jones espouses giving homosexuals equal benefits. “Separate but equal” was promulgated as a settlement for racial segregation. The Supreme Court struck down separate but equal as “inherently unequal.”
I agree. I remember President Franklin Roosevelt saying that its purpose was to avoid poverty in one’s old age. I am sure he would not be happy to know that it has been pilloried and otherwise abused.
It was never meant to be paid to wealthy or gainfully employed. It was intended for those less fortunate, through no fault of their own, to receive a bit of money, saving their dignity and often, lives.
The fact that one pays in should not mean one has to receive. The strong have to bear the infirmities of the weak. If a wife survives her husband and receives benefits from his earnings, I feel the same should be available to a married same-sex couple without prejudice.