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story.lead_photo.caption Attorney Cheryl Maples, left, and her colleague attorney Jack Wagoner leave federal court in Little Rock, Ark., Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. The two lawyers for same-sex couples argued against Arkansas' gay marriage ban in front of a federal judge Thursday. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

The legal challenge to the voter-enacted ban on same- sex marriages in Arkansas, currently before the state Supreme Court, wasn't born in the hive of some left-leaning think tank or crafted in the glossy suite of a high-rise Little Rock law firm.

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Print Headline: Gay-marriage suit legacy, lawyer says

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  • 23cal
    December 29, 2014 at 6:53 a.m.

    Cooter....where were your cries for government not to recognize marriage before it began recognizing marriage for LGBTs? Did you squawk when it recognized yours? Sorry, religions, and specifically your religion, don't own the word "marriage".
    *
    Whether government should or shouldn't, it in fact does recognize civil marriage, and since it does, civil marriage should be accessible by LGBTs. This is why the attorney's logic isn't clouded by emotion, because she is dealing with the situation we have.

  • 3rdWorldState
    December 29, 2014 at 9:23 a.m.

    Then how bout homosexuals can get "married" and heterosexuals can be called something else.
    I would also point u back to ur story book and look what kind of marriages were acceptable. If ur going to live by the story book at least read it.

  • JakeTidmore
    December 30, 2014 at 9:53 a.m.

    Basically, Cooter, you're saying, if it can't be my definition of marriage, then no one can have marriage. All throughout your reasoning, you can't help telling us that you don't believe gays have a right to marry. "Don't force me to call it a marriage," you said. Despite all your obfuscation, you can't hide your hypocrisy and hate.
    And please don't give us that BS line that the only equality is for no one to get recognition. You ignore the legal issues that come with marriage which is what is at stake. It's not the title or ceremony being sought -- it's the legal recognition so that the love you proclaim to support can get the same rights and legal considerations as heteros enjoy.
    In some ways, the criticism of ignorance is more correct. You ignore the key factors in the case, you can't hide your own prejudices, you make claims for solutions that are unrealistic in the current legal environment, and you think you are fooling us with your empty words.

    You have only fooled yourself. As to the remark about marrying jackasses....as long as you don't remarry, then the world is safe from that problem.

  • JakeTidmore
    December 30, 2014 at 10:24 a.m.

    Let's ignore Cooter's "nuclear option solution" and look at what the legal issues are that affect recognizing same-sex marriage. This is the crux of the issue:

    Children and Your Rights

    If you plan on having or raising children, your status as a couple greatly affects your rights regarding your children. In marriage, both partners have the same rights and responsibilities. In a divorce, both partners can seek custody and visitation rights like any married couple. Upon death, the remaining parent automatically becomes the primary legal parent.

    Absent marriage, same-sex couples can sometimes turn to adoption in order to gain the rights of legal parents. In some states, same-sex couples can jointly adopt a child. In other states, one partner can legally adopt the biological child of his or her partner.

    Joint Property Rights

    Marriage generally creates a presumption of joint ownership of property accrued during the marriage. The presumption is the opposite for unmarried couples, where your property will be presumed to be owned by whoever acquired it.

    Death and Taxes

    Marriage creates a legal framework for dealing with issues that result from death, whether regarding property, parental rights or taxes. To create these effects as an unmarried couple, significant time and expenses will have to be spent establishing a similar relationship by contract. Even then, some things can't be recreated through contract, such as freedom from inheritance and gift taxes.

    Another issue to keep in mind is the host of property-transfer taxes that by default don't apply to married couples, but do apply to unmarried couples. It can make moving assets around in a cost efficient way very difficult for unmarried couples.

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that DOMA's provision limiting federal benefits (such as surviving spouse Social Security claims) to married heterosexual couples is unconstitutional.

    Government Benefits

    This is one of the largest reasons to get married, because the government provides a lot of benefits exclusively to married couples. A small sample of these benefits include Social Security benefits, health care benefits, nursing home care, and unpaid leave from your job to care for family members. Federal benefits should generally be available to legally married same-sex couples in light of the Supreme Court's 2013 ruling invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act. However, state benefits may only be available in states that allow same-sex marriage.

    Immigration

    Typically, legal marriage is the most reliable way to become a citizen in the U.S. Since certain provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act were overturned in 2013, the federal government now recognizes the validity of same-sex marriages. This may open avenues in the immigration arena previously unavailable to legally married same-sex couples.

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