12 November 2009

"Good government"

"State officials were unmoved by the couple’s wills, living wills, powers of attorney, and a marriage certificate" - Even without the marriage issue, powers of attorney and personal wills ought to be merely executed by the state and cannot/should not be overridden for almost any circumstance. Basically if there's some estate issue with the deceased's estate being incorrectly covered by the will (or some complicated legal issue, like property which was acquired illegally and is being held in forfeiture, which it doesn't sound like this was an issue), in this case the estate tax not being correctly figured as it would be if the estate remained with a spouse might be a factor, but not one which should hold up a cremation and funeral service. And I really don't see how it is any of the state's business who we transfer a power of attorney to or how we set out our arrangements for our death in a pre-arranged will (which, incidentally, usually can define who gets to carry it out).

Whenever we're told that this whole "ban gay marriage" issue is merely a protection of marriage itself (an explanation for which it has yet to be adequately explained how two gay people getting married erodes the dignity and effectiveness of two straight people doing so, but I digress...), I read something like this and realize that they're actually attempting to erode a basic human right, property rights and private contracts made therein, on the simple grounds that "they" don't like the people involved who have property and contracts to make. That is: we hate gay people so we are trying to make everything more difficult for no good reason and with no gains to ourselves in our own relations other than a feeling of smug satisfaction that a hated foe is suffering. It's bad enough not to grant the same basic rights for marriages as we do for heterosexual couples, but to also deny other more basic rights of settling our estates and the details of our demise as we wish and as we have detailed in our contractual arrangements? I recognize that there is a thing of majority rule, but majorities are supposed to be able to exercise some tolerance where they are not threatened and harmed by a minority. When they fail that, then the long-term risk is that those tolerances will not be applied in other ways, perhaps of greater interest to some parts of that majority.

If you can use elected and appointed government to erode the property rights in an unequal way to satisfy some special interest of bigotry, why not use it in other ways as well?
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