Thursday, August 24, 2006

Knight: Despite Claims, Pension Reform Not Endorsement of 'Alternative Family Lifestyles'

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When he signed the Pension Provision Act of 2006 into law last week, President Bush called it the "most sweeping reform of U.S. pension laws" in more than three decades. Part of the provision under the new law allows anyone inheriting retirement account funds to roll it over into an IRA and avoid a huge tax bill. That change is being trumpeted by homosexual "couples" and those who live together as a triumph for their cause -- but that's not quite true, says a spokesman for one pro-family organization.
Simply by default, the new changes apply to anyone -- friend or relative -- and any couple, regardless of marriage status or gender. "Non-spousal beneficiaries," the law calls them; and pro-homosexual groups see awarding of this benefit, heretofore reserved for married couples, as a nod of approval in their direction.
The Human Rights Campaign, the largest pro-homosexual lobby in the United States, is among the groups touting the pension reform and claims a major role in its inclusion of key provisions that benefit the "gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans-sexual" (GLBT) community. "In a challenging political climate," says HRC president Joe Solmonese, "we persevered and helped to secure critical federal protections that will make difficult times for domestic partners a little easier." He told the San Francisco Chronicle it is the first change in the tax code to help same-sex couples.
But Bob Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute at Concerned Women for America, says alternative lifestyle groups are looking for anything they can call a victory. "Certainly, the homosexual activists probably had a hand in lobbying for it," he acknowledges. "But if you look at the provision, it's so general that in no way could they claim that it's the government blessing same-sex relationships."
Knight contends that recent defeats at the ballot box and in court rulings are two reasons why proponents of alternative family relationships are claiming a victory in this case.
"The homosexual activists have taken it on the chin lately, with 20 states enacting marriage amendments and seven courts -- actually eight now -- striking down their challenges to marriage laws," he points out. "They've been losing across the board, so I'm not surprised if they'll want to claim this as a gay victory when in effect it's really far more general than that."
It is a real stretch, says Knight, for anyone to claim the pension reform is a government blessing of same-sex partner benefits. "It's not the government saying, 'Okay, now we're going to recognize same-sex relationships just like marriage,'" he comments. "It's not like that at all."
Instead, Knight thinks legislators simply chose to change legal requirements to reflect a culture which is experiencing deterioration of commitment to traditional marriage and family. "Overall, I'd say it's not a good change if you care about the health of marriage because it disincentivizes marriage," he offers. "On the other hand, it reflects the growing reality of never-married, divorced, and cohabiting people."
The CFI spokesman says the new law is an unfortunate acknowledgment that, with a drop in the number of traditional marriages taking place, there is no longer a broad expectation for retirement funds to go to marriage spouses of those who have died.
Why hasn't the radical homosexual community embraced the Benefits Fairness Act, which is an alternative to most of the rights that they are screaming for? The act recognizes that there are relationships that are ineligible for marriage but who nevertheless would benefit from a status similar to a next-of-kin status.
The whole concept of "second class citizenry" is the typical answer to the act. Why is it that the pro-marriage, pro-family advocates can bend to try and come to a middle ground on the issue of marriage but the radical gay community cannot? Has the pro-gay "marriage" sponsors ever engaged in conducting a citizen initiated petition to put gay "marriage" in the law books? No. Has the radical homosexual community ever come to some common ground with pro-marriage advocates in terms of suggesting or writing up a proposal that would please both sides of the fence on this issue? No.
It seems that the radical gay community only promotes for the destruction of marriage and family. This is strongly suggested in many comments by leading homosexual advocates of gay “marriage”:
“The trick is, gay leaders and pundits must stop watering the issue down – this is simply about equality for gay couples – and offer same-sex marriage for what it is: an opportunity to reconstruct a traditionally homophobic institution by bringing it to our more equitable queer value system…a chance to wholly transform the definition of family in American culture…”
-Michelangelo Signorile, OUT magazine, May 1996, pp. 30, 32.
An article in OUT magazine quotes Mr. Signorile again on the question of the virtue of marriage and monogamy and pushes this quote as a normal opinion from a typical gay man:
“As far as the legalities and financial aspects, yes, I’d definitely get married. But would that make me monogamous? No way. I think it’s silly for anyone, straight or gay, to define it that way.”
- Signorile, OUT magazine, May 1996, p. 113.
“I think it’s possible to love more than one person and have more than one partner…In our case, we have an open marriage.”
-Jonathan Yarbrough: The first gay man along with his partner Cody Rogahn to get a same-sex marriage license in MA. who spoke to the press just before his wedding in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on May 17, 2004 (Franci Richardson, “P’town Ready for the ‘Big Day,’” Boston Herald, May 17, 2004.)
Just in today’s Boston Globe there is the continued advocation for the use of no fault divorce but for homosexual couples whose “marriages” have “dissolved”.
One question I would like to ask Ms. Robinson is how are same-sex relationships the same as heterosexual relationships besides “sometimes they last, sometimes they don’t”?
Why is it that the destructive outcomes of no fault divorce need to be “installed” into a community that does not, for the most part, even adhere to the values of traditional marriage in the first place?

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