Sunday, March 2, 2008
THE LESSON OF ACADEMY AWARD WINNING "FREEHELD"
The best short documentary Oscar went to "Freeheld," a film about a dying police officer's fight to ensure that her surviving partner would receive her pension. Gay rights groups are using the example of this movie as evidence of the need for marriage for same-sex couples. But the actual ending of the story is that the law changed to allow officers to leave their pensions to anyone they choose! This is the right result. If same-sex couples could marry, and officers could only leave pensions to their surviving spouses, then married gay and straight couples would be protected. But what about everyone else? The officer earned that pension and should be able to pass it on to those who need it most. That has nothing to do with marriage. Let's achieve marriage equality where possible as a civil rights goal. Let's achieve family policies that value all families. That will help more LGBT -- and straight -- people.