Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Something's Up in Colorado

Thanks to my colleague, Tony Varona, for alerting me to new legislation introduced in Colorado allowing two unmarried people to designate each other as entitled to make medical decisions, inherit, sue for wrongful death, and more, through use of a simple form.

I discussed an earlier Colorado effort along these lines in my book. The previous proposal, however, was not open to unmarried heterosexual couples. I said in the book, and I'll say again here, that any scheme that omits unmarried heterosexual couples reinforces the supremacy of marriage. It tells straight people that if they want to protect the economic or emotional security of their families they need to marry. And it tells everyone else that they have second-rate families and relationships, and since they can't marry the state will throw them some kind of bone.

Sure enough. The article reporting this legislation quotes a sponsor of the previous bill, Senator Shawn Mitchell, as opposed to this one because it includes different-sex couples. That, he says, dilutes marriage. Good thing, I say. And here's what a whole lot of Colorado folks have to say about the bill.

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