April 8, 2013
Poor Jeremy Irons. Poor, poor Jeremy.
He asked a basic question arising from the demands of same-sex couples to get the same tax breaks as married couples. He asked a tax question…if we’re going to change the law so that people don’t have to pay inheritance tax…how can I get myself in on the deal?
In an interview with the Huffington Post, the 64-year-old actor said he doesn’t have an opinion either way on gay marriage, but he then asked, “could a father not marry his son?” Later, after attacks by angry liberals, he tried to ameliorate the impact of his comment by claiming it was just a playful jest.
You can tell that Irons tapped into a very real and very raw nerve. Just look at the outrage and listen to the invectives spewed at him across the tabloids and on news shows.
Just when everyone was shouting “equality,” Jeremy pointed out that “equality” is being measured by the “dollars and cents of tax breaks.” If gay activists think that Jeremy is the only one working with the financial inquisitiveness of a CPA…they have another think coming.
When the Post interviewer objected on the grounds of incest, Irons argued by referring to the gender issues being ignore. “[I]ncest is there to protect us from inbreeding, but men don’t breed.” Coming back to the core issue at hand, Irons piqued the public by asking if he were to marry his son…would it allow him to pass on his estate to his son without being taxed?
The gays have been “outed” in the truest sense. For, most of the “debate” about gay marriage has been a diversionary tactic to redirect our sympathies to the emotional pain of gay people. In truth, the underlying drive for same-sex equity is driven by money. If there were no financial gains to be had, the crowds at the Supreme Court would dwindle to a trickle.
In a key case at the Supreme Court, 83-year-old Manhattan resident Edith Windsor sued Uncle Sam because she was made to pay estate taxes after the death of her wife, Thea Spyer, that heterosexual widows would not have had to pay. This case represents the core financial element of claiming marriage for same-sex relationships.
So why the tax breaks? The government is never shy about collecting taxes. Tax breaks and marriage certificates mattered from the day they were created because legislators recognized the social benefit of stabilizing the lives of families for the sake of their children…all accruing to the benefit of our civilization. Tax breaks mattered because children mattered.
If we continue to deconstruct the institution of traditional marriage between men and women, then we have trouble identifying where to offer our social support for the benefit of children. We have spent the past fifty years questioning the value of men and women, married with families, and toying with the idea that this isn’t important to us. Same-sex marriage is just grabbing at the coattails of the cultural revolution.
Jeremy is asking the obvious question. If marriage is not limited to one man and one woman, then what are the limits? And if taxes are at stake…why stop with a marriage of two people? If we are in charge of defining marriage to “anything we want it to be,” then all options should be on the table.
Tax experts are expert at maximizing tax breaks. That is why Nevada and Delaware do a booming business as the states of preference for incorporating businesses in all fifty states. That is why off-shore accounts are favored for large sums of cash. And that is why out-sourcing your corporate call center to India or Ireland makes financial sense.
Supposedly, equality means my marriage is equal to yours, even if I am not married to one person of the opposite sex. So…can we extend “equality” even further? Is there any justification for limiting the definition of marriage to two people?
Why not group marriage? This is customary in some Muslim countries…one man with multiple wives. Why not?
Why not the “other kind” of group marriage? Why not permit one woman to be married to multiple men? We already approve of multiple sexual partners for women. Why not marry all of them?
Why not inter-family marriages? Could a brother marry a sister? We have ruled out the need to plan for children inside of a marriage. We have multiple methods of avoiding and getting rid of children. So genetic issues do not have to be an issue here. A brother and sister? Why not?
Jeremy’s off-the-cuff question is just one more in the list? Why not a parent and child in marriage?
Why not two friends? We don’t have to prove our bedroom habits in court; we don’t have to be gay lovers. We can just be two friends with wonderful retirement plans. Voila. Married, we do not pay inheritance taxes. We receive our spouse’s retirement in total, every single penny of it. Even if we are not gay. We can still get married. Why not?
What about a marriage club? If someone has an inheritance exceeding one million dollars, they can join our “group marriage club.” We will all inherit from everyone.
Don’t think these questions can predict reality? Think again. Fifty years ago, who would have thought that men could marry men? Social changers have learned to bypass public wisdom and to press their claims in court…and if we entertain the redefinition of marriage, these questions will all wind their way into our social fabric, one legal challenge at a time.
If we are going to change the definition of marriage, what are the outside boundaries? What makes two gay women or men more privileged than any other combination of human beings who claim their “right” to be married?
If we are talking about marriage equality…we already have that. Any man can marry any woman, one at a time. Society allows the privilege of spousal inheritance as a benefit to those who are open to the possibility of children as the natural consequence of married love between a man and a woman. It is as simple as that.
April 1, 2013: Marriage Defined
March 15, 2013: All Things Being Equal