Sunday, January 30, 2005

Senate Measure would offer benefits to the unmarried

I have been in favor of amendments and laws against gay marriage. However, I don't see a negative side to the bill discussed in this article in the Deseret News. According to the article:

"The bill would give those who cannot marry the ability to obtain one contract, registered with the state Department of Health, to visit a partner in the hospital, make informed consent medical decisions, dispose of a dead partner's remains and make organ donation decisions, and to have joint tenancy rights to property acquired while under the contract."

Essentially, the bill will bring several already available legal contracts under a single umbrella to simplify things for petitioners. For most Utahns, cutting red tape is probably a good thing. The measure stands to benefit "roommates who are not involved in a relationship or family members who share a home." Of course, same-sex couples would also be benefited. Just because there is a benefit to gays doesn't mean the measure is without merit. Roads and libraries benefit gays too, but we don't oppose those. (Okay, we'll leave the Legacy highway for another posting.)

My only exposure to the amendement is this coverage by the News, but from what I've read there is no good reason to oppose the measure. It may streamline government for citizens and that is almost always a good thing.

It seems the best argument against this bill is the "slippery slope" argument. In the language of logic, this is a fallacy of distraction. The proposed outcomes in a slippery slope argument could be true, but aren't assured and thus probably shouldn't be the sole basis for support or opposition to a measure. While it is true that people drown in lakes, that doesn't imply that there is never a good reason for having and using lakes. We must always weigh actual benefits and costs.

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