By Edwin L. Crammer, CPA
imageOpinion By Edwin L. Crammer, CPA – During the past few years, two highly controversial subjects have been in the news almost on a daily basis. They are the subjects of “same sex marriage” and the other is legalization of Medical Marijuana. the latter subject I will discuss in a later article. This article will discuss in detail the subject of “Same sex Marriage”.
What started out slowly about ten years ago, in a decision by the State of Vermont to recognize the marriage of two individuals of the same sex has now been recognized in eighteen states. The latest state to recognize the joining together in matrimony of two individuals of the same gender was the State of Utah, which was a surprising move considering that Utah is a very conservative state. That decision is now being challenged in the courts.
Florida is a very conservative state, when you take away the tri-county area, which is very Liberal and therefore, it is my opinion that although it will happen in Florida someday, Florida will be one of the last states to recognize the joining together in marriage of two individuals of the same sex.
As far as I am concerned on whether I approve or disapprove of this subject, I am neutral. Having been employed earlier in my life for a number of years in the Advertising field in New York, I have worked side by side with a number of Gay and Lesbian fellow employees. Some of them became my friends. This was during the time when coming out as a gay individual was not considered a wise move. However, by virtue of the fact that my wife and I have no biases whatsoever against anyone of religion, skin color or alternative lifestyle, individuals of all of the above mentioned different lifestyles had no problem confiding in us and accepting us into their social groups..
When, Vermont announced it was allowing gay marriage about ten years ago, two friends of my wife and I went to Vermont and tied the knot. Although, my wife and I could not attend the nuptial we blessed the union and sent them a present. My wife who, in the past thought of herself as a matchmaker, could not resist putting together two single gay individuals who she thought would be a good match. It did not work out, however, for reasons I will not disclose or discuss, herewith.
As I had stated above, my wife and I have never felt uncomfortable socializing with both gay and lesbian individuals and couples. In fact, we once took a seven day cruise with a group of Lesbians of which two of them, actually the Vermont couple mentioned above, paid for the entire group including my wife, myself and one other straight couple.
The lack of bias on my part also shows up in my current business practice. I can count on a number of Gay and Lesbian clients who return to my practice for Accounting and tax work as they are confident that I will treat them with the same respect that I treat all of my other clients. In fact, for about four years, I had a Gay nightclub in Palm Beach County as a client. The club closed down about two years after I took over the Accounting because the city pressured the landlord not to renew the lease.
The club was a popular place during the time it was opened. The funny thing was the club owners who were straight confided to me at the time that about half of the male dancers were actually straight and they were performing the dances at the club because the money was good. The owners of an adult night club in Broward that features female dancers for their customers told me several years ago that about half of their female dancers were gay. Crazy world isn’t it.
In the excitement of the changes in the laws of a number of states that allow gay marriages, most of those individuals do not realize that in being allowed to marry their partner, they now have to assume responsibilities that they did not have before in order to make the marriage work. The one area that now is more complicated in the area of divorce that they did not have to contend with before they decided to get married. In the past, they could just walk away from their partner If they decide to no longer be attracted to that partner. They now would have to deal with the legal system in order to break up. This includes, just as in a straight marriage, the splitting of assets and child support if they have taken that route and also the possibility of alimony.
In addition, if they move to a State that does not recognize same sex marriage, they will have to contend with the rules of that State which probably will be in contrast to the laws of the state that they got married in. That includes, which no one has mentioned, burial rights. When the partners die in a State that does not recognize same sex marriage, they may not be allowed to be buried together or make arrangements for the partner who had died.
One question I have is how they address each other in public? I recently heard a male individual on the radio address his same sex partner as his husband. Does it mean that two individuals of the same sex that are married can be addressed as; Husband and Husband or on the other had when it involves two females Wife and Wife. Or is it up to the discretion of those involved to address each other in whatever way they decided to do it.
It is my belief that now with the Supreme Court upholding the defense of the marriage act, that most States will recognize same sex marriage by the end of this decade. But as usually is the case, a few states will hold out and one of those may be Florida.
Oh! by the way, what is the world coming too?… The IRS sent out a bulletin last week that urged taxpayers to file the 2013 income tax return early this year, before someone else files it for you. So take heed.
The family of an Ohio man that was executed the other week for a murder he had committed a number of years ago, are suing the State because the State used new untested drugs to execute him. As a result it took him fifteen minutes to die. The family states in its lawsuit that his constitutional rights were violated as it did not take his victim fifteen minutes to die. True story.
To contact Edwin L. Crammer: e-mail at