Hardcore Discrimination:
LGBT Rights and the Election

November 5, 2012

Writer and comedian Liz Feldman explains why this election is so important for her and millions of other gay Americans: It’s not about bank accounts; it’s about civil rights.

Protests in Boston, 2006. Photo by Sushiesque.

I am lucky to have health insurance through the Writers’ Guild of America. The Guild is inclusive enough to provide health insurance to my domestic partner. However, the federal government taxes my partner’s insurance at a rate of $3,288 a year. Heterosexual married couples do not have to pay this tax. But we do, because we are not legally married. My partner and I would love to get married, but—funny story—in the United States of America, it is currently illegal for us to get married.

I am a tax-paying citizen. In fact, as it turns out, I pay more taxes because I am gay. I pay more taxes and I receive fewer rights. That is pretty hardcore discrimination. It’s not only unfair; it’s unconstitutional.

Barack Obama wants to end this type of prejudice. He believes it should be legal for gays and lesbians to get married, sharing all of the legal rights and financial benefits that heterosexual married couples have. He believes that my relationship with the person I love is just as valid as his is with Michelle.

Mitt Romney believes that I do not deserve to get married. He thinks that I do not deserve equal rights. He thinks that because I am gay, I should be treated differently.

I understand why people vote with their bank accounts in mind. I pay extra taxes; so, trust me, I get it. But, in this election, I have to vote with my civil rights in mind. Barack Obama wants to protect my rights. In 2010, he mandated that all hospitals treat gay and lesbian couples the same as heterosexual couples, allowing partner visitation. In Mitt Romney’s America, I could have all the money in the world, but I still might not have the right to visit my partner in the hospital. Romney believes hospital visitation and adoption for gays and lesbians are “benefits” not “rights.”

Whether or not you think a Romney presidency might boost the economy or lower your taxes, I hope you consider this: Mitt Romney does not believe in equal rights for everyone, including active military personnel, doctors, teachers, moms or dads—even veterans. Watch this video of Romney discussing equality with a Vietnam vet:

You could have served your country, saved lives, raised incredible children. If you are gay, you do not deserve equal rights according to Mr. Romney.

It’s very simple. A vote for Romney is a vote against the LGBT community.