in a civil ceremony corollary to marriage, then these couples will have the opportunity to enjoy all of the benefits of marriage, including rights to a statutory share of their partner's estate on that partner's death, the right to own property as a family unit, and the right to share in any pension, insurance, or other employee or government benefits of their partner. Such couples will also be entitled to alimony for a dependent partner and a right of property division upon a severing of the union.
The current legal climate is such that homosexuals have virtually no legal rights other than scattered partial legal rights granted voluntarily by city councils, county commissions, state legislatures, and Congress, and scattered protections voluntarily granted by public or private employers. The corollary is that any of these rights may be taken away as easily as they are granted, as homosexuals have no present right to protection under the Constitution of the United States. There is a legal basis for prosecuting homosexual behavior as criminal activity.
Researchers need to understand that their work could be the vehicle for making changes in the interpretation of the status of homosexuals under the U.S. Constitution. Contemporary laws relevant to sexual orientation are based on archaic and obscure beliefs and traditions. Methodologically sound research is needed in order to challenge the fallacies about sexual orientation that are evident in the existing laws.
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Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Psychology of Sexual Orientation, Behavior, and Identity:A Handbook. Contributors: Louis Diamant - Editor, Richard D. McAnulty - Editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1995. Page number: 510.