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Should Unmarried Straight Couples Have Access to Benefits?

Same-sex marriage supporters say it's unjust that gay citizens cannot access spousal benefits like tax breaks and health insurance coverage from a spouse's employer. Their activism has resulted in domestic partnership policies and full marriage rights in a few states. While many gay-marriage activists view domestic partnership as separate and not equal, some opposite-sex couples now want to be treated as less than married.

After the US State Department decided to extend (some) federal benefits to gay and lesbian partners, straight workers have come forward asking for the same. The State Department is resisting because extending benefits to more than spouses is expensive for the government, or any employer for that matter. Now, one straight employee is suing.

Should straight couples have to get married to get access to spousal benefits? Even if it's expensive, would it make more sense to let everyone choose one person to extend benefits to, regardless of what type of relationship they have?

Source: Flickr User edwaado

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