Monday, February 22, 2016

Why marriage equality matters to "single" people -- some personal history


Marriage equality does matter to single people. I can give several examples.

In my first job, in 1970, married people were paid more TDY when assigned away from home than singles for accommodations, regardless of whether spouses came with them.  This became a source of tension over the year and helped lead to my only layoff (in early 1971) until 2001.

In the past, some jobs were available only to “couples”, such as running some motels (like Motel 6).
   
In 1993, I was on the permanent nightcall list in production support.  When the night shift programmer had a baby, I filled in a whole weekend without pay (although I later got a bigger raise).  She got paid for my time.  That’s one reason why mandating paid parental leave needs to be thought through very carefully.  I don’t mind when a company that knows what’s doing (Google or Facebook) does it with its associates.

During my period of eldercare for my mother in the 2000s, there were times when people would pressure me into situations more intimate than I was prepared for, and to be more pushy socially in “protecting my mother”.  That’s easier for someone who had courted women, married, and had and raised his own kids first.  Similarly, I experienced some troubling situations when working as a substitute teacher with a need for fathering skills. 

A climate allowing same-sex marriage would give “another me” (in a sci-fi sense) a shot of having the same “family responsibility” as others.  But the past environment could have me subsidizing the sexual intercourse and marital passions (however well-based on the “Song of Solomon”) of others.  

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