COMMENTARY | After reading the reaction Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, to the Obama Administration’s announcement regarding IRS recognition of same-sex marriage, I had a realization. First, though, the announcement.
The IRS will recognize all same-sex marriages performed states permitting same-sex marriage, regardless of where the couple lives. So if a same-sex couple resides in Texas, the IRS will still treat them as married – even though Texas doesn’t – as long as their marriage was performed in a state where same-sex couples can marry.
No problems there. Taking this preemptive step will head off a future challenge, as two couples married in Iowa, for example, won’t be treated differently by the federal government.
My realization came with Brown’s statement. He said, according to NBC News, “The Treasury Department is grossly overstepping its authority. The Obama administration is intent on forcing same-sex marriage on an unwilling public.”
Now I get it. It’s all in the phrasing of that last bit, “forcing same-sex marriage on an unwilling public.”
I don’t know if Brian Brown knows it, but this ruling doesn’t make same-sex marriage mandatory. No government official will come knocking at your door to make sure that you are in a properly-sanctioned same-sex marriage, and there won’t be any dictates requiring the immediate end of any and all heterosexual marriages.
What a terrible miscommunication. I mean, when you look at it through the lens of what he must have thought would happen, well, no wonder he’s so upset. Could you imagine being forced to enter into a lifetime relationship with someone to whom you cannot be attracted, no matter how you try, in order to fit social norms? What a nightmare.
But it’s OK, Brian. You’re probably a little bit embarrassed about it right now, and that’s OK, it’s really one heck of a misunderstanding. No doubt we’ll all laugh together about it in a few years, how you fought so desperately to maintain second-class citizenship for your fellow Americans because you thought it would mean everyone would have to marry someone of the same-sex.
As I said, it’s a doozy.
So no worries, Brian Brown, and the others like you. It actually has absolutely nothing to do with you, unless you were hoping to keep a same-sex partner on the hook for years with the claim “I’d marry you, but it doesn’t count.” Nothing will be forced upon you, willing or unwilling. No one will tie you to a chair and force you to watch same-sex couples check the “married” box instead of the “unmarried” box on their tax returns.