Household unions

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Thanks to a link by Andrew Sullivan, I've found a John O'Sullivan piece that makes the civil union/marriage debate even more complicated. He assumes first that traditional marriage will within ten years be gone. Given that, he proposes household unions, which can be formed by any group of people living together, whether they have any sexual relationship or not. These could be easily dissolved but would give tax benefits and penalties, health insurance benefits, and other things that currently go along with marriage. A gay couple could form one, but so could three college guys living together, a bachelor son with his single mother, or a family with their live-in nanny. This would be in addition to the possibility of civil marriage and religious marriage, something I've talked about before. The way he talks about religious marriage separates it more from the government than what I had in mind. I was assuming a religious marriage would entail a civil union also, but he seems to see them as independent. At some point maybe I'll think more carefully about how these options would change things, but I don't currently have much to say about it other than I recognize that it would make it much more complicated.

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