Marriage and non-marriage play huge role in laws, regulations and business practices. Politicians and pundits embrace “family values” but demonize unmarried families. Corporations use marital status because it’s “easy,” without considering the consequences for their workers and customers. Unmarried Equality is the only organization dedicated to changing that!
UE’s approach to policy debates and social trends is guided by our mission statement.
Brief descriptions of our special projects follow, alphabetically.
Adoption decisions should based on the best interest of each individual child. But some states prevent same-sex couples or unmarried people from adopting or fostering children, no matter how well matched the child and adult(s) might be. Several states are considering proposals to ban adoption by anyone who is cohabiting. These laws hurt kids.
Constitutional Amendment (State)
These amendments go far beyond banning same-sex marriage. Ultimately, all unmarried people may be affected. Here you can learn more, educate others, and mobilize to affect the outcome of this vote.
Ending singlism and marital status discrimination is a high priority for UE members and people like you, and we are proud to help you speak out! More decision-makers need to hear that it’s just not OK to treat people differently based on their marital status or their type of relationship.
Unmarried Equality believes that access to health care in the United States should not be determined by relationship or marital status. Although we applaud efforts by some businesses to make health insurance more accessible (by offering domestic partnership benefits, for example), we advocate for a truly universal system that separates health care from employment.
Marital status discrimination in housing is widespread, legal, and completely unfair. In about half the states in the U.S. (unless there are stronger local laws), a landlord can legally refuse to rent to an unmarried couple and a town can forbid unmarried families, roommates or extended families from living in certain neighborhoods. In a handful of states, cohabitation is a crime. These laws are not enforced consistently, and are often ignored. However, discrimination does happen, and when it does, it hurts!
Unmarried Equality supports efforts, such as the Uniting American Families Act, to make immigration policies fair to families that aren’t based on a marital relationship. U.S. immigration actions already recognize that marriage or the intent to marry does not guarantee a genuine family relationship, and that growing numbers of genuine family relationships are not based on marriage. We urge the U.S. and all national governments to amend their policies to eliminate marital status discrimination in the family reunification provisions of immigration law.
Income Taxes (Federal)
UE believes that individuals’ incomes should be taxed without regard to their marital status. People should be free to choose whether to marry without having to calculate if marrying will make their income taxes higher or lower. The current tax structure favors upper-income married provider-dependent households, a minority among American household types. In 2004 nearly 30 million couples enjoyed marriage bonuses totaling $49 billion (their average bonus that year was $1,691) while nearly 18 million couples suffered marriage penalties totaling $19.1 billion (average penalty $1,056).
Information about the movement of different-sex couples refusing to marry until same-sex couples have equal marriage rights, and about whole congregations refusing to conduct weddings until marriage-equality exists.
A loose coalition of individuals and groups calling themselves the Marriage Movement is working to strengthen the institution — and sometimes to elevate married families above all other kinds (that’s why we sometimes call it the Marriage-Only Movement). This collection of information – about the movement’s goals, the dangers we see, and how we’ve responded – shines a special spotlight on the National Marriage Project and the Case for Marriage.
Political strategists say unmarried people are a key voting block. If you’ve been skipping elections, now is your time to change! Not registered?
Do it right now. Then tell your friends to do it too.
Welfare and Poverty
UE believes that nudging, bribing, and coercing people down the aisle is an inappropriate role for government and an ineffective way to help people escape poverty. Read what we have to say on the matter.