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Noetic License 

Unmarried couples only think they're equal to their wedded counterparts.

Get our your poison pens because today's topic is marriage. I've been married for 23 years now and I expect to be married until the day I die. (With all the stuff my wife has had to put up with, there's no way she's going to let me outlive her, too.) Lots of people are married. But, at the same time, lots of people aren't married. And you know what? I don't care.

I've had trouble conveying this message in the past. Maybe I typed it too fast. So, I'll go slower. I DON'T CARE IF YOU'RE MARRIED OR NOT. It's none of my business. I care more about the weather in Ulan Bator than I do about your marital status. If you're an adult, you can do whatever you want. I just wish people would own up to what they do or don't do.

Myself, I could never live with a woman who would live with a man. But that's just me, and it's probably because I was brought up with all those yucky morals and stuff. And then, in my teens and early 20s, I was so busy playing ball that I completely missed out on that Sexual Revolution thing. Finally, like some anachronistic dolt, I fell in love and got married. What a chump!

There are many out there who managed to avoid those pitfalls of societal convention and are now leading perfectly blissful lives outside the bonds of marriage.

However, a number of people in that group have a penchant for trafficking in falsehoods. They buy into lies and then try their darnedest to sell them to others. It's like they figure that if enough people say something often enough, it becomes the truth, or at least it loses its patina of falsity.

So, let me just say this: Being married is not the same thing as not being married. That seems pretty straightforward, but a lot of people can't seem to grasp the concept.

Oh sure, there are certain similarities. But a bird isn't the same as a bat. A fish isn't the same as a submarine. I have a friend who says that the two are almost the same, like the difference between 3 and 4. Well, I'm sorry, but 3 is a prime number and 4 is a perfect square. They're not the same.

Richard Pryor used to say that in an argument between a man and a woman, he knew that the guy had completely run out of things to say when he shouted, "Well, f--- it, then!" Likewise, you know that the intellectual content of this discussion has drained out of the tub, leaving behind only moronic silt, when you hear the unmarried person utter the line, "Well, it's only a piece of paper."

In technical terms, the Declaration of Independence is only a piece of paper. So, too, are the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address and whatever it was on which John Fogerty wrote the lyrics to "Born on the Bayou."

A logical argument can be put forth that all of these things are mere pieces of paper. But to many, they represent living ideals, and to some they're almost sacred. And if these documents can be more than just pieces of paper, so too, can a marriage license.

My problem isn't with people who aren't married; I find it a foolish and selfish fad, but they're not hurting anybody. I would, however, pay money to be around when they try to sell their kids on that "You were created in love" bullshit. No, my concern is with the odd backlash against people who are married.

The IRS officially punishes married people. Corporations and governmental entities give married couples the middle finger by paying health benefits for heterosexual live-ins. I hate the fact that my county taxes go to pay health benefits for some truck-stop woman you met last weekend. And don't tell me that they verify the relationships. A friend of mine put his woman on his insurance within days of when she moved in with him. For that matter, what's to keep some guy from having multiple live-in partners and putting them all on the insurance? Polygamy is only illegal for married people.

I must stress that I fully support health benefits being offered to same-sex domestic partners, because these people, by law, don't have the option of getting married. Unless, of course, they moved to Vermont, in which case they'd need mental health benefits. I know gay couples who have been together longer than I've been married and I salute their commitment to one another.

But heterosexual live-in couples are, in effect, thumbing their noses at convention and tradition. And that's fine; maybe that's part of the spice. But don't wuss out and try to get married-couple stuff just because it'll help you financially. Don't relinquish your rebel status just because an opportunity of convenience comes along. That doesn't make you a semi-rebel; it makes you a sellout. It's like home-schooling parents who keep their kids out of school and then try to force the schools to take the kids on their sports teams. Either you're in or you're out; either you're married or you're not.

The final blow against marriage came in the Arizona Daily Star. After what seemed like a decades-long break, the Star has started providing local political coverage again. But in its candidate profiles, it's done away with personal bio information, including whether a candidate is married and/or has kids.

I called a friend of mine at the Star and she didn't know why that was. Perhaps that kind of information might be prejudicial for or against a certain candidate. Maybe they think that marital status is a bombshell that the public can't be entrusted to handle. It's on a need-to-know basis and you don't need to know. Political Correctness is just pathetic Crap.

I know this is supposed to be an alternative paper, but I'm going to give you a couple of old-fashioned truths. Marriage isn't going away, and living together just ain't the same thing.

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