Thank you for this.
My younger sister and I are both in our mid-40s and
I have lived together since college years in a sort
of “sibling-marriage”. We intend to live this way
for the rest of our lives and have often wondered if
there was a movement afoot somewhere that would
allow us similar rights to married people.
My sister is a full-time employee with 25 years
service and a great benefits package, and I am a
freelance graphic designer struggling to pay
incredibly high insurance costs. Even a Gay or
Lesbian couple in a similar circumstance would not
As single women
it feels as though we pay more into the public
system than married people with children — despite
the fact that we use up fewer public resources.
Do you have information that would connect us with
other people with similar concerns?
Karen B. of
p.s. I would
like to hear from others who live in a similar
situation. They can e-mail me at:
I just wanted to say that I saw your website and
found it very interesting. Cudos to you.
I'm 49 and have always been single and have, over
the years, noticed the many ways in which I'm
discriminated against (legally and socially) for
being single. Your list of laws that discriminate
is very interesting and I would like to add one to
the list that is VERY IMPORTANT financially to
singles, and that is related to capital gains tax.
To wit, married people are entitled, when they sell
their home, to a $500,000 capital gains exemption.
Thus, for marrieds, $500,000 of the gain from sale
of the home is exempt from taxes. Singles are only
entitled to a $250,000 exemption.
Under the Equal Protection Clause of the
Constitution, as interpreted by the courts, a state
law may validly treat similarly situated persons
differently if there is a "rational basis" for doing
so (except with respect to certain classes, such, as
race and gender) where the state must have more than
a merely "rational basis" for the distinction, but
rather must show a compelling basis). Financial
issues fall under the "rational basis" test.
There is no rational basis for the capital gains
exemption. Singles are paying the same mortgage
amount as the married couple. Singles are paying
the same real estate taxes on the property. Singles
and married couples alike are benefiting in the gain
exactly the same, that is, a single person owning
the same piece of property as the married couple
would gain the same. True that the married couple
(should they divorce) would have to split the
exemption and gain in half, but this should not
alter the conclusion since, theoretically, they also
split the expenses of the property (mortgage,
insurance, taxes etc.). If anything, it is far more
burdensome for the single person to own the same
piece of property and therefore, the single person
should "at least" have the same tax exemption
benefit at the end of it.
If a single person were in the 25% tax bracket,
he/she will have to pay $62,500 more in taxes on the
sale of property where the gain is $500,000 or more
than the married person. NOT FAIR!!!
Just thought I'd bring that to your attention, as
it would be a great issue to lobby.