Column One:
Eye on Unmarried America

May 1,  2006  



Other reactions to previous Column One commentaries

Below are letters from readers sharing their reactions to issues which have been raised in this column.  The date and name of the column are in bold (with hyperlink to the commentary) and the readers comments follow.  Send us your comments on a particular column and we will consider publishing them.


April 10, 2006
IRS digs into pockets of low income singles

It's about time!  Thank you for this great website!!! 

For years I have been screaming about taxes on single people.  I have been divorced for almost 17 years - I'm 47 years old - no children and a solo.  I'm all for "it takes a village", but good Lord, how long do I have to keep up the village????  I have always felt singles have been discriminated against. 

Keep up the good work.  I will be looking for you the air and will a donation at that time.  


March 6, 2006
Resolution promoting the 'natural family' is abnormal
Thank you for your column.  You've said what the committee I work with and myself have tried to say in so many ways since Jan. 10, the day they passed the Resolution with no public hearing or notice.  We have tried to run ads, get people to the City Council meetings, network, appeal to our other political leaders, ask every organization we can think of for help, in short, tried everything we can think of to stop this.  It's torn this town apart.  Opinions have hardened.  Most of the traditional LDS and other church goers think it's fine.  We're called troublemakers and worse.  A lot of the people who would speak up against the Mayor are afraid of retaliation.  Most of the business people realize the controversy is so bad for tourism, but won't speak up.  It's really frightening. The Mayor and Council have gone after several people who have spoken up.  The Salt Lake Tribune speaks of some of them.
    This area voted for Bush twice with 80% or better.  The Mayor, running unopposed twice, has said he's proud to live in a one party city, in a one party state, and is also the Republican County Chair.  We have appealed to the State and Federal Officials, and the Governor to no avail.  There is no recall mechanism in the city charter here.  He's in for four years, hell or high water.  I am trying to sell and get out, fearing that property values will plummet.  I truly believe this town will become a magnet for right wing radicals, with violence following close behind.
    A woman from Wyoming came to the Council meeting where 10 minutes were allowed us to state our case, and dismissed with prepared statements from the Council.  She said she'd seen the attitudes there, like here, that killed Matthew Shepard.  She said Wyoming will always be known as the state that killed him.  She was never even allowed to speak.
    I've never seen anything like this in my life.  It appears, in places like this, people really want to return to Puritan America, or perhaps Taliban Afganistan.  Underneath this, they are stirring up a virulent hatred of gays.  Like Nazi Germany, they seem to be looking for a target of hate, and here they are succeeding.  Unfortunately, most townspeople are oblivious.  May God help us.
    Thank you again for shining some light on this.  I hope you don't mind, I'm going to email your column to our local weekly paper, The Southern Utah News.  Dixie Brunner, the Editor has stood up against this resolution and been the target of the Mayor because of it.  I hope she can reprint it there with your permission.  If you wish to contact the paper, the email is  Thank you again very much.

Cathy Mc Crystal

December 5, 2005
Many singles not satisfied with work-life balance

Thomas F. Coleman wrote to the company which conducted the survey mentioned in this Column and asked if anyone there could explain why unmarried workers were more dissatisfied with their employment situation than married workers.  That's what their survey showed.  Here is what the company wrote back.

Thank you for the inquiry and the interest in our survey.  The differences on this front are notable, and while it’s challenging to present a categorical answer to why the large gaps exist, several possibilities occur.  It may be that married workers feel they can share the burden of outside errands and logistics, giving them more time to balance their day.  You’ll also notice that individuals with larger incomes tend to have higher satisfaction with their work-life balance.  It is possible that dual incomes give married workers more resources to accommodate busy lifestyles.  Anecdotally, we often hear that unmarried workers feel compelled to ‘pick up the slack’ from married workers, particularly those with children.  Our survey did not specifically address this issue, but our position is that employers should provide adequate work-life balance for all employees, regardless of marital status – or any other determination.  

Best regards,

Alicia Barker
VP Human Resources
Hudson North America

September 6, 2005
Labor Day: striving for equality when the party is over

It was a pleasure to read your article, Labor Day: striving for equality when the holiday is over

I have worked for a company for a little of a year and a half as a Relocation Coordinator for a Real Estate company. Our director is a married woman with children and has created a flexible environment catering to employees balancing the responsibility of having children and a full-time work schedule. This creates a helpful environment for those in my department with children, but as the only staff member of 5 without children, I feel discriminated against when it comes to vacation time. My company allows us two weeks paid vacation each year.

Over the Christmas Holiday in 2004, I was left to be the only one present in our department on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. My co-workers and director expressed that it was ok for me to be there because I did not have a family consisting of children to be with during the holidays. As the new holiday season approaches my coworkers have expressed that this year they need to be at home with their children once again.
Recently, I asked my director if I can take one week vacation time in February of 2006 due to moving into a new home. Her response was that my husband and I should not have that many boxes to move because we do not have children. She said, "you don't need to pack all the many things a child needs such as books, toys, clothes". My director's conclusion what that I should really only need 2-3 days to move and I should unpack gradually. 
I feel that I have been discriminated against because my husband and I have chosen not to have children at this point in our lives. I understand there are not many laws protecting workers from this type of discrimination, but is there any course of action I can take in reference to getting my vacation time?

© Unmarried America 2006

Thomas F. Coleman, Executive Director of Unmarried America, is an attorney with 33 years of experience in singles' rights, family diversity, domestic partner benefits, and marital status discrimination.  Each week he adds a new commentary to Column One: Eye on Unmarried America. E-mail: Unmarried America is a nonprofit information service for unmarried employees, consumers, taxpayers, and voters.