Aloni on “Relationship Recognition Madness”

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Erez Aloni (Whittier) has published an op-ed,  “Relationship Recognition Madness.” at Huff Po.  Here is an excerpt. He takes on the new FAFSA rules that take account the income of co-habitating unmarried parents in determining a student’s eligibility for financial aid.

Under the purview of the Department of Education, the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will now include in its calculation of students’ eligibility for financial aid the income of cohabiting, unmarried parents — including same-sex spouses that are generally unrecognized by the federal government due to the Defense of Marriage Act. LGBTQ organizations have long fought for this legal change; indeed, our community has accepted it as a political victory…..

This new policy, advocated by LGBTQ organizations, ultimately penalizes unmarried (and same-sex) parents just as do laws that do not recognize these couples (and to clarify, the rule targets only parents who live together to the exclusion of others).

When combined, these two practices — the nonrecognition of unmarried couples in the allocation of rights and benefits and the recognition of them in the calculation of student financial aid — result in a functional financial penalty to nonmarried couples. The net result is economic maldistribution. No law or policy can be judged “fair” or “unfair” without considering this fact.

Read the full piece here.

-Bridget Crawford

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