Essays for Solo Singles

Letters from AASP

Letters to AASP

An Interview with
Thomas F. Coleman

Comments
About Our Work

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letters Received

May 2001 through Present 

 
 
Here are some of the letters we have received, either directly, or through one of the list-serve groups we subscribe to.   We receive many letters and e-mail messages each week and publish those which are the most interesting.

June 13,2002

Soldier asks advice from AASP on improving single soldiers living arrangement


I stumbled upon your website dedicated to single soldiers in my search for an answer about the barracks regulations. I still haven't found the Army regulations
on the size the barracks rooms have to be for each soldier, but I will continue to look.

I was curious if you have any ideas of what I can do as a private to try to make some changes in the barracks condition of my unit. Currently single soldiers are housed in small 165 square feet rooms. Along with other problems in our run down barracks, we also have deal with Asbestos located throughout the barracks. It's great that we have warning signs to tell us that it is going to kill us, but there is nothing that we can do for our own well being.

I agree one hundred percent with the argument that you don't have to be married in order to receive comfortable living in the military.  I know personally a couple of married couples that tied the knot just for that reason and only that reason. 

Anyway, I am curious if you have any advice to whom I can contact to post the many complaints of my fellow soldiers. Any advice you could give me would be great. I appreciate your efforts in helping out every single soldier who is serving and protecting our country. I hope to receive a reply from you soon.

Pvt. BG

 

 


April 11, 2002

AASP member thanks executive director, Thomas F. Coleman for standing up for her rights


AASP recently received a letter from one of our members thanking the Association and our executive director for standing up and fighting for her rights. The full text of her letter can be viewed by clicking here.

 


April 10, 2002

Don't stigmatize our kids by calling them "illegitimate"

Dear AASP,

In researching an article I am currently working on , I was delighted to discover your website. In this article I speak about "illegitimate" and was equally delighted to read about the "Stop the Stigma" campaign you currently have underway. This type of advocacy is extremely important, my concern in particular, the stigma attached to parenting without a partner. Independent parenting, is now a lifestyle enjoyed by many and has a rightful place in society.  We parents and especially our children should not have to bear the brunt of an outdated view.

I am an independent parent and reside in Toronto, Ontario and would like to become a member of AASP.  Do you accept membership from Canada?  Although the information may not be relevant to me geographically, it is most relevant to my interest and I would like to support the work of AASP. It is unfortunate that such an organization hasn't been formed here in Canada.

I look forward to your reply.

Kim. N.
Toronto, Canada

 


February 14, 2002

AASP fighting the  focusing on the issues you really care about

Hello,

I was doing a search on singles organizations and found your website amid a cluster of online dating services. After looking through it, I decided to sign up. I'm now a member.

As a 35-year-old single woman who's never been married, I found your organization very interesting. I definitely agree that we should not tolerate getting taxed more or discriminated against by governments or corporations. Other than that, I have to say that I have not often felt socially stigmatized because I'm single.

I've worked in companies where I was the only 30something who wasn't married, and sometimes I would be obligated to attend office parties where I would turn out to be the only one without a date. Believe me, that was excruciating. They would send me emails telling me to bring your "significant other." I always had to tell them I didn't have one.

They seemed to accept that, but I would still feel like the only girl who at the prom without a date. But those were the exceptions, the only closest experiences I've had to feeling "ostracized" for being a single woman. I didn't feel I had a lot in common with those people to begin with, so they were never a part of my world. If they really had a problem with my not being married, I would consider it their loss.

My parents divorced when I was 12 years old, and I was raised in a big city and went to school with many kids whose parents were also divorced. If anything, where I grew up, divorce was the norm. So I guess I was raised in an environment with considerably more sophisticated ideas about being married - or not being married.

A lot people in the articles about living single say they experienced pressure from their families and friends to get married and settle down. I have to say that my family was always pretty liberal when it  came to these matters. My parents always encouraged me to get a college education and pursue a career before I settled down, and to this day they don't mind that I'm still not married with kids. My friends are pretty much the same way. Many of them are married, but I've never had any of them demand me to let them know when I'm going to get married. If they ever had any reservations about my being single, they certainly never mentioned them to me. They live their own lives and let me live mine.

Perhaps for all these reasons, I have never taken people who look down on singles very seriously. If anything, I've always considered them ignorant hicks.

I read in your newsletter that a study found that many Americans - particularly those in their 20s - revered marriage more as an institution than the idea of living with someone you love. These people need to  wake up and stop living in a dream world. With such attitudes that could only come from being brainwashed by Hollywood and the fairy-tale concept of "living happily ever after," it is no wonder that the divorce rate is so high.

I cannot respect ideas that only turn out to be serious delusions. If people want to look down on me because I'm a single woman over 30, that says more about them than it ever will about me.

Thank you.

R. L.

 


January 15, 2002

Boy, we really need you!!!

Hello,

I saw your article in Monday's Orange County Register.  I didn't know there was such an organization as the American Association for Single People. Boy, we really need you.

I don't feel I'm being discriminated against, in the legal sense, but it is difficult being accepted in the workplace if you are not married. Everyone I work with is married with children. Although I have tried to be friendly with them, they never reciprocate those feelings to me. I have a boyfriend and live a very active, but who cares?  As far as my co-workers are concerned, I have no life at all. I have a B.A. degree and have traveled all over the world. I occasionally  talk to my married co-workers about someplace I've traveled to, just like they enjoy talking about their families. Instead of opening up a dialogue with them, they end up talking down to me in a very condescending sort of way.

I have found this kind of treatment repeatedly, here in California. How do I cope?   It has gotten so bad that I am considering relocating back to the Midwest where I am from.

I also noticed that in my last job, there were a few gay people and they were also snubbed.  I live in ultraconservative Orange County, and if you are not exactly like them, they treat you like you don't exist.

I plan on leaving here in the next few years, but in the meantime, I need to know how I can cope?  Please reply.

Thank you very much.

Sharri
Orange County, CA

 


January 3, 2002

Single woman praises sheriff's new domestic partner benefits program

A Florida resident wrote this letter to the editor of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel commending the recent action made by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. The full text of her letter appears below:

Being a straight, moral 60-year-old female, I resent married people with children deriving from society benefits of which I am deprived: my tax dollars to support your families' health, educational and burial needs. It galls me that when a spouse dies, the remaining partner gets a $250 widow's or widower's stipend toward the burial. The widow also gets a tax exemption on her property taxes.

Single people get neither, while paying into the same Social Security pool. Let's be honest, moral and fair. When I die, I still have to be buried. No one receives any money toward my burial. When I die, no one receives my Social Security. It dies with me. Don't I count? Is my life not worth something to someone?

I have worked for 35 years and have paid into Social Security, just as marrieds have done. A man can marry as many times as he wishes and each spouse is entitled to part of his Social Security. Is that fair or equitable? I think not.

In all fairness, each person, no matter whether married, straight or gay should be allowed to choose another person to share his or her benefits. It could be a father, mother, sibling or just a friend. Why are single people excluded from these basic privileges? I'm tired of paying school taxes and other family-supported activities, while being discriminated against.

I, too, would like to share my life's hard-working endeavors with another human being of my choice. I have contributed and I am entitled. I resent the laws that deprive me of that right. It's about time government expands its horizons in this area. Hats off to Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. More government agencies should follow suit.

 E. Brynes
 Florida


December 21, 2001

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Arizona congressman commends AASP

 

Dear Mr. Coleman,

Thank you for providing my office with the information packet commemorating National Singles Week.  I found the packet informative and your newsletter, Unmarried America, is a good source of news and information for your readers.

The American Association for Single People is to be commended for its advocacy on behalf of your members. I am opposed to unfair treatment of single people whether they are widows/widowers, divorced, or never married.

The Winter 2001 edition of your newsletter noted that about 14 percent of the American population is currently without health insurance coverage and that may of them are single. I have authored legislation in the past giving individuals the same health care tax credit that businesses enjoy and the ability to shop for health care coverage that suits their needs. The intent of the legislation has been to reduce our nation's health coverage gap.  Many single people will find obtaining health care coverage easier under the legislation. The bill will be introduced this spring.

Thank you again for contacting my office. When issues arise that affect AASP members and my unmarried constituents, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Sincerely,
John Shadegg, M.C.
Arizona


December 20, 2001

There is nothing lonely about being single

Dear AASP,

Thanks for a great newsletter. You are doing a wonderful and needed work for us here in America!!!  I am a new member, but I value what you are doing as a single person living in a so-called nuclear family society. There is NOTHING lonely about being single. Way to go!!! Keep up the good work.

Aspasia
Arkansas


December 19, 2001

Anti-cohabitation statute of Virginia  frustrates AASP member

Hello,

I am a single parent living in Virginia, where cohabitation is illegal.  My ex has, out of spite, asked the court to rule that I  may not have any overnight visits by any member of the opposite sex to whom I am not related by blood or by marriage during weekends our child spends with me.

The judge at first scorned this request and pointed out the hypocrisy of it, given that our child was conceived and born outside of wedlock. During a subsequent hearing, however, the judge appeared to have forgotten all about this and said that there was no way he could deny the request because of Virginia's anti-cohabitation law. He had denied it before, and I plan to do everything I can to get him to deny it again.

Can you tell me of any resources for this battle?  Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Brian
AASP member

Reply by Thomas F. Coleman, executive director of AASP:

Brian,

Please review the page on our website which focuses on the case of AASP member Darlene Davis.  (link the words "case of AASP member Darlene Davis" to the following page:
http://www.unmarriedamerica.com/Virginia-DavisDayCare.htm

The state was trying to revoke her day care center license on the ground that she was violating the Virginia anti-cohabitation statute because she was living with a man to whom she was not married.

On behalf of AASP, I wrote a letter to the State of Virginia outlining why the anti-cohabitation law is unconstitutional.  Many of those arguments would apply to your case.

You should point out to the judge that a federal court ruled that the law was unconstitutional.  The only reason that decision was overturned on appeal was because the plaintiffs could not show any harm.  You can show harm if they deny custody or visitation on the basis of that law.

Furthermore, it is not illegal for an unmarried man and woman to live together or even sleep together.  The state must prove that you are having a sexual relationship.   Therefore, any restriction based on the anti-cohab law being a criminal law must be limited to prohibiting you from committing a criminal act in the presence of your children.  Let the judge issue a ruling prohibiting you from having sex with someone while your children are present in the home. But any order forbidding overnight visits with a person of the opposite-sex would be unconstitutionally overbroad.

Plus it is sex discrimination to let you have a person of the same sex overnight but prohibit you from having a person of the opposite sex.

I suggest that you have your lawyer (do you have a lawyer?) contact the ACLU in Virginia to get them to file a brief in your case.  If you do not have a lawyer, you should contact the ACLU anyway and ask for them to help you find a lawyer to fight the case.

If you do not have a lawyer, ask the judge for a continuance of the case to give you time to find a lawyer.  This is definitely worth fighting.

I hope this information helps you.

Thomas F. Coleman
Executive Director


December 10, 2001

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California congressman acknowledges AASP

 

Dear Mr. Coleman,

Thank you for sending me information about the American Association for Single People. As your letter mentioned, the district I represent is home to a large number of single and unmarried constituents. I appreciate knowing that your organization will be advocating on behalf of their interest, and look forward to staying in touch with you on issues of concern.

Sincerely,
Henry A. Waxman, M.C.
California


November 29, 2001

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West Virginia congressman thanks AASP

 

Dear Tom,

I would like to thank you personally for sending me a recent copy of your newsletter that mentions me. This was a very thoughtful gesture, and I deeply appreciate your kindness.

Again, thank you. If I can ever be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,
Nick J. Rahall, II M.C.
West Viginia

 

AASP addressing the issues that single people really care about

Dear AASP,

I am a committed single young man living in Georgia.  I am an activist for equality, a collage artist, musician and columnist for a national magazine.  I have also appeared in USA Today which is where I learned about AASP.

When I saw your website, I was impressed with your honorary members - especially Steve May.  I have corresponded with him on several occasions and found him to be one of the finest human beings in American politics.  Actually, he should be President.

Thank you.
S.J.J.


November 5, 2001

Receiving lesser compensation at work because of my marital status

Dear AASP,

I am a contractor at a site in San Francisco and have a blatant example of discrimination to present to you - prepare to get really mad.

I recently accepted a contract position with a big corporation through a consulting group.When I took the position I was told I had two options: I could relocate and get $ 2,000 relocation reimbursed and a $3,000 cash advance paid back in three payments or I could commute and get a small per diem. I elected to relocate, and moved from Kansas City to California in August 2001. When I got here, I found that everyone else who works for the consulting group was not only commuting, but had been provided with an apartment, a car, a large per diem, flights home, and other perks that was not even offered to me.

When I asked why, the president of my company said it was because I was single and didn't have a mortgage.

I have fine references as a programmer, and I am a very good worker. Why should I be compensated to a lesser degree because of my marital status.  In fact, I discovered that marital status is protected by law in both California, and the consulting group's home state of New York. I think I should prepare a lawsuit, but ironically, I don't get paid enough to afford it!  I'm very depressed.

Well, I just thought I'd share my experience with you. I'm sure you hear stories like this everyday. Keep up the good work, your web site is very informative and inspirational, and I am going to join AASP, as soon as I can come up with ten spare bucks (pathetic, huh?)

Sincerely,
C.C.


September 6, 2001

AASP member surprised by tax laws on receiving gifts

Hi  Tom,

This just recently happened to me and I thought it might be of interest to other members. About a year ago, someone gifted me and my married siblings some stocks. They wanted to give all of us an equal amount of the stock, but something in the tax laws (I'm not really familiar with the tax laws), said that anyone who is single cannot receive the entire amount (if the sum was over$30,000) in stock, that part of it had to be given in cash. My married siblings received the entire amount in stock, while I received part of my gift in cash and part in stock.  Then, these gift givers recently decided yet again to give myself and several other family members, including my married siblings, more stocks.

Again, they wanted to give all of us the same amount of stock. This time, the gift givers were told that they had to give us single people only part of the gift, and then wait a few months to give us the rest of the gift. My guess is that this is what the tax law says they can do. The married people get their gift all at once, and don't have to wait for the rest of the gift. Of course, I am still awed at the generosity of these gift givers, but I was very surprised to learn of the differences in the way that gifts can be given to us singles! Heck, I thought that we were supposed to be easier to shop for!

By the way, I still haven't heard from Super Kmart or any of the other stores I contacted regarding them holding a singles night.

Trish S.

Single woman interested in joining AASP

Dear Mr. Coleman,

I am very much interested in your association.  I am a 50 year old, widowed and single, female graduate student at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. My husband died suddenly from heart attack and after 23 years of marriage, I find single life confusing and a times financially difficult.

I recently became a member of AARP and I was wondering if your association ever interacts with AARP to address issues that deal with individuals in my position?  As a 'baby boomer' I am joining the fast ranks of 'senior citizens' yet I feel very young. Perhaps your organization may speak more closely to the issues that concerns me. It is mind boggling to see single women are still being treated in a condescending manner by some establishments simply their marital status.

I am considering  the possibility of joining your organization in the near future but for now, I am glad that your organization is out there.

 Sincerely,
 M.A.W.


September 4, 2001

Car rental company discriminates against single people

Dear Mr. Coleman,

Even were I not a member of AASP, I would have been upset at my treatment by Budget Rent a Car during a recent New Hampshire vacation.

I was in their establishment trying to acquire a rental car for my vacation when the counter agent asked whether I was married. I objected to that question and declined to answer. The agent then refused to rent a car to me and threatened to call the sheriff.   It turns out that their policy on extra drivers - printed on the  back of their standard contract - excepts a "spouse" from the requirement that an extra driver be charged an extra five bucks a day.  But "spouse" is construed by them narrowly.  They told me even a common-law spouse coming from a state where such are recognized (not my situation) would be excluded from the extra charge.

I have filed a formal complaint, against Budget Rental Cars with the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights, and will keep you apprised.  It isn't
the extra driver charge I find distressing but the odious segregation that it connotes.

 Yours truly,
 Phil M.


August 23, 2001

New member thanks AASP for being the voice of Single America

Dear Mr. Coleman:

I sent a check for $10.00 two months ago to become a member of AASP. Since mailing the check in June, I received two newsletters and saw that for each newsletter the postage was over a dollar. So, I am enclosing another check for $25.00 to cover the cost of the mailing for these newsletters.

When so much of the $10.00 that I sent in June goes to pay for the cost of mailing  the newsletters, I thought that AASP could use some additional funds to get the message of AASP out to the public and to local, state and federal officials.

For being the voice of single Americans, I wish you and AASP great success now and in the future.

Respectfully,

W.D.
Carlstadt, New Jersey


June 28, 2001

The Tax Burden on Singles in America

AASP Representatives, U.S. House and Senate AASP Members, My Fellow Americans, Ladies and Gentleman,

First let me state I do not have any problem with the concept of paying taxes. I believe as a citizen of these great United States paying taxes is a necessity. If this democracy is to thrive, if capitalism is to flourish and spread throughout the world then paying taxes is a small welcomed price. If beneficial programs such as public education, our superior military, unemployment insurance, public works, SSI, governmental employees, public assistance and other programs are to be funded taxes are required. The concern I do have is the tax bracket I as a single male with no dependents, find myself in. According to my last check I'm in the 32% tax bracket, excluding health plan cost. The questions are simple. Why? How was that determined? What committee decided what was to be a sufficient amount for Mr. C., a single male with an sparsely furnished one bedroom apartment in NYC, to live on?

The reason I left my previous job was, I could no longer afford it. I assumed working hard and doing a great job(by all reports I received), I will be "rewarded" with a commensurate salary. Well I was wrong. I kept the job because first it was and still is a fine company, ABC Radio Networks. It has great people, a great parent company, Disney and it is one of America's corporate pillars. I wasn't expecting them to make me rich, only allow me to make a decent living. Now at another fine company WebMD, making 21% more, what happened? You guessed it, I am nearly right back where I was last year, making what I would have made with overtime, after taxes. I'm talking strictly take home pay. A few weeks ago I received a severance check from ABC. Half of it went to me the other half I paid in taxes. Not 21%, half!!! Why? It was recently announced all working Americans will receive a check from the IRS. Great!! But a $300 check though welcomed in today's economy will not go too far. The real relief is significant "payroll tax relief".

Do I have to have kids to make a decent living? I say no. I would rather receive a good salary, by next year that should be the case, and raise a family. Right now at this tax rate I can't marry, have children and buy a house(or keep an apartment). Mathematically it will be impossible. Lets say a young lady and I naively try it, she becomes pregnant, beautiful. But that's one salary lost. Not thinking, I could try this but how can I subject my future wife and family to that stressful situation? Twice, on separate occasions, I've had two jobs. In both instances I owed at the end of the year!!??!!?!??! What was my plan? It, I think was a good one. I saved one check and paid bills with the other. It didn't work, but it should have.

Why should being single be a tax burden? Why should you get married for tax
reasons? Why should you have children(that you can claim), again, for tax reasons? Do you know a friend once advised me to do just that- get married. He said the tax burden isn't as great and as a couple, particularly with children, you are eligible for more tax breaks. Wow!

What a concept. Maybe this can be worked into the marriage vows.

As of now I am paying off a student loan that I lapsed on when I lost my job several years ago. Also several extra unemployment payments I received when I was just getting back on my feet. I am not trying to avoid paying my debts, they are rightfully mine, I pay them gladly. My dad always told me "If you owe, pay up". I don't have anything against the IRS. They are upstanding Americans and some are single also. This isn't a rich against middle class thing. And to the millionaires and billionaires- GOD bless them.

If the focus on lifting some of the tax obligations on Americans continues, it should be directed at payroll taxes. What will we do with it(the extra dollars)? Spend and save of course. We will keep this the greatest economic system in the world going. I had plans to join AASP this week but I can't. It will have to be next check. Thank you for your time and may GOD bless America.

K.C.
New York City, NY


June 18, 2001

AASP, a group that will speak up on behalf of the new majority

Dear Tom:

I am pleased as punch that I recently joined the AASP.  I am a 41 year old single woman who has never married.  Your organization is a great place to catch up on the news and issues that are of interest to me.  I finally feel like there is a place that will speak up on behalf of the "new, growing majority" of this country.  I haven't received the June newsletter in the mail and was wondering if it was published yet.  Please let me know when I can expect the newsletter.  I look forward to reading it from top to bottom.  
Thank you for your help and wonderful organization!

Sincerely,
M.C.G


June 9, 2001

Discrimination in employment practices frustrates new AASP member

Dear Thomas,

I had not heard of this organization until recently when I saw an advertisement for membership in the Las Vegas paper. I just recently joined.

Does your organization offer any sources of assistance with discrimination situations?  I have been living with my boyfriend for over 5 years and we recently relocated from Maui, Hawaii to Las Vegas, Nevada. The reason for our move was that my boyfriend was reassigned and promoted at the company he was working for. I was employed as the General Manager of a tour operation in Maui, and when I got to Las Vegas, I applied for unemployment benefits (the first time I have ever done this in my 35 years of working full time).  The state denied me of the benefits because according to the Dept. of Labor, I resigned without due cause.  They said, "The claimant quit her job to be with her fiancÚ in Las Vegas. The claimant does not yet have any wedding plans. Although this may be understandable, the claimant's reason for relinquishing her employment remains personal in nature and does not constitute a "reason which would cause a reasonable and prudent worker, genuinely and sincerely desirous of maintaining employment, to take similar action."  It was my understanding that if we were married,  it would have been completely understandable that I would leave my job and go where my husband was transferred.

This seems like a blatant case of discrimination and I want to pursue the issue.  I just received the written denial of my appeal and have 30 days to pursue any further appeal. Do you have any suggestions on what my course of action should be at this time? I certainly appreciate any help.  It is infuriating to be treated like a "second class citizen" just because we do not have a marriage certificate.

I look forward to hearing from you on this matter.

P.R.

Dear P,

Thanks for joining AASP.

I'm not sure how unemployment benefits work in an interstate situation, but my hunch is that you would be getting benefits from the money contributed to the unemployment fund in Hawaii.  As a result, it would seem that Hawaii law should apply as to whether you left work for good cause or whether it was a voluntary quit.

Hawaii law prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of "marital status."  Therefore, if it is good cause to quit to relocate with your married partner with whom you are living as a family unit, it would seem to be marital status discrimination to deny you benefits when you quit to relocate with your unmarried partner with whom you are living as a family unit.

Here is a page from the Hawaii statutes.  There may be others that apply.

You may have a good chance of winning if you appeal.  In your appeal,you should emphasize the following:
(1) you and your partner are not just roommates but are a family unit
(2) show how long you have lived together
(3) show any evidence of interdependency (financial, emotional, etc.)
(4) say that you left Hawaii to follow your partner to Nevada so as not to destroy the family unit
(5) say that it would have been an extreme financial hardship to stay in Hawaii alone
(6) say that you understand that marital status discrimination in illegal in Hawaii in employment settings
(7) mention that other states have found it to be "good cause" to relocate with an unmarried partner (I will find the cite for a
Massachusetts case)
(8) call the ACLU in Nevada to see if they can refer you to a civil rights attorney there

Nevada law does not prohibit marital status discrimination in employment.  However, even if Nevada law were to apply (rather than Hawaii law), that should not stop you from winning the appeal. Massachusetts law does not prohibit marital status discrimination either, but there was a favorable decision there for a woman in a situation similar to yours (I think the name of the case is Reep v.Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board).

Did your partner join AASP too?  We would sure like to have both of you as members.

Keep me posted on any developments.  Keep fighting for your rights. Just make the strongest case you can and document everything.

Good luck.

Tom Coleman


June 8, 2001

Mayor Pro Tem thanks AASP for assistance

Dear Tom,

I want to thank you for the advise you gave to me regarding employee benefits.  Because of it, I believe we are now on a path to a more appropriate system that will take into consideration the differing needs of our people.  We are in the process of working out a modified "cafeteria plan" to bring back to Council for final authorization.

Keep up your fine work

Lesley Devine, Mayor Pro Tem
City of Calabasas, California


May 26, 2001

New AASP member says "I'm glad I found you!"

I did not know there was a group advocating for singles until today. I'm glad I found your website.  I'll be sending my check within the week. I'm a 45, single and working person who's probably paying more than my fair share of taxes. Just because I'm not  married it does not mean that I should have to pay more for basic necessities, such as car insurance, etc. Keep up the good work.

C.S.
 


May 25, 2001

Oregon resident  happy to know that AASP speaks for single rights

I'm so glad that I found this group. I have been single for 14 years and yes, single people are discriminated against in many ways. I could write a book or two on this. I saw the article on the CompuServe internet news about your group trying and getting a lukewarm response in Congress. Our tax system is so unfair to single people. How come a single person sometimes pays a higher tax rate than two married people? No, this is not right. I struggle to make ends meet, and my married friends have two incomes to fall back on when tough times happen.

The social stigma is very strong against singles. This can be to the point of abuse at the workplace. Right now, I  just got a temporary, part-time job. I am looking for full time, permanent work. I am 54 and have experienced age discrimination which is even worse when coupled with the "single" stigma.

At times I have thought about starting a women's union. They have many types of unions, but I see women with lower pay on the average. I see guys that get paid $20 an hour after working a year or two at menial jobs. Women never get paid that for a demanding secretarial or administrative assistant jobs.

I think an organization like this is very important to further the rights of single people. Married people don't have the right to obtained perks on the backs of single people.

Again, thanks for creating this organization, and I will definitely join your cause.

Sincerely,
S. S.

Not enabling singles to succeed will hurt families the most

It's my belief that successful singles are what a strong community of successful families is built on. After all, it's successful single people who get married and become successful parents. With no successful singles there are no, and I repeat no, successful families. The foundation for family life is built during a persons single life(usually). Once a person is married they have less time to get the education and experience at work to put them in a financial, emotional, and more importantly, a position of available time, to give children what they need. I do support family friendly legislation, but to say that helping married people to be successful in life is most important to families is absolutely inaccurate and dangerous!

Any single person at any age can prepare themselves to be a good parent and do exactly that. They can either marry someone with kids or have their own kids. If there are obstacles at every turn, single people will not go on to become successful parents and families will continue to fall apart and suffer as emotionally crippled singles marry and start families. We need grown, mature, responsible single people!

 Thank you for your consideration,

 J.O.

AASP a vanguard for single people

It's great to know there is someone out there that has single people's interest in mind.  I've never been married, nor do I have any children. It's very frustrating when everyone in the married or parental category get special considerations just because of choices they have made.

I never wanted to be single and childless at the age of 38 but I am. I've just had a huge fight with my boss over vacation time.  I wanted to take some time off so I could work my second job (as 1 income is a little hard to make ends meet) and I'm told no because I need to consider my co-worker and her day care issues.  That bites!!

Anyway, could you tell me where I can go to find out what laws (if any) are in place in my state as far as discriminating against single people?

 Thank you
K.

AASP finally a voice for single people

It's about damn time!  I'm getting tired of being pushed to the back of the line because I'm single.  I pay more at the grocery store because I'm single, I'm in a higher tax bracket because I'm single, insurance companies overcharge me because I'm single,  employers expect me to work longer hours because I'm single.  I am willing to bet married people get better raises than single people under the pretense they have a family to support.

Consider this, in a single household there is only one person to keep up the household.  In a married household there are presumably two people and many a kid or two to help with the day to day responsibilities. Now tell me who has more free time?

K.M.


May 21, 2001

Infertility treatment denied to single person

Dear Mr. Coleman,

I was refused treatment for infertility based solely on my single marital status in writing by the following:

1. The University of Florida
2. Shands Teaching Hospital and Clinics Inc.
3. The University of South Florida
4. The Center for Human Reproduction

This began in 1998 and has continued through the present time. According to the Center for Disease Control in 1998, 19 % of fertility clinics refuse treatment to single women. I have spent the last 3 years filing complaints with various Local, State and Federal agencies without much luck.  I have hired attorneys now (that took 3 years too!) and plan to file suit. Obviously, I don't have a lot of money and infertility therapy is very expensive so I don't know how far I will personally be able to take the case but I at least want them to be concerned about putting anyone else through the heartache and anguish this has already cost me. Any information you have that might be helpful will be very much appreciated. Thank you.

Sincerely,
M.M.


May 20, 2001

Ex-Navy voices concern over treatment of single's in the service

I just finished reading some information on your unmarriedamerica.org website concerning single people in the military.  I myself was in the Navy, and believe me it's much worse than the Army provides for their people.

After living in the barracks for my entire stint in the military and watching the disparity in quality of life between myself and married folks, I decided to leave the service.  Being  assigned overseas, my first living quarters was in the barracks. We had a typhoon knock out power on the island for a month or so, married people in housing and those in apartments received $1500 every 10 days of going without power. The decision for the persons living in the barracks without power and air was that we receive NOTHING.

I was then moved to the European theatre and lived in an E-5 barracks since I was assigned to ships on short terms basis. Ready to leave the barracks for good, I inquired to my command about moving into an apartment out in town. They inquired about my career intentions, in which I responded that I would be leaving in two years. Needless to say, my request was turned down.


I had never been a discipline problem, had plenty of savings and great credit, and here I was being told I was staying in the barracks to rot by people who had never even lived there themselves.

The military is losing competent people hand over fist because we're treated differently. Single people leave in hordes, while married people stay. Why? Young, inexperienced people who marry in the military and have children without the education or means to care for them outside of the military never leave. They can't afford to. They're stuck, they'll tell you themselves.

In closing, I do think the military will eventually change this policy in about 20 years or so when they can't entice anyone to join. I admit I had some of the best experiences of my life, I contributed to my country, fought in a war for her, but left, and the pay and quality of life disparity was the kicker.

Sincerely,
Will


May 16, 2001

Why wasn't AASP given due credit in New York Times article?

I'm glad that Judith referred us to the New York Times article by Eric Schmitt, "For the First Time, Nuclear Families Drop Below 25% of Households."  However, I was disturbed by the fact that he gave prominence to commentary by conservative "family values" advocates.

In the third paragraph he says that the fast growth in single parent households is "a trend that some family experts and demographers describe today as disturbing."   He then has a long quote by Bridgit Maher who is identified as a marriage and family policy analyst at the conservative Family Research Council.  At least he identifies it as conservative, but he has no comment on her statement that "People are disregarding the importance of marriage and importance of having a mother and father who are married."

Later on in the article, he does quote other demographers and census bureau officials who have a more benign view, but the views early in the article are what most readers will remember. He had no quotes from advocacy groups like the American Association of Single People or the Alternatives to Marriage Project.

K. T.
Sonoma State University


May 15, 2001

Minneapolis couple praises AASP after reading local article

Hallejulah!!! It's about time.  We hoped to see an organization arise to actively do something about a problem that we have been concerned about for years.

It is very frustrating to see legislation, tax proposals, etc. come down year after year and NEVER make any provisions, much less benefits, available for those of us who are "marriage challenged". We are sick and tired of being overlooked, especially in light of the statistics.  The ubiquitous use of the terms "family values" and "marriage penalty" is sickening.  We are a family. We have been together for years and we intend to stay that way.  Don't penalize or ignore us for making the decision to remain single.

Enclosed is a contribution to our "cause".  Hopefully, after the appearance of the article in the Star Tribune on May 4, 2001, you will be able to generate a strong membership base in Minnesota. Good luck and thank you.

Sincerely,

L.S. and B.S.


May 14, 2001

AASP's Stop the Stigma Campaign praised by law student in Philippines

Hello! I am currently an incoming 4th year law student in the Philippines.

I laud your efforts and your purpose.

I have a four year old son (turning 5 in September of this year) who was born illegitimate.  Although by many standards we were old enough, his dad and I thought that we were way too young to get married when I got pregnant unexpectedly.  He was only 20 and I was 21.

When I got to law school, I realized just how shabbily illegitimate children were treated by the law. They were given less inheritance than legitimate children, they were not allowed to use their fathers' last names even if the father signed the birth certificate or has recognized the child. The child is also barred from inheriting from his legitimate relatives.

Also, a great majority of private schools requires the marriage certificate of the parents as a prerequisite to enrollment.

I love my son dearly, and couldn't bear the thought of him bearing the stigma for a mistake that we made.

His father and I decided to get married ONLY to legitimize him.  It was the ONLY way under Philippine law to rid him of the stigma he DOES NOT deserve.

Even though I think his father is the worst candidate for husband, I have no regrets marrying him because having done has spared my child of the social and legal stigma the status of illegitimacy placed on him.

Before I get my juris doctor degree, the college of law requires that I submit a thesis. I have chosen this very topic to write about, hoping that some legislators will take notice and work towards the removal of institutionalized badges of "illegitimacy" Philippine law has placed on these innocents.

I realize that there has been a move towards calling them "non-marital" children instead. I believe this solution is merely window dressing.  A hundred years ago, the term was bastard. Politically correct minds ditched that and opted instead to call these kids illegitimate. Changing the term to non-marital children will not change anything.  In 10 or 20 years, the term non-marital will be just as bad as bastard or illegitimate.

That's why I personally think that in order to fully remove the stigma of being born out of unmarried parents, it is essential that a legal upheaval be undertaken. One that will ensure that ALL children will be treated EQUALLY, regardless of their status. 

I was very glad that I stumbled upon your website. 

M. P. 


May 10, 2001

AASP website visitor voices opinion

Great website! Here's my 2 cents on the subject............

1.    The decision-makers who create work/family policy at most firms tend to be older, married, and w/ kids.

 2.    Spouses/parents associate being single with being young, and (maybe even subconsciously) view being single as a "transitional" state. As such,being dumped on in various ways comes under the heading of "paying your dues".

        The assumption is that sometime between the ages of 24-30 everyone will "graduate" to marriage, and thus become a member of "the club". Now you can dump on the singles below you.

 3.  Parents are absolutely self-righteous in the belief in their entitlement. They figure they've earned it.

 4.  Many parents bought into that "you can have it all" bullshit. Life is a series of choices and compromises!


 Thanks for hearing me rant.

K.G.

p.s.- I am male/45/never married.


May 9, 2001

Minneapolis radio listener glad to know about AASP

Boy, am I glad to find you guys!  I have been increasingly aware of the discrimination against singles because of all the political vote buying with "marriage penalty", "family values," and the number one peeve on my list, the child tax credit which "must be doubled to give working families blah blah blah".   Give me a little time to really see what you are all about and then I'm very likely to join!

 Jeff

Minnesota public radio listener thrilled about AASP

Hello Thomas:  Heard you on Public Radio, Minnesota, today.  Marvelous! Had no idea there was such a group, and how thrilled I am.  About time this was aired.   This ridiculous attitude prevailing today (emanating I'm sure from the far right groups) that says if you aren't married and aren't procreating like rabbits there has to be something wrong with you, has to be reversed.

When I was married several years ago, My husband and I both thought there should not be special tax treatment for married people. Now, being single, I certainly believe the tax code should be made fair to all.

Besides that, I actually believe, with overpopulation being the global problem it is presently, that after the first child, couples should be taxed for every additional child they produce, instead of being able to treat them all as deductions.  They are crowding the schools, the roads, housing, etc. at tax payer's expense.  Enough!

I plan to contact my state and federal legislators continually, along with any others I feel need to know.

 J.D.

Cupid's Coach commends AASP

Although it's a stretch with a new business, I felt compelled to contribute to your cause. I like the work you're doing out there in the world, and am especially impressed that you are smart enough and influential enough to enlist the support of our media friends. Big splashes soak so many more people than little splashes, you know?... Yes, you do.

Keep up the great work, and stay in touch. I'm just now building my Cupid's Coach website, which will be a referral source for singles-offering them coaching on navigating the romantic marketplace, and their is a 'heart hunting'/matchmaking arm as well. And many of the services are Free!

I'll be sure to include AASP on my links page.

Best regards,
Julie F.


May 8, 2001

Arizona governor sends letter to state house speaker on sex law repeal decision

Dear Speaker Weiers:

Today I signed into law House Bill 2016. I listened to advocates for both sides, I read messages from constituents with different points of view, I talked to my closest advisors and I examined my own conscience. At the end of the day, I returned to one of my most basic beliefs about government - it does not belong in our private lives.

The laws that are repealed by HB 2016 are unenforced and unenforceable. Keeping archaic laws on the books does not promote high moral standards; instead it teaches the lesson that laws are made to be broken. Moral standards are set by families and those they turn to for guidance, such as religious and community leaders. We learn much more from watching their behavior than from any written laws or rules.

It is unfortunate that extremists on both sides of this issue have chosen to publicly and privately vilify each other to advance their positions. No one wins when a debate turns ugly. Make no mistake - passage of House Bill 2016 will not end the discussion; many issues raised by this measure are left for future lawmakers.

People should not interpret my signature on this bill as a signal that I condone all of the conduct that this bill makes lawful; I don't. But I choose not to judge the conduct of others, even when I know others will judge me for signing this bill.

Sincerely,

Jane Dee Hull

Governor


May 6, 2001

Connecticut woman glad to hear about AASP
 
I just read an article about your organization for single people. I am so glad someone finally decided to do something. I am 43, single (never married) and I feel so out of the mainstream it isn't funny. Every place I have ever worked has been dominated by married people and their "married lives." If they have children it is even worse!!  99.9% of conversation in the office is about "family & children" They are the most self-centered group of people on earth. And they are as such very successfully. One cannot watch television, listen to radio or read newspapers/ magazines without the topic being about "family"and/or "CHILDREN" When will it ever end???????  If  there are as many single people in this country as you say why are they not a more popular  group?

Please tell me how to join your organization. And please keep up the message that single people are and would like to be a part of this society/culture too.!!!
 
Thank you
 
Nancy H.


May 5, 2001

San Francisco member is proud t wear AASP t-shirt

How's AASP membership growing? I still wear the T-shirt in public when I can, but the weather here is usually so cold that I cannot wear it out much. So I wear it most of the time as an undershirt on the days I go to the gym. That way, when I change in the locker room, others can see it and ask about what it means.   But not many have asked.  Maybe if I tie-died the shirt, it may catch more attention (either that, or I will have to buff out, but I think tie-dying is an easier option).

Anyway, I still talk highly about you and the AASP whenever I get a chance to interject it into a conversation with friends and co-workers. I even mention it in my interviews to illustrate the legal/political experiences I gained from my experience of discrimination in the workplace. I think it is a good twist to make me a better candidate for the position, but some question if it may make me look like a troublemaker for questioning AUTHORITY.

Mickey


May 4, 2001

New AASP member angered by the way singles are treated in society

Just read an article in the Minneapolis Tribune about AASP and ran right to the computer and signed up via credit card.

I have been single all my life, never married nor lived with anyone. But I have been angry for years over the way singles are treated and screwed over simply because they do not have a legal spouse!  I retired from the federal govt. who should know better, but if I heard it once I heard it a thousand times...let so and so work the weekend or holiday, he's single and doesn't have a family!  Duh!!! Are they not aware that I had parents, aunts, uncles, cousins???

I am also sick of the discrimination against singles by the travel industry, particularly hotels and motels where you get the privilege to be charged much extra because you are a "single"!

I am so glad to find an organization of singles to combat all this crap. Thanks, and I will forward your site to all my single friends.

Oh, I signed up today, how long before I can access the members only pages?  Guess I need a password, etc?

Thanks,
Richard B.

 

AASP member in Minnesota is happy with our progress

Just caught the article about AASP in Friday's Minneapolis Star Tribune. We are clearly accelerating at an unforeseen thrilling, motivating, and extremely satisfying pace. The AASP relentless dedication to this underdog cause is now a cat out of the international bag. There is not one person that can hide from this issue anymore.

Absolutely excellent work,

Vernon Gutenkunst


May 1, 2001

Book author joins AASP

Bobby Solo is a pen name chosen to reflect androgyny and a single status.  I prefer that it be used in any press release materials. I'm enclosing a sketch in lieu of a photo. Love your cause!

p.s. I'm single and intend to remain so.

Bobby Solo
Sausalito, California
author of "Are You Gonna Be There All Night?
50 Great Reasons to Love Living Alone"


 

Go to Letters Received between October - April 2001

 

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