Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Gay Marriage Doesn't Threaten "The Sacred Institution of Marriage"

I can't even believe this remains a campaign issue, but I posted this at Helium today:
Elizabeth Edwards, speaking in San Francisco, recently said it best, and I'm paraphrasing: "Heterosexuals are a greater threat to heterosexual marriage than homosexuals are." And it's true. Look at the Senator Vitters and Rev. Ted Haggards of our world, thundering on about family values and how gay people devalue the institution of marriage; meanwhile, Vitter is visiting the D.C. Madam and Haggard is having sex and doing meth with a gay male prostitute.

Britney Spears can go to Las Vegas and marry on a whim, then annul the next day.

The divorce rate hovers around 50% for heterosexual couples.

I don't think we can blame these facts on homosexuals, who presently don't have the legal right to marry. Marriage as a "sacred institution" is declining just fine on its own.

And then I think about what's fair play. In most states, a gay couple who has been together for twenty years doesn't have inheritance rights and can't even visit each other in Intensive Care should one fall seriously ill-at least not without plunking down thousands of dollars in legal fees beforehand to draw up living wills, medical powers of attorney, financial powers of attorney, and so on. And even then, should the family of one person raise a ruckus, the couple's own stated wishes can be called into question and challenged in the courts. Is this fair?

Civil unions and domestic partnerships do solve some of the inequities, but there is no genuine fairness without full equality. Gay people don't want "special rights"-they simply want equal rights. The Declaration of Independence guarantees ALL citizens the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, not just the heterosexual citizens, or the white citizens. Indeed, gay people collectively are productive citizens who pay their taxes just like everybody else and thus should be treated equally under the law. Two people who genuinely love each other, support each other, and are committed to each other have every right to have their union recognized by the State if they so choose.

And hey! If you disagree with gay marriage, then don't have one.

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