Why Only Marriage Works

My first essay arguing for marriage rights for gay couples was in response to a New York City decision legalizing domestic partnerships. I was concerned that marriage-lite institutions would indeed undermine marriage as a social institution, and suggested that since the gay issue was not going away, the most appropriate conservative response was to back gay marriage. It still is. But the fundamentalist approach is to ban it - and the current GOP is not conservative, but fundamentalist-authoritarian. Anyway, here's the latest twist in the debate:

Memo to Boston Globe gay and lesbian Guild employees: Get married or lose your domestic partner benefits. Globe staffers have been told that health and dental benefits for gay employees’ domestic partners are being discontinued. Gay couples who want to keep their benefits must marry by Jan. 1. A memo sent to the Globe’s Boston Newspaper Guild members, and obtained by the Herald, states that Massachusetts gay Guild employees can extend their benefits to their partners only if they marry.

And so the socially conservative impulse behind gay marriage is revealed - and proven in practice. This is the real slippery slope: of gay people sliding into integration and responsibility. And that's what many alleged conservatives want to prevent.