Freddie DeBoer makes a good point:
...[marriage equality skeptics] believe that there is a difference between a union between two people of the same sex, and two people of different sexes. I can only say that, of course, there are some differences in those unions, some obvious, some not, but that those differences don’t need to be recognized by government in a way that changes our nomenclature for permanent romantic pairing.
And the point is: this is already the case with heterosexual marriages. Think of the diversity of lived experience that now exists within this civil institution in America. You have strict Catholic families with no divorce, no contraception and lots of kids in a very traditional fashion; you have childless yuppie couples, living in different cities; you have arranged marriages among some immigrant families; you have a newly married couple in their seventies; you have Larry King on his seventh and Dennis Prager on his third; you have Britney Spears' 55 hour special; you have teenage elopers and middle-aged divorcees; you have a middle class evangelical couple with three young kids and two working parents; you have George and Barbara Bush and Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher; you have open marriages which amount to sexual arrangements; and Mormon marriages whose sexual monogamy will continue physically after death.
Are people really saying that a lesbian couple of several decades or a newly married couple like me and Aaron fall outside the cultural range of these experiences? Civil marriage is already so broad in its inclusion of social types and practices that including gay couples will make virtually no difference at all. And this is the genius of civil marriage: it's a unifying, not balkanizing, civic institution. To argue that including gay couples destroys the institution is absurd.
And that is why the exclusion of gay people is not about securing marriage; it is about stigmatizing homosexuals, keeping a bright line between them and their own families and forcing them into a position of social exclusion that damages them and all of us. It is about prejudice and fear. And we will overcome both with time and patience and integrity.
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