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Life is only what you wonder.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

"With This Ring . . ."

    Rights denied committed gay couples:
    Same-sex couples who are prohibited from marrying are excluded from a panoply of legal benefits specifically tied to legally recognized marriage: for example, access to a spouse's medical, life and disability insurance; hospital visitation and medical decision-making privileges, workers' compensation survivor benefits; spousal benefits under annuity and retirement plan, the right to refuse to testify against one's spouse, and many others.
    These instances of discrimination based on the preference for legally married couples effect many people negatively when they least expect it.
    Unmarried heterosexual couples, however, have the option of being legally married. Same-sex couples have no such recourse.
    What the Constiution says about gay marriage:
    Nowhere in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution is "preservation of tradition" cited as a power or intention of our government.
    There is no constitutional basis for denying gay couples marriage, and every constitutional reason why our government should actively pursue legalizing gay marriage -- in order to give gay men and lesbians their rights as equal citizens of the United States and to ensure their inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness that every American is guaranteed.
    Our government's purpose is to defend the rights of the people, and in this instance our government has undoubtedly failed in its duties.
    At one time it was considered perverted and unnatural for black and white people to want to marry each other. Despite protests from the prejudiced, the Supreme Court defended the rights of the people.
    In this day and age, who would say that a black and a white should not be allowed to marry?
    It would be considered the height of bad taste and racial prejudice. I am confident that after gay marriage is legalized, it will soon be considered just as prejudiced to say that they should not have that right as it is today to say that different races should not marry.
    Gay marriage, or civil unions?
    In Vermont a court recently legalized not marriage for gays, but a “civil union” which affords same-sex couples all the rights and privileges of married couples, but without calling it “marriage.”
    While I applaud Vermont’s court system for this step in the right direction, a new institution for gay couples is not the answer. It simply affirms their second-class status in American society.
    In the Supreme Court case Brown vs. The Board of Education, the policy of “separate but equal” with regard to race was struck down as being unconstitutional, because separate can never be equal.
    Creating a separate institution for gay couples is just as unequal and unconstitutional as creating separate institutions for blacks and whites.
Shamelessly stolen from the website In Defense of Gay Marriage by Leah Moore