Sunday, January 25, 2009

Why treat us differently?

After my response to a comment on a previous post, about how different relationships can be treated differently comes this post from Andrew Sullivan's blog on the same basic point:

"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."



Ok, I see where he is going with this. Yes, we should accept diversity. Which is why I promote equal rights, too.

But again, you can't argue that same sex unions are exactly the same as marriage- even with all of these "diverse" examples. Andrew Sullivan has failed to realize that in all of his examples, the unions are between a man and a woman.

Tom said...

No, not exactly the same. But enough the same that I can't see any reason why we should be treated differently under the law.

Gay couples being able to marry does NOTHING to prevent straight couples from having children. We can treat all couples equally and gain the societal benefits that come from marriage. Marriage IS a good thing, right? It increases stability, encourages commitment and fidelity, etc. Why isn't it good for gay people, too?