Gay Marriage

This week, President Obama, our Non-Leader, came off the fence and indicated that he was in favor of marriage between two people of the same gender.

On one level, it seems eminently reasonable.  Civil marriage gives a couple a passel of legal rights with respect to each other: inheritance, joint tax returns, access to medical data, etc.  If two men or two women are in a committed relationship, and want to avail themselves of these rights, they should be able to.

But outside of the legal definition, and the couple themselves, is such a couple really married?

Marriage has existed for eons as a basis for family and children.  It’s true that not every married couple has children, but if you have a man and a woman who presumably like each other’s company sleeping together, you have to at least admit the possibility.

Today, heterosexual marriage is not the ‘basis’ that it used to be: some 40% of the births in the United States are to unmarried women.   Admitting marriage between two men or two women would further erode the status of marriage as a benchmark for families.

And this is what many people worry about: not so much the rights of gay couples, but the impact of redefining ‘marriage’ so that it is no longer exclusively heterosexual.

Unfortunately, railing against it won’t help.  The societal forces that led us to consider gay marriage won’t go away if we pretend they don’t exist.  The Rick Santorum solution–if we legislate the morality of the 1950s, we’ll all be happy and prosperous again–won’t work.

While I acknowledge that gay marriage is an idea whose time has come, I don’t have to like it.

9 thoughts on “Gay Marriage”

  1. Here’s my opinion. While I am a pretty devout Catholic and somewhat conservative I support gay marriage. The main reason is because as a child I had these two great gay men who decided to make an union of the two of them. The one guy died (we suspect of AIDS)and when he died his partner lost everything to the deceased man’s family (who disowned him). I always was bothered that these two lovely men who were together for 20 years yet wasn’t recognized. Meanwhile the next door neighbor was a serial marriage guy who had 5 marriages when he passed away to cancer. Why was his marriages more valid than the gay couples? Then there is the case of my childhood friend who keeps marrying men to take them to the cleaners and divorce them. Why is this ok but not the gay couple.

    I am talking civil marriages though as I feel churches should have the right to marry who they want. I believe in separation in church and state and that includes churches having the rights to do as they please. By the same token I do not feel they should get tax exempt unless they are a bonafide charity.

    Straight people are ruining marriages, not gay people. Between the fact that 40% of births are to unwed mothers and that 50% of all marriages divorce that are troubling stats. Not to mention that for many people sex has become casual and many have it within a few weeks of dating. Add all of this happening and you have a society of people not wanting marriage because “it’s just a piece of paper” while gays want that same right. It’s quite funny that gays are the ones who want the traditions and I’ve read an increasing percentage are adopting. While I want to marry a man and have kids (birth or adoptive)I don’t believe it is for everyone. However when it comes to me paying for it (such as a high percentage of the kids born out of wedlock are also born on welfare)then yes it is an epidemic. I’m not paying more in taxes for gay people but are for those on welfare. In fact stats I have read that gay people tend to be more affluent,

  2. If one lacks a will, there is an order of precedence that determines who inherits. If one is unmarried and lacks a will, their estate goes first to any children, then their parents if one or more of the parents are still alive, then their siblings, if my recollection is right.

    I believe that “gay marriage” is primarily about money, given the benefits that marriage often grants, such as survivor’s rights on pensions and any tax breaks at the state and federal level. One thing to watch is that there are states where a spouse can be legally disinherited.

    Many women have the expectation that they will find some man to support them. I never had that expectation, thanks to my mother, who was always miserable that she had given up a career to marry. If you don’t expect anyone to support you, it seems reasonable to pay a greater amount of attention to education and work so that you can provide for yourself. Women make 4% more than men when both are employed part-time, but only 82% as much when working full-time.

  3. If gay marriage were only about money and inheritance, it would not be so controversial. I accept that many things are defined differently in government regulations than they are in real life, and if two men or two women want to avail themselves of civil marriage to better prepare for life’s eventualities themselves (as opposed to looking for the government to help them), they should be able to go for it.

    But some progressive activists are seeking, through legal gay marriage, to redefine marriage in the general sense to not be exclusively heterosexual. Some conservatives believe that such redefinition will happen anyway, further deprecating the institution of traditional marriage. They may be right.

    However, resisting gay marriage on those grounds is like trying to hold back the tide.

  4. I don’t know if the couple I mentioned had a will or not. I assume not because both weren’t that old when the one passed (I think he was in his 60’s). Since I’m not married if I was to die everything would go to my parents if they were still living. It has come upon about all of this from my brother of all people who wants to make sure my parents have a will. My brother isn’t money hungry but has mentioned he knows cases where there was lawsuits without a will. I do too. I know of cases where children fought and even relatives and close friends. I also know of a case where my greatuncle made sure my mom (his favorite niece)and her family got money but somehow his new wife (who was money hungry)had the will changed. The only thing I have told both my parents as well as my brother and sister in law is that in the event I pass before everyone else I want my doll collection to go to my niece. Hopefully though I will not pass until I get marriage and have kids and am much older but anyone can die at any age.

    I got into an argument on another site about civil partnerships for straight people and how I am against it. This one woman was complaining that she can’t get health insurance through her boyfriend’s company but married couples can. I told her I do not support these situations because they can choose to marry but decide not to. She called me a lot of names but I told her she has the choice to marry and if you don’t marry you don’t get healthcare.

  5. Love is love.:)

    And I know of quite a few gay couples who have been together much much longer than the average straight couple.

    I don’t want to hear it’s a sin, I don’t want to hear that “God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve” stuff and I don’t want to hear about blah blah the sanctity of marriage.

    It makes me laugh like hell when the Catholic church speaks up about this. Yet they have chosen to do nothing about the molestation issue. Over in Oz, they canned a priest who it turns out had a marriage going on….to a woman. Yet they have chosen to do nothing about the molestations.

  6. In many states, all of one’s property passes to one’s spouse when they die without a will. When one is intestate in Illinois, where I believe that you live, the spouse and children inherit equal shares of the estate. This can be a hardship on the surviving spouse, because it might force the sale of their home to satisfy one or more of the inheritor’s claims on the estate.

    It sounds like what your parents need is a will that leaves the decedent’s share of house and other assets to the surviving spouse, and possibly with a few small bequests to the children.

  7. I’ve been trying to get my parents to make a will but they think it’s “creepy”. I told them yes, but when they die they want to make sure me and my brother inherit everything. While common sense says that even without a will we will, but I have heard stories of other people coming out of the woodwork claiming someone promised them something. Their will would probably be easy since they have never been married to others and me and my brother are their only children. In the case I mentioned about my greatuncle he had kids from a previous marriage who should have gotten money from his house since it belonged orginally to their mother (his first wife). His second wife ended up with everything and the kids got a dollar I believe.

  8. The estate of your parents can wind up horrifically tangled in probate if they do not have a will.

    They need to get moving on this; a Living Will, plus making their burial needs known, along with whether or not they wish to be organ donors, is necessary asap.

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