I, for one, don’t understand the outrage against gay marriages.
If two people love each other and are committed to each other, I see no reason not to call the two spouses, throw a party, and then let them get on with life. Others, including both major party presidential candidates from 2004, are on record as being against them for a variety of reasons. Since these two paragons of virtue lead the cause against it – one even calling for a constitutional amendment protecting marriages of only a man and a woman – to stand on the other side and proclaim them both wrong requires a certain amount of reasoned support. Here goes…
1) Maintaining a separation of Church and State
I understand that the basic tenets of law are based, in large part, on the Ten Commandments. The reason, of course, is that most religions generally follow the same basic rules of humanity. You should have one God, you should set aside time to practice your faith, you should honor your parents, you shouldn’t lie (or bear false witness), you shouldn’t kill people, you shouldn’t cheat on your wife, steal, covet your neighbor’s property or his wife – that sort of thing. Nobody would argue against that.
Marriage, however, isn’t one of these basic rules. It’s a choice. We do that because people are jealous by nature and once we find love, we feel a need to protect that love by calling out, “She’s mine!” or, “He’s taken, thank you!” There’s nothing wrong with that – it’s what we do.
Catholics tell priests that they cannot marry – should that be written in the laws? Of course not. Why? Because that is a choice tied to religion. So long as marriage is a choice tied to religion, it cannot be legislated by the government.
2) Governments and other institutions support marriage in principle
That’s not to say that we don’t want to see people get married. In fact, except for income tax rules, everybody encourages people to get married. Married people are less likely to commit crimes, drive recklessly, and generally do other things that make the economy run – like buy houses and groceries and invest together for a common future. Consider this – when you get married, your car insurance rates go down. If insurance companies recognize the positive impact marriage has on someone, it has to be good.
So – why not have gay people settle down, commit fewer crimes, and drive better, too? I think we all benefit from that – right?
3) Woman’s Safety Issues
The most likely person to harm or kill a woman is her husband – usually a man. Shouldn’t a woman have an option to marry someone less likely to harm or kill her? Again, a reduction in crime rates benefits everybody – fewer required police officers, or officers getting to cover more important things. We’d have fewer trips into the court systems. Civic institutions would reap great benefits by allowing gay marriages.
4) Greater Healthcare Coverage – and other fiscal benefits
Let’s face it – the greatest benefit in allowing gay marriages is an economic one – and here’s the first one. If you were gay and married, you can purchase insurance for your spouse at a lower rate. Suddenly, there is an immediate reduction in the number of uninsured people. What candidate wouldn’t support that?
And, if there are more marriages – there are more people registering for gifts and more people buying stuff off the registry. This is a HUGE boost to the economy, especially to department stores who are struggling to keep pace with other more nimble chains!
5) Clearer transfer of personal property
Nothing slows down the probate process more than the death of a gay person because the lover – who has no legal rights to shared property – has to make a significant effort to retain things that may belong to him or her when the loved one dies. If you choose to share a life with someone, the rest should be shared once the other dies. This is a very simple rule – and would reduce the need for probate management for civic institutions.
6) Increases in revenue for governing bodies
Counties charge for marriage licenses – this is a natural way to increase revenue for cities and counties without raising taxes. And, gays would have to pay taxes at the higher married rate thanks to the marriage penalty – another simple way to increase federal or state revenues without raising taxes. I can’t believe that someone hasn’t thought of this before!!! Someone running for a county commission seat out there should use this in the campaign platform.
7) Straight folks are hypocrites.
I think this is most obvious, but rather than list it first I held it back to leave you with this point making the biggest impression. Pay close attention here…
Half of all marriages end in divorce. That includes most of the church going people who are most outraged by gay marriages. When you get down to it – it’s really more than that because everyone who gets divorced seems to remarry – and then half of those fail, too. Eventually, you get to a number of people who get married several times. Is this any more correct than one gay marriage?
Governments allow people who are atheists or agnostics to get married. These people don’t even recognize a God, but they get to participate in civil marriages and collect the benefits therein. If you think that homosexuality is unholy, how do we condone the godless – who we KNOW are unholy – to get married?
Men who like to watch lesbian sex on television or in movies (frequently rented while on business travel) think it’s okay to watch two girls enjoy each other’s company – but won’t let them get married. If it’s okay to indulge in the passions, it should be okay to confirm the passions as well.
And, we continually sanction marriages that we KNOW are ridiculous – starting with our favorite entertainers getting married and then divorces or annulments within days, weeks, or months of the nuptials. You cannot say that it’s wrong for a gay couple to get married when it’s okay for Britney Spears to marry someone who has fathered two children by another woman – who is not his wife, and was pregnant with the second child when he and Britney started dating.
We sanction marriages of convenience, including those for social or economic gain, and we condone shotgun weddings that lead to appearances on Jerry Springer. If it’s okay to be married without love, it should be okay to get married where there IS love.
When you add it all up, it makes perfect sense to allow gays to marry. Better revenues, better people, more sincerity, and less government intrusion – a litany of conservative values! Sure – gays tend to vote Democratic, but here’s a simple way for Republicans to earn a few votes, too.
It’s good sense and good public policy.