Friday, February 24, 2006


"Marriage", not "civil union"

The New York Times reported the other day that Senator Hillary Clinton opposes same-sex marriage, but does support "civil unions".

Throughout this whole debate I just have never been able to understand the problem here. I do not see how any couple's marriage, be they straight, gay, bisexual, transgender, or whatever, is deleterious in any way to anyone else's marriage. The whole concept of "defending" marriage by refusing to allow two people who are in love to participate in it is beyond my comprehension. Quite the opposite, in fact: it seems to me that we should strengthen the institution of marriage by encouraging couples who are in love to get married.

Further, I do not understand why calling it a "civil union" makes it all better, for those who "oppose same-sex marriage but support civil unions." Is there more than semantics here? Wouldn't that which we call a rose, by any other name smell as sweet?

Well, but not quite, no: it seems that civil unions often give the couple only some of the legal rights of marriage. There are many reports of couples continuing to have problems with financial or health-care matters, despite being civilly united. Having one's life partner on his death bed must be one of the worst things possible — I can only imagine — and yet we make it worse by not allowing the healthy partner to make necessary decisions and arrangements, and often not even allowing him to visit his dying loved one.

Let's get a grip on our collective selves and stop this silliness. When two people love each other and want to declare it to the world, let's let them get married. This is the ultimate "win-win situation", and opposition is simply ridiculous.

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