Why Gay Marriage?

I have no problem with same-sex relationships. It’s not something I would pursue, but I believe we each have a right to our own preferences in life.

Something I don’t understand, however, is why it’s so important for gays to marry. It’s my understanding that civil unions offer the same benefits. The only difference is that the couple has not been joined in a religious ceremony.

Some say it has to do with the fact that civil unions between gay partners are not recognized in every state. But if civil unions became federal law, with all the inherent benefits of marriage, wouldn’t that suffice?

If a religious ceremony is important to a gay couple, why couldn’t a sympathetic minister perform the ceremony and issue a certificate that verified the union and satisfied any legal requirements by the government?

I guess what I’m asking is this: If gay couples were granted all the same rights as (legally-recognized) married couples, does the relationship have to be called a “marriage?” Perhaps the union could be given a different name — one that signifies it as a commited relationship with all the same dignity and respect that is attributed to the current definition of marriage.

Or maybe it’s really all a matter of semantics. Maybe we simply need to change the definition of marriage, because so long as we use that terminology, conservatives will continue to oppose any union between same sex couples.

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2 thoughts on “Why Gay Marriage?

  1. “Perhaps the union could be given a different name — one that signifies it as a commited relationship with all the same dignity and respect that is attributed to the current definition of marriage.”

    Then why rename it at all?

    Seeing as how I, an atheist, can get married to another atheist and have it called ‘marriage’, why should a gay couple be any different?

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    • Those who believe in “family values” have problems with the term “marriage” because its defined as a union between a man and a woman. IMO, so long as this is the term used for same sex (legal) unions, the issue will continue to be a divisive issue. Changing the name (or the definition) MIGHT offer a solution … but there are no guarantees.

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