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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Why Same-sex Marriage Is Needed and Appropriate

One Case for Gay Marriage (from the opposition)

Ironically, the case for gay marriage is made best by one of its harshest opponents, the founder of the National Organization for Marriage, Maggie Gallagher.
It is from a book entitled, The Case for MarriageWhy Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially. It is co-written by Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher. They sum up the case for marriage in this way:
New marriage partners together create a shared sense of social reality and meaning—their own little separate world, populated by only the two of them. This shared sense of meaning can be an important foundation for emotional health.
Ordinary, good-enough marriages provide the partners with a sense that what they do matters, that someone cares for, esteems, needs, loves, and values them as a person. No matter what else happens in life, this knowledge makes problems easier to bear….
Marriage and family provide [a] sense of belonging . . . the sense of loving and being loved, of being absolutely essential to the life and happiness of others. Believing that one has a purpose in life and a reason for continued existence, (that life is worth the effort because one’s activities and challenges are worthy), come from having other people depending on you, caring about you. Married people have a starring role in the lives of their spouses; their shared universe would cease to exist if something happened to one of them. When the shared universe includes children, the sense of being essential, of having a purpose and a full life expands as well. Marriage improves emotional well-being in part by giving people a sense that their life has meaning and purpose….
As Professor Normal Glenn stated in a critique of textbooks, "Most social scientists who have studied the data believe that marriage itself accounts for a great deal of the difference in average well-being between married and unmarried persons. Indeed, loneliness is probably the negative feeling most likely to be alleviated simply by being married…."
The key [to well-being] seems to be the marriage bond itself: Having a partner who is committed for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, makes people happier and healthier. The knowledge that someone cares for you and that you have someone who depends on you helps give life meaning and provides a buffer against the inevitable troubles of life.
It astonishes me that anyone who has such a high regard for the multitudinous benefits that marriage brings to a relationship would want to keep such a wonderful way of life solely for oneself and those like oneself, for heterosexuals only.  There is every reason to believe that marriage would be good for non-heterosexuals for the same reasons it is good for heterosexuals.   After all, people are people.  Non-heterosexuals want to be married for the same reasons heterosexuals do.  If the Christian Right’s stereotypical view of non-heterosexuals is true —that they are lust driven, orgy seeking, diseased in mind and body, incapable of monogamy— why on earth would they be interested in marriage?  The fact is, they have every normal person’s desire for the state of matrimony and for all the right reasons.  Typically, all they want is the recognition that they are human beings.  Therefore, the withholding of marriage to them is the equivalent of withholding their humanity. 


Unknown said...

Thanks, Steve . . . I have been in a committed monogamous relationship for 12 years. It has truly been what NOM suggests (and much, much more!) The fact that I am in a relationship with a person of the same sex makes NO difference! - David Downing

Steve Kindle said...

David, it's a shame that when relationships such as yours are revealed as normal as any other, that some dismiss them out of hand. Not because they have any good reason, but because they don't want to face up to the reality that we are all the same. Thanks for being willing to live your life in the open; it's hard to deny what's staring you in the face.