Saturday, 16 January 2010
LA TIMES Editorial on Marriage Equality
This strikes at the heart of what's wrong with denying marital status
to gay and lesbian couples. Somehow, society -- and in this case, a
federal judge -- are being put in the position of deciding whether
these unions are "good enough" to earn the legal and social status of
marriage. We don't judge these issues for heterosexual marriages.
Marriage is, at its core, a contractual agreement that confers certain
legal privileges and responsibilities on its signatories, as well as
social respect. Within that definition and behind the closed doors of
every couple, the institution of marriage takes many forms, some of
which are more attractive to society than others.
Some people wed for money or health benefits. In this town, some of
them enter short-term marriages for the publicity. (You know who you
are.) Teenagers barely old enough to vote marry despite the higher
likelihood that they will divorce. Serial monogamists wed. There are
couples who swap spouses, and those who live apart yet maintain their
sense of affection and responsibility toward each other. Many a
marriage, even those begun in love, ends up quirky at best and
dysfunctional at worst.
The public as a whole might not look favorably on all of these
marriages, but it does not try to deny others the right to form such
unions. It's gay and lesbian couples who are singled out for this.
Only in a hearing on same-sex marriage would we hear arguments judging
whether a relationship between two adults is loving and committed
enough to gain legal and social standing -- evidence on its own that
homosexuals, who have long faced unreasoned hatred and abuse in many
forms, are being singled out for the withholding of this basic
Source by LA TIMES