There are many overlapping benefits to marriage. In this blog posting, I present nine arguments why homosexuals should be entitled to them.

Marriage Benefits:

1.         Hospital visits.

2.         State inheritance rights.

3.         State real property protection.

4.         Insurance benefits.

5.         Decriminalized sexual relations.

6.         Social advantages.

7.         Religious advantages.

8.         Federal tax advantages.

9.         Personal  commitment.

10.       Cultural rite of passage.

11.       Stability, mutual care and security.

Are these our criteria
for eligibility to marry?                     Yes                                        No

Age

X

 

Marital status

X

 

Residency

X

 

Race*

 

X

National origin

 

X

Love for partner

 

X

Ability to procreate

 

X

Ethnic group

 

X

Religion

 

X

Constitutional oath

 

X

Background check

 

X

Gender

 

 

*Interracial marriage was illegal in Virginia and other states until the Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 4, 87 S.Ct. 1817, 1819-20, 18 L.Ed.2d 1010 (1967).

 1.         If people are so concerned about restricting the institution of marriage to those with the ability to bear natural children, why not require fertility testing for heterosexual couples?

2.         If skin color is not a valid marriage eligibility criterion, why are sex organs?

3.         How does denial of same-sex marriage protect children? It appears to me that the de-legitimizing of couples engaged in parenting serves only to harm the children they are raising.

4.         If the purpose of banning homosexual marriage is to protect the institution, why permit no-fault divorce? Why not require parenting classes before marriage instead of at its end? Why not criminalize desertion or non-support?

5.         If the Bible is the standard of reference, why is there no comparable movement to punish adulterers?  There are so many of them, and their infraction is so much more clearly violative of Biblical teaching.

6.         No scientific study has concluded homosexuals are less competent parents. Charlotte J. Patterson and Richard E. Redding, Lesbian and Gay Families with Children: Implications of Social Science Research for Policy, 52 J. Soc. Issues no. 3 at 29-50 (1996).  This might surprise Arkansas voters, who just passed a referendum banning same-sex adoption or foster care.

7.         Why is such effort and money devoted to banning same-sex marriage — a policy that causes real psychological and economic harm to couples and children; instead of working to reduce underage pregnancy or increase early-childhood education?

8.         There is no fundamental moral difference between allowing an increased number of spouses in  a marriage (polygamy); and permitting a gay, lesbian or bisexual spouse. It appears hypocritical for Mormons (known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) to spend millions in California on defeating Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that would have permitted same-sex marriage.

9.         One of the greatest attributes of the United States is tolerance for diversity; expressed in the right of minorities to receive equal protection of the laws. One example is that we allow people to marry someone of a different race or color. This is permitted not because it is necessarily our own preference or even that of the majority. We also allow people whatever sexual conduct they choose in their own homes because “individual decisions by married persons, concerning the intimacies of their physical relationship, even when not intended to produce offspring, are a form of "liberty" protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Moreover, this protection extends to intimate choices by unmarried as well as married persons.” Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 at 577-78, 123 S.Ct. 2472, 156 L.Ed.2d 508 (2003).

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            In conclusion, opposition to same-sex marriage is a xenophobia of social identity. Differentiation is certainly critical to group validation and security, whether it be among a pride of lions, members of a street gang, or a “moral majority”. But this innate need to distinguish ourselves from others should not include a prohibition against same-sex couples enjoying the same marital rights and privileges as other partners whose only difference is their sex.