The REAL threat to marriage?+comment
Over the weekend Governor Cuomo and the New York Senate wrestled with the measure that would legalize gay marriage in New York State. Though the measure easily passed the assembly and recent state polls indicate New Yorkers support gay marriage, as of yesterday Cuomo was still one vote short. As reported in Reuters, New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan, one of the very vocal opponents of the measure, warned that if marriage was to be redefined to include same sex couples it would come “at the peril of the common good.”
I think it right to disclose my personal bias on this issue; I am 100% for the legalization of gay marriage. The main reason I’m pro-gay marriage is that I consider it a civil rights issue. Limiting the rights and privileges of one adult, law-abiding group of people due to personal or religious bias is, I think, pretty much the best way to end up on the wrong side of history. I’m no legal scholar, but when in the history of western civilization have we looked back on a law that limited the rights of a certain group of people and said “yep, that was totally the right thing to do”? If you can think of one, by all means let me know. So that is the first reason. The second is that as much as it is a terrible stereotype, all of my gay friends have really kick ass taste and their weddings would rule. Yes, I come for the civil rights; I stay for the fabulous parties.
According to the 2010 US census, only about half of households are married couples. So perhaps Dolan has a right to worry about the sanctity of marriage. With as many as half of marriages ending in divorce, the institution of marriage does seem to be ailing. As gay marriage is still not legal in the vast majority of the country, and is specifically banned in 39 states, I don’t think the woes of modern marriage can be blamed on the gays. Historically only heterosexual couples have been able to marry, and as such I would argue that if the institution of marriage is, in fact, in trouble, we have only the straights to blame.