What marriage is FOR (i.e., why it’s important to gays too)

June 29, 2009 | By | Reply More

Nathaniel Frank has identified the elephant in the room.   People don’t run off to get married to privately have access to government rights and benefits.  Hell, where’s the romance in that?  And when they get married, they actually get smacked upside the head by the government with the federal tax marriage penalty.  The government screws with marriage by taxing it.

So what’s the draw and social function of marriage?  Why do people really want to be married?  Marriage involves far more than just the two people getting married.  Frank explains:

[M]arriage is not just a private bond, but a public identity, whose meaning is shaped by the assumptions and practices of all those who claim and recognize its status. Being married helps us keep our commitments to our spouses and our communities by creating a shared identity with very public expectations. It doesn’t always work. But every day thousands of people choose to embrace this identity because of the support it helps afford them. This is why gays need access to the very same institution of marriage–not civil unions–that straights enjoy: so they can join not just each other, but the wider community of committed people whose marriage is recognized, understood and championed by people across the world. And this is why separate is inherently unequal.

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Category: Civil Rights, Community, Culture, Psychology Cognition, Sex

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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