My fb feed has been lit up this week about the marriage equality issue.
Many people have written eloquently about this issue, much more eloquently than I could.
I was listening to a commentator today explain their position against same sex marriage. First, he started by saying that he appreciated that we were able to agree to disagree, to disagree peacefully (specifically in the protests in D.C.).
I agree. I'm glad that the protests (on both sides) are peaceful. Violent protests help no one, and violence with this issue would not be helpful.
Then he explained why he supports traditional marriage, between a man and a woman. This is where his opinion offended me, a married mother of two. From what I could surmise, his argument was that society had changed, that marriage was no longer a long term commitment. That many children were being raised in single families without fathers.
Now I can't explain the causes of poverty, and I can't speak to parts of the community where fathers don't take an active role in their children's lives. But it seems to me that the issue of gay marriage is not related to this at all. The argument is that same sex marriage "cheapens" the marriage brand, and therefore makes fathers unwilling to marry their children's mothers. Or divorce is easier and children suffer.
Again, I can't speak to some of the community issues. I live in a middle class area, I have an education. I have friends who may not be married to their children's mothers, but they all support their children. I also know people who have gotten divorced - and for some - it was really the best solution. I am thankful that divorce is an option for everyone. Sometimes people do get screwed in divorce, and perhaps there should be divorce reform. That's not an argument against gay marriage. I
I enjoyed the pbs "Makers" program that recently aired. And I can't help but think, when some people talk about traditional marriage, it's a euphemism for returning to the bad old days. Where a woman couldn't divorce her husband, even an abusive a**hole non-providing husband. Where it was perfectly acceptable to beat and/or rape one's wife (there was no such thing as rape within marriage). Where women were routinely paid less for equal work and were not given promotions.
I don't want to go back to that society. Maybe there are parts of our society that have been lost, and perhaps that harms us going forward. There are certainly values worth maintaining. A wife who is property is not one of them. A marriage where the wife is a slave is not one of them.
My husband and I lived together before we married - I was shocked by how many people told us we were on the road to divorce (at least nine). And these were not necessarily my conservative mormon relatives either. (And yes, they were almost saying - maintain two separate residences before you make it legal - even if you never actually live at one of them).
While living together first can be complicated, I will recommend it to my children (if they ask my opinion). As long as children from a union are supported (physically, financially, emotionally), that's what matters.
Some people simply can't live together, and some relationships are better off ending. I would much rather my friends and loved ones had happy, fulfilling relationships, than just staying together miserably. And legally, it seems to me if two people want to commit to one another, we should support that.