Lovely Day for a White Wedding

An old acquaintance of mine got married over the weekend.  We used to have a similar circle of friends back in university.  The wedding was extremely well attended, and I’m sure everyone had a lovely day.

So what’s the catch, you ask?  Well, as far as I’m concerned, there isn’t one.  However, there are a good many people in our country who would have loved to deny my friend the right to run off to the chapel because she married her longtime girlfriend.

I guess I can (try to) understand why people, based on religious or moral ground, aren’t fond of the idea of gay marriage.  Actually, that’s a lie.  I don’t really understand why people are so worried about things that don’t affect them.  In my mind, it’s like being worried because the guy next door rides motorcycles without a helmet or never buckles his seat belt; ultimately, it is no concern of mine and has no impact on my rights in any way.

I doubt that many people would argue that marriage is a religion- and culture-based exercise.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with the government.  Churches perform marriages.  It is the church’s decision whether or not they wish to include or exclude people from this activity.  They have the right to an opinion.  However, forcing a church to carry out or to ban same-sex marriages is not something supported by natural rights or, in my mind, the U.S. constitution.  The individuals comprising the congregation alone have the the right to determine what they will or won’t do.

People say that gay marriage hurts the moral fiber of our society, but I’m honestly not sure how.  Some make the argument that gay people, especially gay men, are more promiscuous than heterosexuals.  For one thing, I have met a lot more slutty straight people than gay people.  Perhaps this stereotype would not persist if they were allowed to marry.  Secondly, I find it hard to believe that gay people will make a bigger mess of the institution of marriage than heterosexual people have already.  The divorce rate (overall) for first marriages in America is around 41%.  For second marriages, it is more like 60%.  And for those lucky sods who are brave enough to have a third go at it, the rate for third marriages is a whopping 73%!  Age at the time of marriage also seems to play a large role in whether or not the marriage will succeed.

I will go a little bit further with this idea about divorce.  Those who try to say that gay couples who have or adopt children are ruining the fabric of society must not read all that much.  Marriage, in fact, seems to be the single greatest predictor of whether or not a family will live at or below the poverty line.  The vast majority of poor children in America – white, black, or otherwise – come from single-parent homes.  Children raised in single-parent homes are also at greater risk in school, as well as with the law.  Given this set of information, one might think that it would behoove us as a society to allow the maximum possible number of individuals to marry.

The fact is, most gay people I’ve met are the product of homes with heterosexual parents.  The sexuality of the parent, apparently, has no impact on that of the child.  So why do people think that gays who marry are going to turn out gay children – or affect their own?  It’s nonsense.

I suppose, in my ideal world, marriage would be an entirely religious issue and the government would be completely uninvolved in any marriage, straight, gay or whatever.  Marriage is a very personal choice that exists between the two people who have decided to enter into it.  Who am I to say someone should or shouldn’t marry?  Who is anyone else to say whether or not I should or shouldn’t marry?  At the end of the day, why do any of us care about something that is none of our business?  Can’t we just be happy that there are still people in the world who believe in love?

There are lots of places that you can look for information about how marriage affects our society.  I recommend starting here at the Heritage Foundation.  I don’t necessarily agree with them on all points, but this section provides some compelling information about marriage and poverty in America.


About The Lady Libertarian
I am American, currently expatriated but hopeful about getting back home one of these days. Besides reading and writing about politics, I enjoy camping, sailing, canoeing, making pie, and traveling. I hope you'll enjoy this blog and find it informative and accessible.

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