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Marriage for All June 13, 2006

Posted by federalist in Social Politics.
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The Philadelphia Inquirer’s front-page headline says it all: Same-sex partners fear losing rights.

If we are to turn marriage into a contract for state-sanctioned rights and benefits, why should it be limited just to people in sexual relationships? And why should it be limited to two people at a time?

The gay marriage proponents’ mantra, “All we want is the same rights given to heterosexual couples,” seems to fit with our nation’s democratic ideals of equality. But are these activists sincere? Do they support the extension of marriage rights to other adult couples currently forbidden from marrying? Shouldn’t, say, a parent and an adult child be able to exploit the healthcare, tax, and pension benefits of marriage? And what if a polygamous commune wishes to raise children: shouldn’t every husband, wife, and child be protected by the marriage contract?

If gay marriage activists truly believe that marriage should be a contract available to any committed group of adults, then let them say so. Such consistency is a powerful argument. But if they oppose the extension of those rights to people they themselves consider “deviant,” then let their hypocrisy condemn their campaign to failure.

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