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2.11.04 Sounding Off: Same Sex Marriage

In November I applied to be on the Board of Contributors of the local newspaper. Never heard from them. But today I got an e-mail "welcoming" me to the Sounding Board -- a less prestigious group, but one that will still allow me to mouth off once a month in 200 words or less.

There first question to me was: Should the law be changed to define marriage as being between a man and a woman?

Well, really, why should gays & lesbians be let off the hook for ugly divorces, legal fees, custody battles, tax penalites and the other joys of marriage? But that's not what I wrote. I decided not to be a bleeding heart liberal but to take a conservative perspective. Here's what I wrote. We'll see if it gets in the paper this weekend.

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No. For a true conservative, encouraging same-sex marriage is a no-brainer. Marriage is an institution that stabilizes and strengthens society. If two people of the same sex wish to join that venture welcome to the good fight! Married people buy and maintain homes, making neighborhoods safer and more pleasant. They invest in furniture and appliances, boosting the economy. Conservatives want impoverished mothers to marry as a way of getting off welfare. Why not boost their chances by giving equal weight to same-sex marriages?

And finally same-sex marriages broaden the pool of families for children needing adoption. There are many older children in foster care whose traditional male-female parents have demolished their view of family life. Non-traditional families can often give these children the ticket they need back to stability, school attendance, and life success.

When a society has people willing to settle into a conservative lifestyle that supports community, economy, families, and children, how reckless and short-sighted can we be in denying them this opportunity? The more openly diverse our society becomes, the less we can afford to draw a red line around its most conservative institution.
 

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