Gay marriage by Kate Burns

By Kate Burns

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Even after the adoption of antidiscrimination legislation protecting gays and lesbians in many states and cities, even after the extension of pension and health benefits by numerous public and private employers to homosexual couples, even after the emergence of gay TV stars and shows, the prospect of marriage stirs some ancient fears and hatreds. Like the Brown v. Board of Education [ending racial segregation in public schools] decision nearly a half-century ago, the Supreme Court’s recent ruling [on June 26, 2003, in Lawrence v.

Influential legal bodies in both the United States and Canada have presented radical programs of marital reform, . . [even] the abolition of marriage. The ideas behind this movement have already achieved surprising influence with a prominent American politician [Al Gore]. Like other critics of same-sex marriage, Kurtz has himself been vigorously criticized, especially by Sullivan. But he is almost certainly correct as to political and legal realities. ” In time, restricting marriage rights to couples, whether straight or gay, can be made to seem no less arbitrary than the practice of restricting marriage rights to one man and one woman.

But what exactly does this have to do with marriage, which can follow, precede, or remain wholly independent of that condition? It is a truism that many married people feel little sexual or romantic attraction to each other—perhaps because they have been married too long, or perhaps, as some men have always claimed, because the death of sexual desire is coincident with the wedding ceremony. ) Many people in ages past, certainly most people have married for reasons other than sexual or romantic attraction.

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