Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

1,138 Eye-opening reasons for Marriage Equality

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One of the great treasures at B.C.–and a true champion of equality–is John McDargh, a colleague and professor in the Theology department. This morning he sent along this, as he puts it, “eye opening” list of the 1,138 reasons that marriage equality matters.

I’ve always considered the basics such as hospital visitation rights and tax benefits the most obvious reasons for gay marriage. Add to this list of civil rights denied to gay and lesbian couples: no social security benefits for a spouse, no medicaid or disability pensions for a spouse, and lack of government safeguards like restraining orders to protect against domestic violence.

I respect others’ opinions, even those against gay marriage. However, ideology must never interfere with government protection–it’s a basic principle of the founding of our nation. More than simply a bulleted item in the culture wars, gay marriage is about basic civil rights for all.

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Filed under: gay rights, social justice

4 Responses

  1. Matt Micari says:

    So is marriage a right or a privelage? The lawyers seem to be inconsistent from state to state. I believe MA didn’t touch use the argument that it is a right but CT did. Marriage is not in the Constituion, however there have been cases about marriage brought to the Federal court and decisions handed down. Thus precedent should set that marriage is a right and thus under the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment gays same sex couples should be able to have civil marriage. We really need to work on the education aspect because, as hard as it is to face, many people still believe homosexuality is a sin or a choice. They really believe it’s wrong and that giing equal rights is morally wrong. We can use the government to force people to accept, but that usually leads to animosity. Think Roe v. Wade. Or we can really hit the pavement and start educating people about both civil rights and the sexual orientation minority.

    Phew. Ok. Later

  2. Um, if you look at history, there’s two kinds of marriage–the civil agreement, mostly about property and taxes, and then the religious institution.

    Whether it’s civil marriage or gay marriage or civil unions, what is important are the legal ramifications. It’s always the word “marriage” that’s loaded, and this is simply a construct, no? What seems important are the concrete, tangible benefits and the gov’t should guarantee these rights if two people enter into a legal–not a religious–commitment to one another.

    So I’m assuming you’re never gonna get married? 🙂

  3. This is a great post Ricco! Personally, my marriage wouldn’t be lessened or in danger if gay marriages were legal, and I know my wife feels the same way. The state recognizes the joining of two parties (for now a man and a woman) as a civil union (legal contract or agreement) and not a marriage. Marriages are something performed in churches in the eyes of the Lord. Same-sex couples should get the same rights as the rest of us “straights” if you’ll pardon the expression, including the eventual misery that comes with being with the same person for 11 years. (Don’t tell my wife, which I hope you’ll get to meet someday, I said that last part.) Keep educating people and fighting, and change will come.

    Again, great post!

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Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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