Last week fellow PolicyMic pundit Steve Curtis wrote that the marriage equality debate is not about gay people, rather that it is part of a movement to undermine marriage. The logic in this article seems off base. Instead of being an attack on marriage, would not marriage equality make it stronger? The documented benefits of marriage are only enhanced by allowing more people to get married and this makes the institution stronger, not weaker.
Steve Curtis rightfully laid out all the benefits of marriage so let’s recap them. Married couples are healthier and live longer. While marriage has its ups and downs, married couples have better long-term happiness. Children who grow up with married parents are better educated and are much more likely to be successful. Women and children in married families are less likely to live in poverty. It even has health impacts for elderly couples.
Being married with children I can vouch for all the benefits of marriage, but this is where my agreement with Mr. Curtis ends. How can you be for marriage but against marriage equality? If you truly believe that the institution of marriage is the path to better health and happiness, and protects women and children from poverty while putting children on a better path to success how can you be against more people getting married? It seems that if we want a healthier, better educated society with lower poverty rates, then marriage equality is one step towards achieving this.
The separate but equal narrative that has begun to circulate from some arms of the GOP does not make sense. Separate but equal already failed in another context, so why rehash it again? Is it really that difficult to give everyone equal rights and protection? How can anyone promote family values and the benefits of marriage while also trying to continue to block more people from getting married?
The answer is no. You cannot promote the benefits of marriage and family values and prevent everyone from access to those benefits. The benefits of marriage are well documented and can only be enhanced by more people having access while making the institution stronger. If you are pro-marriage, can you really be against marriage equality?