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A heart for gay marriage
#1 Posted : Saturday, October 30, 2004 4:00:00 PM(UTC)

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Gởi: Mon Aug 16, 2004 10:17 am
Tiêu đề: A heart for gay marriage

HoustonChronicle.com --
http://www.HoustonChronicle.com | Section:
Viewpoints, Outlook

Feb. 17, 2004, 8:43PM

A Republican with a heart for gay marriages By DAVE DYER

I'm a middle-aged, happily married heterosexual Republican who supports gay marriage. That should not be as unusual as it may seem. Who could not be touched by the lines of gay marriage license applicants on Valentine's Day? Didn't George Bush promote a marriage initiative because he understood that stable families are good for the country?

Marriage is not a religious institution, despite the efforts by some to claim it as such for their own purposes. It is a concept of civil law whereby the state recognizes a voluntary, public co mmitment between two people. In fact, the religious leaders who perform marriages must be authorized by the state to do so. Religion is irrelevant. Atheists can, and do, marry legally and successfully. Likewise, gender should be irrelevant. All that is necessary is the voluntary, public commitment of two adults.

A civil union as a sort of consolation prize marriage will not work because the concept of marriage is already deeply embedded in too many other legal and social institutions. If it is just a civil union, will the insurance company pay? Will the doctor let you decide what is best during an emergency? Will the jury award the alimony? Will your inheritance be allowed?
They have to be able to marry in exactly the same legal sense as heterosexuals so that all the established legal and cultural structures apply. For civil unions to work, this web of consequences of marriage would have to be rebuilt; there is no reason to do this since it already exists.

I am at a loss to see how gay marriage can endanger the concept of marriage, as some claim. Marriage, and civil rights in general, should not be reserved for people who are just like you. If you don't enjoy pondering what the sex acts of others might look like, then don't. It is none of your business. Very few people's sex lives would be a hit on the big screen, anyway. If unattractive people get married, does this somehow endanger the marriages of attractive people?

Republicans ought to strongly support individual rights, whether those rights are economic or civil.
Sometimes individuals are individualistic in inconvenient ways. Tough. That's just a consequence of freedom.

Dyer is an individual investor who has lived in Houston since 1977.
Readers may e-mail him at davedyer@mindspring.com.
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