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There has been another victory in the fight to legalize gay marriage. After much noise from both sides, the New York State Senate has approved legislation that would allow same-sex couples to marry.
The only step remaining is Governor Cuomo’s approval–and all signs point to him providing his signature, as he was the one to initially propose the legislation.
This is sure to upset those who would rather deny rights to same-sex couples, such as the ability to visit one another in the hospital.
For those conservatives out there, take a few deep breaths–this only extends the same rights and privileges to same-sex couples that have been extended to straight couples (regardless of their level of (dys)function, judgment, or compatibility), for years. Why should us heterosexuals corner the market on nagging spouses and messy divorces? Let’s spread the wealth.
For those still overwhelmed by the horror of people engaging in such “lewd” behavior as same-sex coupling (because apparently religious leaders set far better examples of piety), let’s take a look at how this development actually strengthens marriage for all of us.
States that do not have gay marriage have begun to extend rights previously reserved for the sanctity of marriage to “domestic partnerships,” so that long-time gay partners are not denied equal rights. The hitch (oh yes–pun totally intended): If you extend rights to gay couples who have not taken the vow of marriage, in the name of equality, you must then extend those rights to straight couples who have not taken the vow of marriage. In other words, by denying gays the right to marry, you’re creating a disincentive for straight individuals to get married.
This news can only be taken as a strong development–wait, watch me turn this slogan on its head–“in defense of marriage.” Regardless of personal values and beliefs, this is the only way to protect marriage as a valuable social institution unless we are willing to deny equal rights, and what American wants to be known as anti-equality? Social liberals and conservatives alike should applaud New York for taking this significant step toward legalizing gay marriage.
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