THE BLOG
01/10/2013 01:57 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Rethinking Gay Marriage

I agree with granting legal marriage equality to same-sex couples. If the government is willing to extend certain rights to some citizens, it should offer those rights to all citizens.

However, though it's perfectly reasonable for two people to want to commit themselves to each other, one can only wonder why two people would make such a decision. Is it because they need to, or is it because they are under social pressure to conform to heteronormative stereotypes?

Why is it that we need to make an official and permanent public commitment (unless, of course, we later decide to divorce, which many married couples ultimate do)? Is it because we really need that to commit to each other, or is it because we are just trying to "keep up with the Joneses"?

I think it's the latter. Gay people are forced to live in a society that is built upon social norms, such as committing ourselves to each other under the banner of "marriage." Are we doing it because it helps us or because it makes us seem more "normal"?

To be sure, it's unjust that some citizens are offered one set of rights while others are not, but is it possible that we are enforcing an ideology that assumes that two people must be "married" in order for their commitment to be official?

This dilemma applies not only to gay people but to all people. Why do two people need to align themselves with a traditionally religious but now civil commitment in order to be taken seriously? Can we not be committed and moral without the label of "marriage"?

Gay couples cannot biologically produce children together, but does that make us lesser persons or citizens? Of course not. Plenty of straight people cannot complete this act, either, for one reason or another.

I'm 100-percent supportive of the idea that marriage should afford same-sex couples the same rights in the eyes of the government that it affords opposite-sex couples, but I think we --not just gay people but straight people, as well -- need to rethink the entire idea of "marriage." What's the point? Are two people who make a lifelong commitment to each other without making it "official" by calling it "marriage" any less committed than anyone else? I think divorce statistics might suggest otherwise. Why do we keep enforcing this idea that we must be "married" in order for our commitment to each other to be taken seriously?

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