03/26/2013 06:13 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Why This Married Heterosexual Relationship Therapist Supports the Legalization Of Same-Sex Marriage

Everybody should have the right to make a legal and spiritual commitment to the person he or she loves and wants to spend the rest of his or her life with. To deny any two people who love each other the right to make a spiritual, legal, and/or religious commitment because of their sexual orientation just seems inhumane to me.

Supporters of California's Proposition 8, which outlawed gay marriage, perpetually claim that legalizing same-sex marriage will have a negative affect on families and the institution of marriage. I find this erroneous belief both absurd and baffling.

Having counseled couples and families for over two decades I can assuredly say that I have never experienced the union of a same-sex couple who are in a committed and loving partnership contributing in any way to the demise of a heterosexual marriage and family. Straight couples do a fine job of messing up and dishonoring their unions all on their own. From what I have seen in my practice, marital conflicts and failure are a result of infidelity, addiction, abuse, and neglect. It's been estimated that approximately 60 percent of marriages will end in divorce. Twenty-somethings are so disillusioned by what they have seen of marriages that they are choosing not to get married at all. In addition, we promote reality shows in our society that portray marriage as a game show where getting a ring on your finger and getting to walk down the aisle are prizes. Before one points a finger at anyone else who seeks a loving commitment, I believe it is important to clean up your own backyard so to speak by focusing on one's own marriage by repairing and honoring the institution of marriage as we know it.

I truly believe that the institution of marriage will not change for the worse if the legal right to be married is extended to lesbian, bisexual, gay, or transgender couples.

In my judgment this Proposition 8 battle is a distraction from addressing the real issues that destroy marriages. Instead of wasting millions upon millions of precious funds and energy on preventing same-sex couples from the legal right to marry, those precious resources could be used to provide marriage and family counseling to struggling couples and families in need and provide them with the support and guidance they need to strengthen and repair their marriages and create healthy, lasting, and more peaceful families.