Maryland voters will be voting on Question 6, to approve or reject the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which would allow same-sex couples to obtain a civil marriage license and protect clergy and religious institutions from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs.
Early this year, my husband and I had our marriage blessed by the church. Five years earlier, we were married in city hall. We felt that having a religious ceremony, among family and friends, was important. We wanted to renew our vows in the presence of God.
To us, marriage was more than a physical union, wedding or civil contract. Five years into our union, we already realized how much hard work, dedication, faith it takes to keep a marriage strong. Marriage is a sacred convenant with another person.
Love is not simply a feeling, it is a commitment.
When two people stand before the alter, they promise–in sickness and in health, for better or worse, for richer or poorer–commitment, love forever. Marriage is a union of loyalty, fidelity and permanence to your spouse and your children.
It comes to no surprise then that Americans overwhelmingly recognize the value of marriage in raising children and to advancing society.
Here is another trend. The Census Bureau estimates that the percentage of same-sex couples raising children has more than doubled in just 10 years, from 8 percent in 2000, to 19 percent in 2010. Not surprisingly, in raising children, marriage has become more attractive and natural to same-sex couples.
Sames-sex couples need marriage, and I believe we need gay marriage in our society.
A prevailing problem hurting American families is not that same-sex couples want to get married, it’s that couples are having children outside of marriage or aren’t staying married. In my opinion, gay marriage sends a strong message that marriage is beneficial, therefore available to and expected of every family.
Many opponents of gay marriage cite biblical law: marriage is only between man and woman. Many are, not surprisingly, opposed to the modern marriage–the marriage of equality. My grandparents’ marriage, in which husband worked and the wife stayed home, had separate roles and spheres, is not true today. Two-earner couples are the norm, as well as equal partnerships. And if we want to uphold biblical law for that matter, why aren’t we passing a bill that bans divorce?
Gay marriage destroys marriage no more than giving women the right to vote destroyed democracy. It strengthened it.
So today, I am voting for Question 6.
Marriage is a commitment that must be upheld by couples, their families, friends, colleagues, and community. I hope that one day same-sex marriage will be largely uncontroversial, accepted and good for all.