I already pretty much have my mind made up. I don't believe that gay/lesbian couples should be prohibited from entering into marriage. In the last few days, Illinois has passed a civil union law that "will provide same-sex couples in Illinois with sweeping protections and benefits, many of which were previously unattainable or required an expensive array of legal paperwork."
It awaits the Governor's signature, which he has promised.
Today, I learned how the lawmakers in my local area voted. Mmmm. None of them voted for it. Not surprised, considering where I live. A little annoyed about one of them, since I voted for him, and since he's my cousin's husband, but not unexpected.
Questions about how civil unions would affect pension payouts. Claims that medical decisions could be provided for by living wills and other legal means.
But why should gay/lesbian couples have to go to lengths beyond what "traditional" married couples have to go to in order to enjoy these same "privileges?"
The loudest voices I hear in opposition to the notion of gay marriage, however, seem to be claiming that legal gay/lesbian marriages would somehow erode or destroy the "traditional" institution of marriage between a man and a woman.
Here's where I stumble.
I don't get it.
I'm willing to accept that I may be ignorant of some facts here. Maybe there's something I'm missing.
I see "traditional" marriages crumble around me all the time. I have a friend in the midst of a bitter, years-long divorce, full of acrimony and accusations and underhandedness and vindictiveness. I'm in the midst of my own divorce, which frankly is the most absurdly friendly and loving divorce on the planet (my husband and I just laughed the other day about the fact that it's possible we're just being too nice to each other, just trying to look out for the other, and are being impeded by law).
But I just don't understand why it's a problem for gay/lesbian couples to marry.
And this is where you come in.
Is this about pensions and benefits and who should be eligible? If so, is this all about money? How much?
Is this about who can visit each other in the hospital? Who can make life decisions for us if we are incapacitated?
Is this about those of us who don't understand or don't approve of two people of the same sex loving each other trying to keep those people from doing so as much as possible?
What, pray tell, is "marriage" all about? How does religion enter into this, and why should it?