The most common argument against allowing gays to marry seems to be that we need to protect the institution of marriage. This argument is ridiculous for many reasons. While the main reason people in the US seem to get married is out of love, it is by no means the only reason.
There are people who marry for money, non-sexual companionship, even health insurance, do these reasons also threaten the institution of marriage? Furthermore, we have to look at marriage historically. For many years a wife was considered the property of her husband. For generations, royal families would marry their children off for diplomatic reasons, even "lower class" families would marry their daughters off to wealthy and/or powerful families so that they may reap the benefits. Many countries still have arranged marriages. Call me crazy but it appears that marriage is not exactly as "sacred" an institution as some would like to think.
Of course what makes the "protecting the institution of marriage" argument so ridiculous is that the divorce rate in the US is now over 50 percent. If we really want to protect marriage shouldn't we outlaw divorce? Finally, it is extremely difficult to comprehend how a gay couple getting married will effect heterosexual marriages. Will homosexuals getting married be so stressful to heterosexuals that we will all have break downs and divorce our wives and husbands? Treating same-sex couples as families under law could even save taxpayers money because marriage would require them to assume legal responsibility for their joint living expenses and reduce their dependence on public assistance programs such as Medicaid, Temporary
Assistance to Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income disability payments and food stamps
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