"N.J. Lawmakers Approve Civil Unions - Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine said he would sign the measure, which would extend to same-sex couples all the rights and privileges available under state law to married people. The bill passed the Assembly 56-19 and the Senate 23-12." (Associated Press)
Civil unions are not enough!
Let Us Wed
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." (US Declaration of Independence)
LET US WED! It rests on equality, liberty, and even society. The case for allowing gays to marry begins with equality, pure and simple. Why should one set of loving, consenting adults be denied a right that other such adults have and which, if exercised, will do no damage to anyone else? Not just because they have always lacked that right in the past, for sure: until the 1969, in some American states it was illegal for African-American adults to marry white ones, but precious few would defend that ban now on grounds that it was "traditional".
Another argument is rooted in semantics: marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and so cannot be extended to same-sex couples. They may live together and love one another, but cannot, by this argument, be "married". But that is to dodge the real question-why not? And to obscure the real nature of marriage, which is, a binding commitment, at once legal, social, and personal, between two people to take on special obligations to one another. If homosexuals want to make such marital commitments to one another, and to society, then why should they be prevented from doing so while other adults, equivalent in all other ways, are allowed to do so?
Civil Unions are to the Gay Movement what segregation was to the African American Movement-"separate but equal". They were still second-class citizens. It is not ok to have a water fountain for the "colored" people and another for the white man. Each and every one of us should, and must be allowed to drink from the same water fountain. Those are the basic principles secured by the Bill of Rights.
The importance of marriage for society's general health and stability also explains why the commonly mooted alternative to gay marriage-the so-called civil union-is not enough. Those civil unions would be both wrong in principle and damaging for society.
Marriage, as it is commonly viewed in society, is more than just a legal contract. Moreover, to establish something short of real marriage for some adults would tend to undermine the notion for all. Why shouldn't everyone, in time, downgrade to civil unions?
Now that really would threaten a fundamental institution of civilization!!!