Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The New York Times pressuring Rhode Island?

The New York Times in an editorial Monday came out strongly in favor of getting a bill out of a Rhode Island legislative committee to force a vote on whether that state should join its neighbors – Massachusetts and Connecticut – in extending marriage rights to same-sex couples. This bill has been apparently stuck in the Senate Judiciary Committee where it has languished since 2003. If I read the editorial correctly, it appears that the Times believes that if the bill made it out of committee, it has a good chance of succeeding.

“The Connecticut and Massachusetts Legislatures approved civil unions before the courts took the extra step of providing gay couples with full rights,” writes the Times. “Advocacy groups like Marriage Equality of Rhode Island are pushing for full rights rather than the separate-but-equal status of civil unions. They argue, correctly, that anything less is unfair.”

That has been my position all along, marriage over civil unions. However, fairness is not the central part of my position. My assertion is expanding marriage to include same-sex couples strengthens the institution of marriage; creating separate statuses like civil unions is what weakens marriage and makes it less desirable for both straight and gay couples.

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