Tuesday, May 8, 2007

"We are family!"

Governor Spitzer of New York submitted a bill to the legislature a few weeks ago to legalize gay marriage in his state. Today he sent out a two-page memo arguing in support of gay marriage:
Legalizing gay marriage would "only strengthen New York's families," according to Governor Spitzer, who laid forth his most detailed argument in favor of recognizing same-sex relationships in a legislative memo.

Mr. Spitzer, who late last month became the nation's first governor to propose legislation legalizing gay marriage, articulated a legal and moral argument in defense of the bill in a two-page "statement in support" that is being distributed to lawmakers.


The memo, which was prepared by the governor's counsel, directly confronts one of the main arguments made by opponents of gay marriage, who have warned that allowing same-sex couples to marry would erode the institution of marriage.

"Same-sex couples who wish to marry are not simply looking to obtain additional rights, they are seeking out substantial responsibilities as well: to undertake significant and binding obligations to one another, and to lives of 'shared intimacy and mutual financial and emotional support,'" the memo states.

"Granting legal recognition to these relationships can only strengthen New York's families, by extending the ability to participate in this crucial social institution to all New Yorkers."

Naturally, those opposed to gay marriage didn't like this at all.
"He's couching it in this family values language, which is insulting. He's trying to turn our argument on its head," a spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference, Dennis Poust, said. The conference is the public policy arm of the bishops of New York.

Mr. Poust, you know what's truly insulting? When you speak of "family values" while trying to tear apart families. When you say that children need to be raised by a married couple and then refuse to allow couples to marry. When you declare that people are not a family just because of the sexes of the members involved.

Allowing same-sex couples to marry and raise their children in peace is truly pro-family. If you cared about "family values" instead of your petty prejudices, you'd support this legislation. But I won't hold my breath.

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