Why Get Married?

When you get into debates and discussions about same-sex marriage, there’s an opinion you’ll almost certainly hear if you wait long enough:

“Why should anyone get married?

“Why,” the argument goes, “should the state be involved in people’s private romantic and sexual relationships? Why should personal commitments be a public matter, something people throw big expensive parties for so their friends and families can watch? Why should people make promises to stay together for the rest of their lives — promises with legal responsibilities attached, no less — when they know that so many marriages end in divorce? Why are we spending time and energy fighting for same-sex marriage? Why aren’t we abandoning the institution of marriage altogether?”

As someone who is married (Ingrid and I are among the roughly 18,000 same-sex couples in California who got our weddings in after the courts legalized same-sex marriage and before Prop 8 eradicated that right), I’d like to try to answer that question.


Thus begins my latest piece on the Blowfish Blog, Why Get Married? To find out why I think the institution of marriage has value, and why I want to participate in it, read the rest of the piece. (And if you feel inspired to comment here, please consider cross-posting your comment to the Blowfish Blog — they like comments there, too.) Enjoy!

Why Get Married?

9 thoughts on “Why Get Married?

  1. 1

    As a non US citizen, I would love to be able to marry my partner and get the federal immigration benefit to ensure we can stay together.
    There are many bi-national couples in the same situation. The immigration benefit is often ignored when people talk about gay marriage. Unfortunately, even if you live in a state which allows same sex marriage, immigration rights are a federal benefit and DOMA ensures you won’t get them.

  2. 2

    Yeah, when gay marriage first became a big public issue, my take on it was kinda the same as with gays in the military — I’m all for equality, but I didn’t really support the institutions in question to begin with, so how enthusiastic could I be about more people joining them? But then DoMA clarified my thinking.

  3. 5

    Rick, what browser are you using? If you are using Firefox, the NoScript extension should take care of that problem nicely. NoScript forbids any and all scripts from running, except for those that you have added to a Whitelist. It is a chore at first to add stuff to the whitelist to ensure that the webpages you want work well, but it saves you trouble and CPU cycles in the long run.
    Okay, enough Off-topic.
    I agree with Greta, as is so often the case, particularly her insistence that marriage is not necessarily for everyone, or even for most people. I am dismayed though to find that she still gets people saying that since she has not expressed a view that is 100% in accordance with their own she is wrong and needs to change her opinion. But what can you do?

  4. 8

    Malware warnings for me too, but since I have noscript I decided to risk it.
    It’s a nice article.
    I have something of an aversion to marriage myself. I’m about the same age as Greta, so when I was growing up, marriage was about signing your rights over to a man. Literally – there was no such thing as marital rape. You couldn’t choose where to live, or get a bank loan, or a credit card, or in some cases even a drivers license or library card without your husband’s permission.
    So as a budding feminist, I developed a violent aversion to the concept. It’s not relevant any more, the laws have changed. So I know I’m a bit irrational about it now.
    Did you have any remaining “ick” factor to get over, Greta? (Or other readers of our age?)

  5. 9

    It seems to just be gone for me. I get a Yahoo 404 error when I click the links above, and when I try to navigate from blowfish.com, I get a 403 error.
    I’d love to re-read the piece, either here or on the Blowfish site!

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