Thursday, January 27, 2005

but don't call it discrimination

I know it's not an original observation, but when cultural guardians like Mary Gallagher extol the virtues of marriage, citing evidence like

Adults, too, benefit from healthy and stable marriages. They tend to live longer, healthier lives and are more affluent. Married mothers suffer from considerably lower rates of depression than their single counterparts. Like a good education, a good marriage is a real asset. Married men earn between 10 and 40 percent more than similar single men, and married couples accumulate substantially more wealth. By the time they’re ready to retire, married couples have, on average, assets worth two and a half times as much as their single counterparts. (The figure for married couples is $410,000, compared with $167,000 for those who never married and $154,000 for divorced individuals...)

doesn't it undercut the argument that depriving gays of the right to marry isn't discriminatory? Wouldn't it do so in a just legal or political system? Isn't the undeniable message, "We don't like you, and we're quite happy to hurt you to get our way."

Again, I know there's nothing new or original here. It's just that if you asked those questions of Ms. Gallagher, she'd deny the obvious implications, go home and sleep quite comfortably, and rise the next morning refreshed, ready to fight the perverts without a second thought.

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