The Top 5 Reasons Marriage Equality Is a Win for Everyone

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Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy
Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

Friday’s Supreme Court ruling made it clear that the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees the right of a person to marry another person, and that those people’s sex and gender have no bearing on that right. I’ve seen a lot of people congratulating their friends whose relationships now must be legally recognized by the entire U.S., and I join in that sentiment wholeheartedly. But this isn’t just a win for same-sex couples and their kids; it’s a win for everyone.

We generally avoid political topics here on GeekDad. But this is fundamentally a question of human rights, not politics, just as advocating vaccinations for all children is fundamentally about science. Here, then, are the five most important reasons why this ruling is good for all American families:

5. It’s a major positive historic event.

So many historic events are unambiguously terrible: wars, mass killings, natural disasters, and major accidents chief among them. It’s wonderfully refreshing to witness an unambiguously excellent historic event for a change. I’m so glad my kids will have this to remember, as a bit of an antidote to the many negative events that will surely happen in their lifetime. And I’m thrilled to know I’ll remember it for the rest of my life, too.

4. Our children will be able to love, and be loved by, whomever they want to.

I used to think that the only reason I might not be happy if one or both of my kids fell in love with someone of the same sex is that I don’t want their lives to be any harder than necessary. This Supreme Court ruling is a huge step towards easing the extra burden society has historically placed on people whose love doesn’t follow “conventional” rules.

3. The foundation of every marriage is strengthened.

Some part of me has always felt a little bit guilty about being married, because I was availing myself of a privilege that was unfairly denied to others. Now that marriage is a legal right, every marriage — regardless of the sex of the people involved — is that much stronger. A foundation of rights is always sturdier than a foundation of privileges.

2. The connotation of the word “marriage” is changed.

My kids are old enough that for the rest of their lives, somewhere in their minds, there will still be the memory of when the word “marriage” had to be qualified when it referred to the union of two people who happened to be the same sex. But my grandchildren will have no such memory; they will have no concept of “marriage” as anything other than two people promising to love one another for the rest of their lives — qualifying it won’t even make sense.

1. Every step towards true equality improves the U.S. for everyone.

A lot of the arguments I’ve seen against the decision the Supreme Court has handed down are predicated on the idea that civil rights are a zero-sum game. But the opposite is true: When anyone’s rights are strengthened, everyone’s rights are strengthened. The fact that everyone in this country has the same right to get married as I do, when less than a week ago that wasn’t the case, takes America closer to the ideal on which it was founded. Some 239 years ago, Thomas Jefferson wrote of “the pursuit of Happiness” as a right fundamental to humankind, and as of this past Friday we are one step closer to living in an America that truly follows through on his words. Take a minute this coming Saturday as you watch the fireworks to reflect on that.

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15 thoughts on “The Top 5 Reasons Marriage Equality Is a Win for Everyone

  1. I’m assuming your next column will be dedicated to the plight of Middle Eastern Christians being systematically killed (by ISIS) for their beliefs? That’s a current human rights issue more widely agreed upon than the supposed one you sight and it has more dire consequences (people are dying in great numbers). No? Why not? That topic has every bit as much to do with Geek Dad content as the one you chose. Maybe because it doesn’t fit into your worldview? See, that litmus test (an actual scientific concept that belongs in this space) right there demonstrates that your motivation for writing this column was purely political does it not? Furthermore, I would think that someone who claims the title of Editor-in-Chief of anything would realize that the phrase “We generally avoid topic __________ here …” should immediately cause you to stop writing and honestly consider the true motive for what you are about to write (possibly by employing a simple litmus test like the one I gave you above). But you blew right through that obvious stop sign. I don’t begrudge you your personal beliefs and I certainly hope you don’t begrudge me mine, but when they have nothing whatsoever to do with this forum, please keep them to yourself and I’ll pledge to do likewise. It’s more than a bit ironic that I should have to remind an Editor-in-Chief of any forum of that well established principle but that’s politics for you.

    1. The problem with your post is that it assumes these writers and editors don’t post their opinion. Please show me a post on this site that does not convey an opinion. Additionally, you claim this has nothing to do with the tone of this site, but considering this site has a wide variety of discussions, and the overarching theme is in regards to parenting, I believe it was stated how this is linked with that theme. You are welcome to your opinion, but since this is not your content, you have no control over what they they should and should not post. I for one, appreciate the content shared here.

      1. Not that I inherently disagree with you Dominique (and I do agree with the recent SCOTUS decision), but I can point out at least one recent post that does not convey an opinion. I don’t want to embarrass the writer of that post, but the article goes something like: (Title: New toy. Content: Check out this toy. youtube post, youtube post, end.) No opinion at all. Not even a check out this ‘cool’ new toy. Just a posting of youtube videos of it. No review, no opinion.

        As to the first response to this article:

        I propose this litmus test: topics should be geeky and parental related.

        Are many people getting married/already married geeks? Yes (as a bonus, are there political geeks? yes, there are.)

        Will marriage rights affect my child and potential future children when they are older? Possibly. Certainly if any of them turn out gay, it would have had a huge impact if the SCOTUS ruling had gone the other way.

        Is this topic appropriate for GeekDad? My opinion leans toward yes.

        Now on to your suggestion for an article:

        Plight of Middle Eastern Christians being systematically killed (by ISIS) for their beliefs.

        Is it geeky? Well, some of those Christians are probably geeky. And it would be potentially good for political science geeks. I’ll give this a yes.

        Will this affect my child (have anything to do with my being a dad?) Maybe? I’m not sure on this one. I suppose in a historical perspective it might. No direct impact that I can see off the top of my head. Perhaps I’m wrong.

        Is this topic appropriate for GeekDad? My opinion is split. I wouldn’t mind seeing it on here, but I don’t think it fits. Will anyone write about it? I guess if one of the writers has interest they will. Otherwise, I doubt you’ll see it.

        I’m glad you have opinions on these topics. You’re welcome to them, and i’ll defend your right to have them. But I disagree that Matt Blum made an error posting this article.

  2. I agree. I read this website multiple times daily because I like geek stuff. I don’t like politics. But it seems we can’t escape it. Regarding the article itself, marriage equality would be fine with me if that’s really what it was about. Time will prove that it isn’t about love and marriage. Its ultimate goal is to close the doors of churches in this country. Once the push is on to erase tax exempt status, I’m guessing 85% of the churches in this country won’t be able to stay open. That’s the ultimate goal of the militant activists.

    1. And if time proves that it is about love and marriage? Will you retract your statements?

      1. Certainly. But I see enough hatred toward churches that makes me 100% certain I won’t have to. I give it to the end of Obama’s term before we see this push, maybe sooner.

        1. I honestly don’t hate churches, I just don’t like a lot of the people in charge of them. I think a lot of people actually need church in their lives. My wife for one is very religious, and I support that. I often attend church with her, but i’m not religious myself and don’t really need it nor do I care for it. I think there are a lot of people that would follow that sentiment.

          What I don’t see is how marriage equality has anything to do with churches.

          Besides, aren’t churches mostly funded by their parishioners? They just need them to donate more, or recruit some new people.

          1. And I honestly don’t hate or even dislike gay people. I have had a lot of people in my life who were my friends who are gay. And I do believe that for some of them it is about love and marriage. But not the cause itself. Not the activism that we see. That is about shutting the churches down. Time will tell. I hope I’m wrong. I really do. The problem with it being a “constitutional right” is that once a church says “we won’t marry you” or “you can’t use our church building for your wedding” or once they preach against it (as they will), they are open to lawsuits for civil rights violations. Once that makes its way through the courts, tax exempt status will be no more. Once tax exempt status is no more, most churches won’t survive. The big ones will because they have the people and the money. But your small town/country churches won’t. Your independants won’t. I believe gays should have equal rights. But their rights end where others begin. Gay rights do not trump all other rights. But that’s what we’re seeing. That’s the issue I have with it.

  3. As an aside to all of the people who don’t think this belongs on geekdad:

    Funny how you clicked on the link to see the article. And cared enough to respond to the post? And respond to people making responses to you? Seems to me like you do care a bunch.

    1. I certainly do care and this is the most non-violent forum I’ve seen any discussion of this on. It’s rational discussion and I do appreciate that. Hah, maybe you’re right. Maybe it really was the place for it.

  4. Religious, Non-religious. Gay, Straight. Geek(dads) need to stick together and be civil with each other.

    I expect a topic on ‘which is better: DC or Marvel?’ would cause more violence on here than gay marriage.

    I can’t really say much else about churches or religion. I don’t think the activists are going after them. Maybe the churches need to re-evaluate their fundamental values and evolve with the times? Didn’t they at one time deny inter-racial marriage?

    Perhaps the marriage freedom activists and religious activists should ban together and fight a new foe. Vampires? Zombies? Reverse Vampires? I’m just throwing out ideas here.

    1. Excuse me. Marriage Equality. I hear “gay marriage” so much, it leaks into my vernacular.

      I’m more of a marvel fan by the way.

  5. So much to say and dispute and disagree with in this post but I don’t want to do it here. The bottom line is, of course, the “owners” of the site can post what they like. But, much like Matt above I wish GeekDad had just left this one alone, there are far and away enough other sources out there talking about it and I was hoping that it wouldn’t be something I ran into here.

  6. It’s simply a matter of opinion as to if this subject should have been brought up or not on this forum. I was researching D&D stuff and didn’t expect to be challenged by this subject. I must say though that I do like how everyone is being thoughtful and respectful while holding different opinions.

    Michael, in regards to your statement about churches denying inter-racial marriage: Christianity has been around for two thousand years and the Catholic Church as an institution nearly as long. I can’t speak to other denominations, but the Church has established principles and beliefs that don’t easily change with the times. If it did then there would be no established principles or beliefs. And racism is not one of them. Men and women of various colors mixed in early biblical times. There were three black popes in the first centuries of the Church, and while there were bans on mixed marriages (inter-faith) inter-racial marriages were not banned.

    Lavek has made many solid points in regards to unintended (or intended I supposed in some activists cases) legal consequences. Let me postulate another one: If the fundamental principle behind marriage is feelings based (I love you so we should be able to be married) then the next step is legal bigamy. The next step after that is marriage within familial lines – negative consequences of that don’t manifest for generations, so it would be difficult to argue against that on scientific grounds.

    Just throwing some other aspects of this out there.

    My personal opinion is this has gotten to the point that the government should completely remove itself from marriage. If two people want the legal rights that marriage give them, then they can create the contract that is the same except the term marriage is not stamped on the contract. And then if you want to get married in whatever church that you want to get married in, then go ahead and do so, but the government is not part of it.

    1. I wrote a really long argument to your response, but I decided to cut it. I honestly don’t want to argue about Marriage Equality or false slippery slopes. Or the scope of government or religion. Or my opinion.

      Frankly, I’m tired of the whole conversation. The SCOTUS made a ruling, citizens of the US need to abide by it. End of story. My original reason for posting was not to argue the virtues of (or lack of) Marriage Equality. My reason for posting was to defend the decision of GeekDad to post this article, and then I foolishly put myself into a conversation that everyone is always going to have differing opinions on.

      You’re entitled to your views, and I’ll never change them. Vice versa.

      I don’t think any of this is a challenge. While I originally found this site from D&D posts myself, I click only on links that interest me. If I see a subject I don’t want to look at, I don’t read it. There are a significant number of articles on here that I don’t read, and some regular posts I always click on. The choice is mine.

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