In a tearful explanation to the San Diego community, Republican mayor Jerry Sanders explains why he decided that he would support the gay marriage bill. It’s a stunning display of courage, bound to turn the Republican party against him in order to do what’s right for his lesbian daughter, gay friends, and the San Diego community. I have to admit that I totally broke down crying listening to him and I hope that more elected officials have the courage he had to do what’s right rather than play to a religious-lead campaign of intolerance. (Unfortunately, Schwarzenegger still seems bent on vetoing the state bill that would define marriage as a civil contract between two people.)
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Note: my personal belief is that marriage is a flawed institution and I would like to see it obliterated entirely. Given that this is not likely to happen, I strongly believe that everyone should have access to the rights afforded by such a commitment. I personally wish that there was more public discussion of those rights and the reasons behind why society supports unions. Those opposed to same-sex marriage are typically involved in myth making instead of reality checking. Many of us know painfully well that marriage does not inherently protect children nor does it guarantee that the partnership will last. Yet, we also know that marriage allows us to get access to our partners in times of medical crises, keep our foreign-born partners in the country, etc. Economists also know that marriage statistically reduces stupidity (thus, the logic behind cheapened car insurance and tax benefits in general). Functionally, marriage is a commitment that is rewarded economically and socially because it makes for a more stable and prosperous society. All signs seem to point towards the same being true for same-sex marriage so the objections to it are more philosophical than functional, rooted in intolerance rather than societal efforts towards a collective good.