The institution of marriage is not being threatened by recent court decisions about these unions between persons of the same sex. Prejudice, intolerance and lack of information are the ones in danger.
First, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, because it denies gay couples the same rights and privileges granted to heterosexual couples.
Then, a separate Appeals Court, the 9th U.S. Circuit, declined to review a decision that rejected Proposition 8, an initiative that amended the California Constitution to allow only opposite-sex marriages.
The rulings are the result of viewing gay marriage as what it is: a union between adults recognized by the law for the purposes of rights, benefits and obligations, like those of a heterosexual couple.
The majority of the arguments in favor of Proposition 8 and DOMA are respectable from a personal point of view. But religious beliefs have no place in this, especially when it comes to imposing legal bans that discriminate against other people.
At the same time, the legal arguments to defend DOMA, which denies benefits-such as Social Security-to gay couples, claim that this saves money, maintains a uniform federal definition of “marriage” and promotes child welfare.
In reality, there is no evidence that the children of gay couples face different problems than those of heterosexual couples. On the other hand, making statements about saving federal funds by discriminating is outrageous.
Marriage and a loving relationship between two adults committed to each other are very personal issues. No one has the right to get involved in things that are none of their business and much less should the government discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation.