The statistics show, as local and national news organizations have reported, that the institution of marriage is indeed in danger...but not from same-sex couples wanting the blessing of the institution of marriage. In fact, the statistics show that heterosexual marriage is endangering itself by the heterosexual population that would rather cohabitate than deal with the apparent formality of tying the proverbial knot, regardless of the benefits to some...and I say some because for those on social security and other forms of assistance, marriage is the last thing these couples want to engage in as it would make them more impoverished than they already are. Now that is truly sad. Those who want to get married can't due to the financial losses they would incur thanks to current outdated and unrealistic laws. I know of an elderly couple that would love to get married but can't because it would impoverish them more than they already are living alone. It's too bad that the bureaucrats don't understand that there is more than one kind of hunger and poverty, and the kind of hunger and poverty I refer to is more social and human than financial or economic. It's the loneliness factor. The need for companionship factor.
The state of marriage would benefit greatly if the religious right would leave people alone and stop thinking they can run the lives of everyone around them. It's called the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You'd think they never read the Bill of Rights or the Constitution or the Emancipation Proclamation. Gee, what history class did they skip?
The institution of marriage as we know it will go the way of the dinosaurs if we don't make some adjustments. We do not live in a static world where change does NOT take place. That's for people who believe the world is flat, and that we are the center of the universe. Sorry, you do not pass GO or collect $200 dollars. Nope.
Same-sex couples want to preserve the institution of marriage by being allowed to marry and enjoy all the benefits thereof. Same-sex couples will strengthen, not weaken the institution of marriage. By allowing elderly couples to marry without the fear of losing their individual benefits, they will in turn strengthen the
institution of marriage, not detract from it. By allowing those who receive government assistance, whether it's Social Security or another form of assistance like disability, they too will strengthen the institution of marriage.
And just so you know, it's not all about money either. It's the right to be at a loved spouse's bedside in a the hospital, it's the right of that spouse to not be dictated to by the other's children or their own, it's the right to inheritance like other married people, it's the right to equal taxation under the law, it's about being able to say, "This is my lovely wife" or "This is my handsome husband" regardless of the sex or age of the person saying it. As for civil unions, they are NOT the same as actual marriage. It's about equal protection under the law, that all States in our United States must honor and obey regardless of what that particular State's bias might be, it will have to be obeyed if all are truly protected everyone in this country under the law. And that law should be to protect the right and the institution of marriage by letting ALL Americans participate in it without some religious fanatical group like Focus on the Family or the Family Research Council, try to tell the rest of us how to live.
The very reason this country was founded by renegade Christians and Jews was to escape the persecution of Europe. Heck, Jesus was the Chief Renegade of all Renegades, Christian or Jewish, and consequently the fundamentalist right or any religion does not own us or this country, nor do they have the right to dictate domestic or foreign policy. We have the opportunity to make a difference in the upcoming elections from the local level and all the way to the White House.
Let's make Oregon and the other "red with shame" states a true American "blue", so that when our time comes to tie the marriage knot, we can do away with the something old [red state America] and tie on something blue, true blue for honor in this country once again, and become a respected country again abroad. Do it for the state of marriage in America and do it for our national honor. Let the words or our forefathers and foremothers [don't think they didn't influence their husbands, sons, or fathers!] ring true for all Americans, gay, straight, old and young, abled or disabled. We all deserve equality when it comes to marriage as well as other rights guaranteed to us by the documents that made this country great.