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Beyond the Supreme Court: A Guide to Settling Gay Marriage

gary47 Wrote: Dec 15, 2012 12:21 AM
You ask: From rights of survivorship to hospital visitation, there are matters of basic decency which can be settled in law without redefining marriage at its root. This is exactly why legal marriage is necessary, because basic decency has been violated continuously against same sex couples. And letting same-sex couples wed does not redefine marraige at its root. Marriage remains a personal contract between two unrelated persons which establishes kinship. The state is interested in this because marriage stabilizes society, and provides security for the members of the family - the couple, any childen they bear, adopt or bring in from a prior marriage.

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to tackle two gay marriage issues, those of us looking for some sweeping overall conclusions on the issue should temper our expectations.

The cases to be examined by the high court involve some specifics-- the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, and the range of benefits the federal government should grant in states choosing to recognize gay unions.

Both will necessarily involve some examination of what role the federal government should play in matters of gay marriage, but neither is likely to settle the biggest questions:

What is the proper...