We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Just as in ancient times, traditional marriage is becoming a thing of the prosperous, educated, and tradition-minded. The solid citizens, the pillars of communities; the stable people with predictable lives.
In my humble view, marriage is, or can be, two separate things: a secular property contract, and a religious covenant. Both are quite serious matters. I happen to believe that it is a difficult and challenging, but rewarding, structure for a good life. Seems to be good for kids too, which should not be surprising.
Making relationships that work is not an easy thing, given how neurotic everybody is. It can be worth the trouble, however.
A problem with modern marriages is that they're too heavily based on emtions like love and lust and not enough emphasis on commitment, responsibility particularly when kids are involved. Without kids, I could care less whether couples stay together or not, although society is better when men are committed to the care and protection of a wife and women are committed to the care and nurturing of their husband.
a non-religious marriage is more than a secular contract, between two individuals. it establishes a kind of entity itself, which has a set of default rights and duties against the rest of the world, and the man and woman have with and towards each other. this includes contract, property, in/testate rights, etc.
looking at it from that point of view, and given the fact that any attorney can draft a set of contracts, deeds, etc., that closely mimic the economic relations in a marriage of two normal people, I'm troubled by the slight distinction between the default set of property rules of normal marriage and the mashup of agreements for gays. clearly the gays have the worst of it.
but is this a fight worth fighting? unfettered economic freedom to me is more important than whether gays can order their economic lives.
if someone wants to totally trash the economic rights of gays (e.g., denying gays the common practice of holding property as joint tenants survivorship rights as a pseudo-marital property right), fine by me, but can this be done without wholesale interference with the economic rights of the rest of us normal people (e.g., denying gays the right to mimic marital property rights might interfere with how I purchase property owned by gays holding as joint tenants)? I don't think so, and if its tried, it will be absurdly intrusive.
that said, the very idea that gays can form long term stable relationships that are marriages in the normal sense is patently stupid, beyond those outriders on the bell curve.
"Everywhere in the developed world, the decline of mass-production industries has put pressure on the roles and incomes of working-class and middle-class men. The expansion of government and service industries has opened new opportunities for women, of which working-class and middle-class men seem less able to avail themselves."
Bingo! Damn straight. About time somebody connected the dots and noted the serious structural problem with our increasingly service-based economy.
One of the assumptions behind marriage is that bouncing between multiple sex partners is an inherently destructive force. Humans are ultimately frustrated by constantly having to compete for mates (or poor substitutes for such**), and the constant building up and tearing down of relationships keeps men and women from advancing along the relationship learning curve, thus stunting their human potential. The people who believe this the least - those who gave us the Sexual Revolution and all its promiscuity - are the ones fighting for SSM the most.
(**I recall a relevant Robin Williams one-liner: "He's not looking for Miss Right, he's looking for Miss Right Now.")