Marriage or Civil Unions? Center for Inquiry Urges Equality First, Last, and Always April 17, 2008Posted by Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy in Press Release.
Whatever the official relationship is called—marriage, civil union, registered partnership—the Center for Inquiry believes it should be the same for same-sex and heterosexual couples. All couples should have equal rights under federal and state law, the Center urges in its recent position paper, “Same-sex Marriage—and Marriage,” available at http://www.centerforinquiry.net/advocacy.
At present, same-sex couples are essentially second-class citizens, even in Massachusetts where they can legally marry. Their marriages or civil unions do not apply outside the boundaries of the state and not on the federal level because of the Defense of Marriage Act passed in 2004.
The position paper refutes objections to same-sex marriage such as the argument that marriage is intended for procreation, that same-sex relationships are inherently unstable, and that same-sex marriage threatens marriage. None of these arguments is supportable, but heterosexual marriage is undergoing change in a different direction. In 2000, 9.7 million people in the U.S. were living with an unmarried partner, for various reasons, including objections to the roles that traditional marriage imposes, especially on women.
The Center for Inquiry would like to see the legal, social, and economic benefits of marriage apply automatically to all couples, without the historical baggage associated with the name “marriage.” All unions would be civil unions, leaving marriage as an option for those who would like additional ceremony or religious sanction.
“Same-sex marriage—and marriage” is one of a series of position papers on current political and social issues published on the web by the Center for Inquiry, which is an international organization committed to science, reason, and free inquiry. It has Centers and Communities throughout the U.S. and the world and has an Office of Public Policy in Washington D.C. http://www.centerforinquiry.net
The full position paper can be found on CFI’s hompage.