Top Pro & Con Arguments
The institution of marriage has traditionally been defined as being between a man and a woman. Civil unions and domestic partnerships could provide the protections and benefits gay couples need without changing the definition of marriage.
John F. Harvey, late Catholic priest, wrote in July 2009 that “Throughout the history of the human race the institution of marriage has been understood as the complete spiritual and bodily communion of one man and one woman.”
In upholding gay marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee on Nov. 6, 2014, 6th US District Court of Appeals Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton wrote that “marriage has long been a social institution defined by relationships between men and women. So long defined, the tradition is measured in millennia, not centuries or decades. So widely shared, the tradition until recently had been adopted by all governments and major religions of the world.”
In the Oct. 15, 1971 decision Baker v. Nelson, the Supreme Court of Minnesota found that “the institution of marriage as a union of man and woman, uniquely involving the procreation and rearing of children within a family, is as old as the book of Genesis.”
Privileges available to couples in civil unions and domestic partnerships can include health insurance benefits, inheritance without a will, the ability to file state taxes jointly, and hospital visitation rights.New laws could enshrine other benefits for civil unions and domestic partnerships that would benefit same-sex couple as well as heterosexual couples who do not want to get married.
2016 presidential candidate and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina stated that civil unions are adequate as an equivalent to marriage: “Benefits are being bestowed to gay couples [in civil unions]… I believe we need to respect those who believe that the word marriage has a spiritual foundation… Why can’t we respect and tolerate that while at the same time saying government cannot bestow benefits unequally.”
43rd US President George W. Bush expressed his support for same-sex civil unions while in office: “I don’t think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that’s what a state chooses to do so… I strongly believe that marriage ought to be defined as between a union between a man and a woman. Now, having said that, states ought to be able to have the right to pass laws that enable people to be able to have rights like others.”  Read More