The Value Of Marriage

I’ve long supported same-sex marriage because I think marriage is a great institution.  It has made my life immeasurably better — so why shouldn’t every couple have the opportunity to enjoy its timeless benefits?  I simply don’t understand the objection to couples who want to legally declare and formalize their fidelity to each other.

I was therefore struck by the fact that Justice Kennedy’s majority decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, where the Court held that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to legally marry their partner, extols the value of marriage.  In fact, the opinion concludes with a ringing endorsement of the core, intrinsic value of marriage:

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

I am thrilled for my same-sex friends, and happy for every couple that will now have the ability to explore and revel in the wonders of a happy marriage.

4 thoughts on “The Value Of Marriage

  1. Well put, Robert. Check Posner’s post today on Slate. Among the points he makes: this ain’t a theocracy and because we’re not a doctrinaire nation, where’s the harm here? The other side simply couldn’t prove that will it be damaged by this.

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  2. Each time I read the decision tears pool. My husband is the world to me, I can’t imagine being denied the opportunity to marry him. I’m so happy that all couples will enjoy the protections that marriage affords them, no more hospital bedside restrictions, no more benefit denials. People will rest easier knowing their wishes will not be prohibited. Justice Kennedy must be very happily married to have written such a moving endorsement.

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  3. As usual, you’re the man, Bobby! Well put. But I expect no less from a former columnist at The Lantern, much less the Georgetown Law Journal.

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