Civil unions aren't enough
Opposition to gay marriage equality often centers on the argument that civil unions are an acceptable alternative to marriage, but that argument puts the relationship between two men or two women in a separate category than the federal rights afforded to married couples. Civil unions are state supported and do not need to be recognized in other states, not to mention that many of the almost 1200 legal rights enjoyed by heterosexual married couples are not able to be written into civil union contracts.
Marriage is about unity, not inequality
Less than 50 years ago, interracial couples could not get married — not even one man and one woman. In 1967, the Supreme Court ruled interracial marriage to be constitutional in the Loving v. Virginia case. Today we look back to that time and think of the ruling as absolute common sense, because skin color doesn't change the sanctity of marriage. Now the Supreme Court has the ability to extend marriage equality to all people, a decision started in 1967 when they declared skin color had no legal ramifications on a marriage.
The traditional family is a thing of the past
Gay marriage can't destroy the traditional family because those families only exist in hazy memories of the past. The idea of a traditional family as defined as a husband and wife raising children from birth is simply not a reality for many American families. Children come into families through adoption and fostering at all ages, from infancy to late teen years. Divorce or death separate heterosexual parents, and new families grow through remarriages — or children are raised in loving homes by single parents, sometimes in multi-generational homes. Love is the only constant needed to create a family home — and love from two men or two women is just as strong and just as fortifying of a foundation as the love between a man and a woman.
People are people
In polarizing arguments like the ones surrounding marriage equality, it's tempting to speak in generalizations. We talk of being a change in society and making the world a better, safer place for our children, and these are noble reasons to fight for marriage equality. But gay marriage isn't only about the societal umbrella under which we live — it's about the love and fundamental rights of individual people.
Mark documents his family's life on Our Simple Lives: a Daddy, a Papa and their four children. Mark is a father, a partner, a man who vacations with his family and lets his partner, Fred, create chore charts in hopes that their kids will help more around the house. Mark and Fred are parents in a committed, loving relationship and they want to be married. They are faces of the people whose rights are at stake in Washington D.C.
Love is love
Freedom and equality are entwined in the fabric of the United States, and that equality needs to extend to gay marriage rights. We can't truly be the Land of the Free unless all our citizens are equal in the eyes of the law. The Supreme Court will continue to hear oral arguments today, with a ruling expected sometime this summer. I can only hope that one day my children look back on 2013 the way I look back on 1967 and simply wonder how anyone could think a marriage based on love could ever be unconstitutional.