During much of our country’s history, rearing children was considered one of, if not the primary reason for government efforts to promote and support marriage.
The majority has decided that raising one’s own biological offspring is not the primary purpose of marriage. Today, less than 40 percent of Americans believe that “children are very important to a successful marriage” (2007 Pew Family Research poll). The percentage of all marriages with children under 18 has declined from 50 percent in 1960 to 30 percent in 1997.
These are bigger changes in the definition of marriage than allowing same-sex couples to marry. A majority of Americans express support for gay marriages and say they are no different in purpose than other marriages. Some raise children and some do not.
We should focus our support on nurturing children in our society. Numerous long-term studies have consistently shown that children raised in same-sex families fare the same, and in several studies, better than those raised by opposite-sex parents.
Same-sex partners should receive equal social, legal and financial benefits for the raising and nurturing of the future citizens of our country.
I agree with the Connecticut Supreme Court that there is a “status and significance that the newly created classification of civil unions does not embody.” It is important for the children raised in same-sex unions that we convey such status and significance and call all legal contracts uniting consenting adults “marriage.”