Why Gay Marriage Is a Women’s Issue

I like being a woman. I like wearing dresses and earrings, and I like babies and romantic comedies and talking about my feelings and hanging out with other women. But I don’t think being a woman matters that much to my legal, moral, and career identity. When women are identified as women before they are identified as scientists or doctors or Marylanders or Republicans, they generally get the short end of the stick.

There are a lot of reasons why gay marriage should be legal, but this is one of them: Gender shouldn’t matter that much.¬†I don’t care who you want to marry, as long as they are a consenting adult – their gender is really a non-issue, the way it should be if someone applies for a job, or pays taxes, or goes to church.

There’s an argument against gay marriage that goes: if two men/women can get married, where does it stop? What about three people getting married? People marrying their dogs? Well I would hope that the difference between a man and a woman is far less than a person and a dog, or an individual and multiple people.¬†Another argument is that you need a man and a woman to procreate. Fair enough, but what about people over child bearing age? Infertile people? People who never intend to have children?

I believe that marriage has personal and social benefits beyond child raising, and that we no longer need to adhere to all past religious restrictions — both things that benefit women (like me) who are interested in participating in a more modern, less gendered lifestyle. And if you believe that too, then you should see marriage equality as important to all women, including heterosexual ones.

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