I have been in a loving marriage for 15 great years. My wife, Diana, is a wonderful person and an amazing mother. Our two beautiful children are blessed by having two parents who love them, care for them, and worry about their well-being and happiness. Marrying Diana was the most important and best decision I have ever made–a decision that has produced tangible material, social, professional, and emotional benefits.
As you consider the arguments for and against same-sex marriage today, please know that my “traditional” marriage is not diminished or threatened by extending the benefits I describe above to those in a committed same-sex relationship that may wish to marry. Quite the opposite is true. We only strengthen the institution of marriage by making available the legal and social benefits it confers to any couple (gay or straight) who wish to commit their lives to each other.
When it comes to marriage there is no such thing as separate-but-equal. Civil unions are not marriage. They do not carry the full social and professional benefits of marriage, and since it is the state (not an ecclesiastical body) that confers marital status, we cannot deny same-sex couples the right to marry and still adhere to our highest ideals of justice for all. By making marriage just, we reaffirm it as an institution that merits its centrality in our social order.
So as you begin your deliberations, please keep in mind that to truly defend marriage is not to make it less accessible or less relevant, but to make it open and available to all couples, gay or straight, who wish to take on the responsibilities and benefits inherent in the institution.
Best regards, yours, etc., etc.