Friday, July 06, 2007

Why Marriage Matters to a Twenty-Something Year Old

Please allow me to introduce myself-My name is Rez Pullen and I am the newest MEGA employee. I am thrilled to be working with Kathy and everyone else who has made MEGA the incredible organization it is today. My partner Sara, and I moved from Boston (go Sox!) to Atlanta (somewhat reluctantly, I'll admit) so I could attend a PhD program at Emory.

I have many debates with my peers and colleagues who argue that the only way to assume equal rights for all citizens is to overturn the institution of marriage. And I agree that the institution of marriage is discriminatory against single people or families who complicate the dichotomous coupling arrangement. And while the institution of marriage may be inherently flawed, it would be an irresponsible and politically foolish move to abandon it all together.

Regardless of what you think of the inherent institutional problems of the marriage system, it does offer benefits which are critical to the survival of LGBT people. I'm tired of hearing people say the fight for marriage represents the privilege of the persons advocating for it. I fight for marriage equality not only to secure the rights my partner and I gained at our wedding last year, but also for the lesbians and gay men who remain "illegal aliens" because they cannot obtain citizenship through their US partners. The issue of marriage equality cuts across race, class, citizenship and every other category. If you'd like more examples, let me know and I will send you my entire diatribe on the subject :-)

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