“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. … [M]arriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. … [The] hope [of the petitioners] is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law.”
Equal dignity sounds good. But did you catch the other message? The one about how the alternative to marriage is being condemned to live in loneliness? That’s quite sinister. Make it part of a sweet celebration of love, though, and somehow it’s good to go. The power of love is a curious thing.
In the rush to celebrate “love” when we mean marriage, we hide the damage done by the idea that love doesn’t count unless you’re married (and if you don’t marry you’ll die miserably alone).