-- Same-sex couples live in 99.3 percent of all counties nationwide (2000 U.S. Census).
-- In a national poll in 2006, 80 percent of Catholics said they agree with this statement: "Marriage is about love and commitment. Regardless of how I personally feel about gay people getting married, I don't think it is my place to judge these people's love for and commitment to each other" (Research by Peter D. Hart & Associates).
-- The federal government could save more than id="mce_marker" billion a year by allowing same-sex couples to marry (2004 Congressional Budget Office).It's important to remember that most of the negative stereotypes of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are based on false or inadequate information. Here are some myths and facts to help you sort out what's what (below compiled from the HRC and NOW):
1. It’s a “choice.” Sexual orientation and gender identity are not choices, any more than being left-handed or having brown eyes or being straight are choices. The choice is in deciding whether or not to live your life openly and honestly with yourself and others.
2. It’s a “lifestyle.” It’s sometimes said that GLBT people live a gay “lifestyle.” The problem with that word is that it can trivialize GLBT people and the struggles they face. Being GLBT is no more a lifestyle than being straight — it’s a life, just like anyone else’s.
3. Same-sex relationships don’t last. Same-sex couples can, and do, form lasting, lifelong, committed relationships — just like any other couple. And just like any other couple, sometimes same-sex relationships end. The primary difference is that same-sex couples have few opportunities to marry or enter into civil unions or domestic partnerships.
4. GLBT people can’t have families. According to the 2000 Census, more than 1 million children — probably many more — are being raised by same-sex couples nationwide. The American Psychological Association and other major medical and scientific researchers have stated that children of gay and lesbian parents are as mentally healthy as children raised by straight parents.
5. GLBT people aren’t happy. In 1994, the American Medical Association released a statement saying, “Most of the emotional disturbance experienced by gay men and lesbians around their sexual identity is not based on physiological causes but rather is due more to a sense of alienation in an unaccepting environment.” What that means is that the discrimination and stress that GLBT people face is the root cause of a great deal of pain for many GLBT people. That pain can be alleviated by knowing that there is a vibrant, growing community of GLBT and straight-supportive Americans who know and care about GLBT people and the issues they face.
Allowing lesbian and gay couples to get legally married does not threaten or take away rights from married heterosexual couples. Granting LGBT couples the right to marry does not weaken or destroy the marriages of heterosexuals.
Why shouldn't lesbian and gay people get the same protections under the law as heterosexual people? What's wrong with giving lesbian and gay couples in loving, committed relationships the same protections under the law as heterosexual couples? Denying this basic right to gay and lesbian couples is discriminatory and homophobic. Writing discrimination into the constitution, federal or state, is unjust. It singles out a group of people and categorizes them as second-class citizens undeserving of legal and economic protections. Marriage offers dramatic emotional, financial and even health benefits over the single life and cohabitation.
So, let's see...allowing same-sex couples to marry: 1) strengthens the economy (God knows we need that!); 2) extends basic equal rights to all (regardless of who they love); 3) increases self-esteem and provides a sense of stability to families and children; and, 4) generally improves each individual's emotional, physical and financial well-being. Hmmm...seems like a no-brainer to me.