|By Pocono Record, Stroudsburg, Pa.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
But a gradual yet steady change in public attitude was occurring, too. In recent years, courts in one state after another have struck down bans on same-sex marriage. In 2013,
There are plenty of people who remain hostile toward gays, and others who aren't hostile, but maintain the belief that marriage is a sacrament that should be reserved strictly for heterosexual couples. But champions of same-sex marriage have compelling arguments: That same-sex couples deserve the same rights under the law as other minorities, from tax advantages for married couples to insurance and death benefits. That unmarried same-sex couples do not enjoy the same privileges as legally married spouses, and that marriage affords children of such couples a legal and psychological stability.
Even social conservatives who disapprove of homosexuality or the "gay lifestyle" should admit that there's something encouraging about same-sex couples' embrace of a popular and honored institution. After all, nearly every social scientist holds up marriage as a stabilizing element in human society. Expanding the scope of that institution is one more good reason to celebrate.
Every Pennsylvanian should join gay couples in rejoicing that marriage law no longer discriminates by gender and that loving same-sex couples will legally share the same protections and benefits marriage affords to heterosexual wedded couples. Ultimately, extending the right to marry to same-sex couples lives up to this nation's founding principles of justice and equality for all.
(c)2014 the Pocono Record, Stroudsburg, Pa.
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