04/24/2008 - The debate over same-sex marriage in the United States is a contentious one, and advocates on both sides continue to work hard to make their voices heard. To explore the case for gay marriage, the Pew Forum has turned to Jonathan Rauch, a columnist at The National Journal and guest scholar at The Brookings Institution. Rauch, who is openly gay, also authored the 2004 book Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America.
A counterargument explaining the case against same-sex marriage is made by Rick Santorum, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a former U.S. senator.
Jonathan Rauch, Senior Writer, The National Journal
David Masci, Senior Research Fellow, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
Question and Answer:
Why is marriage - I'm sorry, why is same-sex marriage good for America?
Well, you got the question right the first time. It's "why is marriage good for America?" Same-sex marriage is good for all the same reasons. It's good for gay people. I think if you asked straight people who have been married or hope to get married to imagine life without marriage, it's very hard to imagine. It's a much lonelier, much more vulnerable life.
Gay people need all the same safety. They need the same caregiving anybody else does. A society with successful marriages - and a lot of them - is a more stable, safer, more successful society. America's problem is not too many marriages, it's too few. Gay people are asking to be part of this social contract - to care for each other so society doesn't have to.
Read the complete transcript An Argument For Same-Sex Marriage on the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Web site.