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I have had a somewhat unique set of formative experiences that impacted my views on marriage. My dad is gay, and I have watched him lose two partners, one to death and one to breaking up, and watched how not being married impacted that. In many respects, he benefited, but in others he didn't. The other was being called to testify in a palimony case for a pretty famous celebrity who happened to have a long term relationship, but not marriage, to one of my relatives. I grew up spending time with them, and my knowledge of their relationship was germain to the case. My relative ended up losing, and because she had sacrificed her own career to supporting this man and his career, she found herself with no resources and no ability to procure them. Her life has been very difficult since their split and it's very sad to watch.

What these experiences taught me is that marriage is not about love at all. Marriage is about legal protections for when things go wrong, and things always go wrong. Even if a couple stays together, there will be illness, and there will be death. That is when you most need the legal protections marriage offers. My husband and I had love and commitment long before we were married, and the fact that our love and commitment endures has nothing to do with the fact that we are married. But there is no way I would have bought property or had kids with him if we did not have that little piece of paper others are ready to dismiss as unimportant.

So, to your question. Do I think government should promote marriage? I think government should be honest about what marriage is about, and stop talking about love. In many ways marriage makes some of the paperwork of death easier. It clarifies inheritance, who has the power to make decisions, power to access bank accounts, etc. I can see why it is important and benefits the government. But let's not pretend it is anything other than what it is, and let's "promote" it accordingly.

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