Marriage in America

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

Alongside the Human Rights Campaign’s brilliant marketing strategies (from the very name), the biggest obstacle to serious political conversations about same-sex marriage is the fact that marriage has become a bit of a mess in American culture. The latest evidence? The irresistable headline on Drudge right now about a couple considering divorce on account of Obamacare. Click through and learn that neither was the “marrying type,” but got hitched because he had been laid off and needed health care. Now, they figure they will be better off unmarried. As a local CBS news report explains

The issue for Aronowitz and Cassara is that together as family of only two, they make more than the $62,000 level to qualify for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. But if they lived together unmarried, they would qualify for the subsidies and could literally save hundreds of dollars a month on their health care. 

Explaining their current deliberations, she explains the advantages to divorce: 

“In our case, it would be worth it,” Aronowitz said. “In other people’s cases, where marriage is really, really important to them and they had this big wedding and it was this sacred experience, I think it would be a really tough decision for them.”

What marriage is is the conversation to be having right about now (the Heritage Foundation has many good starts at that — including this pamphlet; Hilary Towers is among those trying). What do our laws and movies, communities and churches teach about it? Do we pick and choose if it really matters beyond insurance and visitation rights? Because we can fix estate issues, too, without redefining marriage.

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