Why Marriage Matters by Evan Wolfson
Review by Melissa Martinez, Fall 2011
This book did a really good job on giving an overview on an individual’s right to marriage. Wolfson addresses the many questions that confront society today such as (1) “What is marriage?”(2) “How will allowing gay couples to marry affect children?” (3)Why is it necessary to use the word marriage (4) “Will allowing gay couples to marry harm society?”, and many more. Wolfson also offers counter arguments that can be used to oppose the common arguments used by anti-gay rights groups. One argument that Wolfson discusses is the idea that “the purpose of marriage law is to encourage procreation through male-female marriages….No same-sex couples cab gave children” (Wolfson 76). Through Wolfson’s perspective he believes that there is an overstated link between procreation and marriage (Wolfson 77).
Why Marriage Matters captures my attention because it examines reasons why people who identify as homosexuals and those who do identify as heterosexuals want the freedom to marry. They both share the desire for freedom to marry because the idea of marriage equality is a question of civil rights and equality. Wolfson also discusses the economical, personal, emotional, and the social benefits that come with the right of marriage. The personal and emotional benefits of homosexual/heterosexual marriage are obvious benefits marriage, but the economical and social benefits are unknown. Some of the economical benefits of marriage include social security and health insurance, while the social benefits played to how peers and society perceive the relationship. Wolfson states that “marriage matters because it is a foundation upon which most Americans build dreams. It is the cornerstone of commitment one individual makes to another- a commitment we are taught is the highest expression of love, dedication, and responsibility.”
Overall I really enjoyed reading this book because it gave me additional insight to the issue of same-sex marriage, and the arguments given opposed to the right of freedom marriage to same-sex couples. I was previously unaware of the counter arguments in favor of the freedom to marry, and reading this book caused me to reflect on the questions posed by society while giving me the ability to respond knowledgeably about the issue of same-sex marriage.