I'm a lesbian, and I'm married (to a woman), and here's my $0.02 on the matter.

I think the arguments that are usually made, on either side, are rather limited and tend to ignore what has real impacts on people's daily lives. Yes, I think queer relationships ought to be valued by their communities. Yes, I think that if two guys want to settle down in Yonkers to raise babies and SUVs, there's nothing any more or less moral about that than there would be if they happened to be of different genders. But the moral and social benefits of marriage have little to do any more with marriage as a legal entity. Really, when's the last time you asked a straight couple to whip out their marriage license so you could decide how to judge them morally? Whether or not we, and the relationships we form, are supported and treated with respect by the people around us, has little to do with the vagaries of the law.

So why do I want that piece of paper? So that if I die, my wife will not be automatically cut off from inheriting any of our joint property that happens to be in my name. So if she comes down with a deadly disease and has to spend the rest of her life in the hospital, I can legally visit her, without having to depend on the goodwill of nurses and doctors who may or may not think I have the right to see her. And, especially, so that if and when we have a baby, she will be able to adopt it without lengthy legal battles. So if the sperm donor we haven't seen in ten years has a change of heart and decides to sue us for custody, the court will have to recognize that she has a relationship to our kid. So if I die, our kid won't be separated from its mother and farmed out to foster care or to a sperm donor it may never have even met.

And if my wife or I happened to be from another country, none of this would even be an issue, because we couldn't be together. Period. Being in love, unless you're straight, is not considered a valid reason for immigration to the United States. International gay couples either have the ridiculous amounts of money needed to maintain a really long-distance relationship, or they break up when one of them leaves the country.

I find the moral arguments about gay marriage, both pro and con, rather dilletantish. High rhetoric is all well and good, but it conveniently sidesteps the fact that the law-- as it's currently written-- permits some really atrocious things to happen to queer families.