Opponents of marriage equality spend a lot of time talking about “traditional marriage.” What does it even mean to say that same-sex unions are non-traditional?

Ancient Babylonians and Egyptians, who we considered the first civilizations, accepted same-sex relations. Ancient Greeks and Romans — Socrates, Plato, Sappho, Pindar, Alexander the Great, Virgil, Catullus and Julius Caesar — not only accepted this behavior as a natural expression of the sexual instinct but praised it.

There really is no such thing as traditional marriage. Great civilizations that produced influential thinkers, inventions and systems were not at all inhibited by the public acceptance of homosexuality.

Same-sex marriage will bring financial gain to the state and local governments from the cost of licenses and higher income taxes.

It’s hard to come by evidence that permitting same-sex marriage will negatively affect opposite-sex marriages.

Eight states in the country currently allow same-sex marriage: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Washington, Maryland (effective Jan. 1) and the District of Columbia.

Massachusetts, the first to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004, had the lowest divorce rates among all states in 2008. In fact, the seven U.S. states that had the highest divorce rate between 2003 and 2008 all had constitutional prohibiting laws against gay marriage.

Denying same-sex couples the right to marry labels same-sex families as inferior and sends a clear message that we are less than them. In 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court declared “freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause.”

Marriage should be about the bond and union of two adults, regardless of gender. This November, let’s consider the true meaning of marriage, and allow everyone to take part.

Jacob Owen Darveau

Waterville

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