Why Marriage Matters: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted on February 10, 2013

Why do gay and lesbian couples want to get married?

Gay and lesbian couples want to marry for similar reasons as anyone—to make a public promise of love, responsibility and lifetime commitment. They want to stand in front of family and friends and make a lifetime commitment to the person they love, to share all the joys and sorrows that life can bring, and to be a family, and to be able to protect that family. None of us would want to be told it’s illegal to marry the person we love.

Does civil marriage for gay couples affect churches or other religious institutions?

No. It does not affect religious marriages, religious institutions or clergy in any way. No church or religion would be forced to marry same-sex couples, or recognize same-sex marriage within the context of their religious beliefs. Religious freedom is protected.

Does this change the definition of marriage?

No. Allowing same-sex couples to marry does not change the meaning of marriage. It simply allows same-sex couples to marry the person they love, to establish and protect a family and to make a lifetime commitment in the same way that other couples are able to.

Aren’t there other alternatives to marriage for gay and lesbian couples?

Marriage is something unique and special that we wouldn’t want to deny to someone else. There have been attempts to create marriage-like relationships, but they don’t work. We shouldn’t separate one group of people into a separate category with separate laws. A domestic partnership doesn’t carry the same meaning, or legal protections, as marriage. Many of us have gay and lesbian family members, neighbors, co-workers, and friends who we love and respect, and who are good parents and good people. They deserve to be treated equally.

Why should voters make it legal for gay and lesbian couples to marry in Oregon?

In Oregon, there are certain truths we hold dear. We believe in basic freedom. In tolerance. In treating others as we would want to be treated ourselves. We should listen to our hearts, and the values we all share—and vote yes to the freedom to marry.

Why have this conversation?

The single most important action Oregonians can take towards achieving marriage for gay and lesbian couples is having conversations with friends, family, co-workers, neighbors about why the freedom to marry matters to them. Don’t assume they know how you feel about it – talk to them.