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Monday, March 16, 2015

Commentary on marriage distinguishes between discrimination and discernment

Tennessee affirms opposite-sex marriage, not bigotry
Re: "Discriminated after crossing state lines," March 6.
Published in The Tennessean, March 13, 2015
In aletter to the editor, a Chicago resident complains that Tennessee does not recognize in law the fact that Illinois considers him married to another man; he labels Tennessee's legal definition of marriage a matter of discrimination and inequality.
The state of Tennessee retains a constitutional right, highlighted in the Supreme Court's recent Windsor decision, which deemed a federal definition of marriage as usurping states' rights, to determine by objective qualifications and definitions who qualifies for a marriage license.
Tennessee also uses objective qualifications to determine which of its citizens can vote, practice medicine, own a gun or teach in public schools.
These qualifications only constitute "discrimination" in the sense of discerning the relevant factors that merit granting legal status and privileges.
Why would Tennesseans legally define marriage as between a man and a woman?
Social science research clearly demonstrates that marriage between a man and a woman in a lifelong, exclusive commitment offers society, and children in particular, unique benefits — economical, educational, psychological — that no other relationship offers as well.
These benefits have led governments for millennia to recognize and endorse in law the marriage of a man and a woman.
A state's recognition of the unique benefits of man-woman marriage does not preclude love, respect, dignity or the extension of a host of government benefits and privileges to non-married citizens.
It's simply an objective affirmation of what marriage is and an endorsement of the unique benefits it provides to society and children.
Jonathan Imbody
VP Government Affairs, Christian Medical Association

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