If you want to help families … | VailDaily.com

If you want to help families …

Alex Miller

What is it about the notion of gay and lesbian couples committing to a relationship through state-sanctioned means that gets these “family and religious” groups into such a lather?We have to endure yet another of these hate-fueled campaigns here in Colorado this election year. A group called Coloradans For Marriage is pushing to get a referendum on the November ballot identifying marriage as solely between a man and a woman. They say the reason is to “protect” marriage for all of us “normal” hetero couples.As Coloradans in favor of matrimony ourselves, we can only say that gays and lesbians tying the knot won’t affect our marriages in any way, and we fail to see how anyone could be swayed one way or another by same-sex unions.”Look at that gay couple getting married, honey. I can’t stand it. Let’s split up!”One can only guess that the real reason behind these campaigns is to assuage conservative insecurities and divert attention from the real business of maintaining a successful relationship, gay or otherwise. Not that they’ll listen, but if Coloradans For Marriage really wants to put apply its hot air in a manner befitting its name, here are a few suggestions aside from hassling gay folks who just want a fair shake:n Push for the formation of a statewide network of pre-marriage counseling centers. They can be church-based or part of non-secular county social services. But since many marriages fail in the first few years, good counseling before the big day can go a long way toward lowering divorce rates. That’s good for Colorado marriages, families, the economy and the over-burdened court system.n Get behind initiatives that create more benefits for married couples and families. This can be anything from better after-school program funding to special support for teen moms and dads. Few beyond the Planned Parenthood people do much in the way of lobbying for such help. A boost from the right could do wonders for such efforts.n Support family planning centers. First, you’ll have to get past the notion that celibacy is the only answer. Then, help Colorado’s men and women better steer decisions about marriage and children. Think of all the welfare tax dollars saved if teens and young adults didn’t have those “whoops!” moments that push them into poverty and divorce or abandonment.How these Coloradans For Marriage people can call themselves Christians while spewing the language of hate and intolerance is a mystery. Their despicable pursuit of laws that further isolate and discriminate against an already vulnerable population goes against our understanding of everything Jesus ever taught. So stow that anger, people, and put all that energy to better use really helping Colorado’s families. Vail, Colorado

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