And the tax and other monetary benefits are just a small part of the benefits of marriage. Among them, my wife is presumed to get a portion of my estate if I die, we are jointly liable on debt, either can make decisions on behalf of minors, etc. The list of benefits is very long and what they mostly do is provide some legal certainty in all kinds of cases where a live in boyfriend or girlfriend wouldn't. My wife and I have been married 23 years and don't have children, but we still enjoy the benefits of marriage.
I think that stat is misleading (as I understand it 50% of "marriages" do end in divorce, but far fewer married couples divorce because many people divorce more than once, e.g. Newt, Rush Limbaugh...), but it doesn't matter. There is still a benefit to raising children and in legal matters for the certainty that being married provides.Add to that the obscene level of divorce in our society, well over 50% of all marriages failing, what's the national interest in treating this group differently?
And what is the societal downside? Tax benefits? OK - end them. But that's a small part of the problem.
Sorry but I don't see perfectly "equal" treatment under the law necessarily a virtue. It's often/usually a virtue, but there is no problem in my view for society to grant benefits to activities that produce social benefits. We provide preferential tax treatment to adopting kids, which is a good thing. Also for charitable donations, and tax benefits for taking care of dependents, even dependent adults. All good things in my view.How about actually believing and implementing equal protections under the law and having each individual, regardless of race, gender, and marital status treated equally by government?
Besides, it's not going to happen. We've rightly become accustomed to the benefits of marriage and no amount of sour grapes from fringe types that gays get to enjoy those benefits is going to turn the tide against "marriage" as a legal concept that comes with it certain benefits AND obligations.