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What Kim Kardashian's divorce says about same-sex marriage

November 3, 2011 | 10:03 am

Kim Kardashian weddingWhat do gay marriage and Proposition 8 have to do with Kim Kardashian? Not a whole lot on the face of it, yet somehow the news of the celebrity's divorce so soon after her wedding has led to a new chorus of anger over the passage of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.

Partners in same-sex relationships have pointed out in online comments that their partnerships, whether formally called marriage or not, have lasted decades. Other gay-rights supporters rage that it's people like Kardashian who harm the institution of marriage, not the gay and lesbian couples who want to wed.

Much as I support same-sex marriage rights, this argument doesn't wash and does no good to advance the cause. Opponents of gay marriage will simply say that both quick divorce and same-sex weddings cheapen the institution.

Beyond that, the argument for same-sex marriage shouldn't be about how long such marriages will last. Some marriages between heterosexual couples will end quickly, and so will some same-sex marriages. Some heterosexual unions are strong and loving, and others are fraught with problems. Same for gay and lesbian relationships.

The reason to support same-sex marriage isn't about whether such couples will form better households or stay together longer. It's that marriage is a basic civil right. Just as it cannot be withheld from couples based on their race or religion, it should not be forbidden to couples based on their sexual orientation. Whether those marriages ultimately prove to be stronger on average than heterosexual marriages is irrelevant. We don't ban adults from marrying based on a perception that their marriages won't last, and we shouldn't, whether they are gay, straight or Kim Kardashian.

ALSO:

Kim Kardashian, the nation is in your debt

Kardashian, Humphries split after 72 days

'Will you marry me?' -- it used to be enough

-- Karin Klein

Photo: Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries in Monaco in May 27. Credit: Vincent Damourette / European Pressphoto Agency

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