No, we don’t “need” marriage, but ask the LGBT community why they fought so hard for the right to wed — more than 1,100 perks and privileges bestowed on married people, and that’s just at the federal level. If we gave those same perks and protections to everyone, then, yes, I agree — marriage doesn’t “matter.” But for now, marriage, whether we like it or not, serves that purpose. And cohabitation is confusing for a lot of people; we don’t even have the right language to call our romantic partners. But we all understand “wife” and “husband,” no matter how gendered that understanding often is.

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Award-winning journalist, coauthor of “The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels,” mom, changing the narrative about older women

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