THE ING THING

Gray Chang: ‘I am a new customer of ING Direct (that you suggested yesterday) and my experience has been entirely good. I received an ad in the mail offering a money-market savings rate of 1.98%, more than twice what I get from my regular money-market fund, plus a $25 bonus for opening an account. So I opened the account, and found the service to be good. When I call them, I get to talk to a real person without a long wait. I plan to keep most of my cash there. Last month at their web site, I found they were offering ARM mortgages at a very good rate, with a minimum of fees. I applied for a refinancing loan and was fortunate enough to lock in a low rate, one day before the rates went up. I called my regular mortgage broker and bank, and checked around the Web, and could not find a better deal. The loan application and closing was the easiest and most hassle-free that I have ever experienced. They sent a notary out to my home for signing the papers. (Note: I don’t work for ING.)’

HAS YOUR MARRIAGE BEGUN TO FALTER YET?

That’s the fear – that by being allowed to embrace the institution of marriages, joyful same-sex couples will, by their celebration of the commitment and responsibilities marriage entails, ruin it for everyone else.

Yet a May 14 column by Tom Keane in the conservative Boston Herald notes that Nevada, ‘which ranks first in the country in its divorce rate (6.8 per 1,000 residents vs. a national average of 4.0),’ have a law against gay marriage . . . indeed, have ‘enshrined their anti-gay animus into the state constitution.’ While Massachusetts, ‘the only state to permit gay marriage, has the nation’s lowest divorce rate (2.4 per 1,000).’

Curious, isn’t it? [asks Keane] The state that most makes a mockery of marriage protests mightily against including gays while Massachusetts – derided for subverting marriage – seems to take the institution far more seriously.

Or perhaps it’s not so curious. Perhaps people in Massachusetts know a little bit better than most that marriage matters. And perhaps that point has been driven home after having watched gays struggle to secure that right for themselves, much in the same way that battles by blacks and women for the vote made us appreciate that suffrage was not something to be taken for granted. If so, then perhaps Monday will [prove to have been] a different line of demarcation than most think: More than just the expansion of equal rights, it may be the beginning of a new understanding of the gravity and obligations of this tattered institution we call marriage.

 

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