Supporting Gay Marriage: It’s Not About the Children. Seriously.08.05.10
While a huge victory for marriage equality, with many in favor of equality rejoicing in this, the opponents of gay marriage continue their failed arguments that make sense to their personal beliefs but don’t reconcile with the Constitution.
Most people think of marriage as an institution which indicates the strong feelings which two people have for one another. But the state doesn’t have any interest in privileging strong feelings. Rather, the state is interested in the perpetuation of society, which — to again state the obvious — requires procreation.
So what about sterile couples who want to marry? Should they be banned as well? Or how about elderly couples who already have kids and don’t plan on (or are too old) to have any more?
But the bigger issue I have for this argument is: since when does the state have any business in my procreative inclinations? Where in the California or U.S. Constitution does it say anything about requiring married couples to have children? I would like to see some evidence to this strong claim that our government has a vested, legal interest in whether or not its citizens procreate and that this interest is directly tied to the civil institution of marriage.
I believe this blogger at The American Catholic, along with many others who oppose gay marriage rights, is confusing state with church. When it comes to secular law, (no, we are not a Catholic nation) the Constitution trumps any religious text.
The American Catholic continues:
The ease with which they [gay marriage supporters] threw out bromides (“finally, equality!”) bothered me, primarily because it revealed two things: 1. a group of intelligent people couldn’t grasp that there might be real objections to same sex “marriage”, and 2. as I’ve noted previously, too many (probably most) Americans simply don’t understand the essential nature of marriage.
1. I question just how real those objections are when the person making them lacks the intellectual honesty to avoid snark by putting quotes around the word “marriage” in order to marginalize it and make it seem that its inferior or not even worthy of the word, making it hard to even have an honest discussion on a logical, rational level and not an emotional-only argument. And when that person raises objections, offers no legal support for said claims (see above re: marriage being a device of the state to insure the procreation of its citizens.)
2. Given that Americans are a group of widely diverse people with all sorts of beliefs, heritages, and customs, to lump them all together as if there’s some universal consensus on something as personal and varied as marriage shows a very closed-minded, narrow, and narcissistic worldview that believes that one’s own views on marriage are the right way and the only way to think.
The reality is that there are religious rules and there are secular laws. They don’t always match up because we live in a society that allows for the practicing of all faiths. But our laws are based on equality and fairness.
Change is difficult. Fighting for equal rights that are guaranteed in the Constitution is extremely tough to secure. But the fight is worthwhile.
Equality will prevail. This is just another step forward.
Photo courtesy of stevebott’s Flickr photostream