Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Great Debate

The Volokh Conspiracy is hosting a two-week long focus on same-sex marriage. Week one is going to feature guest-blogger Maggie Gallagher defending the anti-same-sex marriage side (or pro traditional marriage if you prefer). Next week Dale Carpenter will be defending the pro-same-sex marriage position (or anti-traditional marriage if you prefer).

After Ms. Gallagher's first post a commentor challenged her to define marriage so that everyone could understand what was framing the debate. She responded thusly:

Here’s my short answer: marriage serves many private and individual purposes. But its great public purpose, the thing that justifies its existence as a unique legal status, is protecting children and society by creating sexual unions in which children are (practically) guaranteed the love and care of their own mother and father.

That pretty much loses the debate for me as it is based on some false assumptions. Namely: a) Marriage has anything at all to do with children and b) That homosexual parents can't provide as much love and caring as heterosexual parents.

So when your primary goal is to achieve
The vast majority of children born to married couples begin life with their own mother and fathers committed to jointly caring for them. Only a minority of children in other sexual unions (and none in same-sex unions) get this benefit.

How far are we willing to go? Criminalize divorse? Send unwed mothers to jail? Force widower fathers to remarry? The entire premise is a sham whose purpose, in my opinion, is to obfuscate bigotry.

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