Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Harm caused by same-sex marriage

Some people have asked how same-sex marriage could possibly harm non-homosexuals.

Harm to regular marriage is just one reason to oppose the recent California court decision mandating same-sex marriage. There are other reasons for wanting marriage law to reflect the popular will on how marriage ought to be defined, and for opposing supremacist judges who want to impose their values on us.

One of the main functions of traditional marriage law was to provide a way for a couple to make a binding agreement to be jointly responsible for any resulting children. For thousands of years, civilized societies have depended on the family unit, with each child being the responsibility of one father and one mother.

But marriage law has evolved. Divorces are granted unilaterally. Non-married fathers can gain child custody rights, and married fathers often lose them. Civil marriage has been reduced to a financial contract, and judges assume authority over the kids in case of divorce.

Same-sex marriage is one more unfortunate step in the long list of legal changes that separate children from marriage. The harm from same-sex marriage is slight, because few gays will marry anyway. But there is harm when it convinces people that nothing else matters as long as two people are in love and committed, as an LA Times poll just reported. The next generation may not even realize that marriage was once a way to take responsibility for children.


Anonymous said...

the obvious fallacy in Roger's argument against homosexual marriage is precisely that marriage is *not* limited to child custody issues. today, marriage conveys all sorts of other legal rights regarding the ownership and transmission of property, tax exemptions and other benefits, visitation and life continuation decisions in medical emergencies, social security, medicare and disability benefits, even the right to abstain from testifying against your spouse in court. *society* has decided that marriage is not simply a child custody issue, not "supremacist judges". the extension of 'marriage' to homosexuals is simply the just acknowledgment by our society's legal system that they too deserve the right to marriage's 'fringe benefits.'

Roger said...

In California, all of those fringe benefits are available to same-sex couples without calling it marriage.