Thursday, May 5, 2011

Marriage and procreation

Andrew Sullivan has a post up about a really old couple getting married. He asks why a person who argues that marriage is about procreation doesn't protest this type of marriage. That's a great question because that argument is a common one in the gay marriage debate.

Taken to its logical conclusion, only people who can have kids should be able to marry. So why hasn't anyone on the anti-gay marriage side of the argument come out in favor of an age cap on marriage? Obviously there is a certain age at which women can't have children. So in the view of these anti-gay marriage people, why should they be allowed to marry? Why not test every man and woman who want to get married to see if they can have kids?

I assume the legal answer to those questions is that you would run into equal protection issues. The more political answer is that those are freaking crazy ideas because marriage is not simply about procreation. Neither marriage nor procreation necessarily entail the other. Human beings were having children long before marriage was thought up. And married couples who don't have children have been not destroying society for as long as there has been marriage.

There really is no good, or even decent, argument against gay marriage. The reason it persists is for reasons I discussed in my last post about the Constitution and religion. Bibles and churches don't like it. And since most of this nation is raised Christian they are embedded with anti-gay beliefs from an early age. Some part of me was anti-gay before I started to question my Catholic upbringing. But when you hold these beliefs up to even the slightest bit of scrutiny you realize how ridiculous they are. Not only that, you realize how un-Jesus-like they are.

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