I found a delightful article by Maggie Gallagher today.
Wait. That can’t be — let me check…
Nope, that’s right: I found a delightful article by Maggie Gallagher today.
Maggie and her anti-marriage colleagues like to say the essential public purpose of marriage is regulation of procreation for the benefit of society; so if gay people can’t procreate, why should the government promote such relationships at all, much less grant them marital status?
Oh, I hear this all the time. I hear less enthusiasm for listening to an answer though. The question is usually offered up as an ultimate rock-em-sock-em debate clincher. But perhaps people like Maggie Gallagher should pay more attention to…people like Maggie Gallagher.
Twelve years ago, before the marriage equality fight was
essential to her income her primary cause, Maggie wrote an article whose whole point, chief thesis, and entire raison d’être was to convince people that protecting children is not the only societal benefit of marriage. Maggie wrote:
Yes, marriage protects children. And yes, marriage therefore protects taxpayers and society from a broad and deep set of costs, personal and communal. But there is another case for marriage, equally significant, that you probably haven’t heard. Marriage is a powerful creator and sustainer of human and social capital for adults as well as children, about as important as education when it comes to promoting the health, wealth, and well-being of adults and communities. [emphasis added]
She then list “TOP TEN REASONS WHY MARRIAGE IS GOOD FOR YOU”:
IT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE.
IT CAN SAVE YOUR KID’S LIFE.
YOU WILL EARN MORE MONEY.
DID I MENTION YOU’LL GET MUCH RICHER?
YOU’LL TAME HIS CHEATIN’ HEART (HERS, TOO).
YOU WON’T GO BONKERS.
IT WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY.
YOUR KIDS WILL LOVE YOU MORE.
YOU’LL HAVE BETTER SEX, MORE OFTEN.
Only 2 of those reasons are tied to procreation, and none of her arguments for them depend on mixed-gender relationships. It’s hard to say for certain that such benefits will extend to same-sex couples, but there’s the fact that, you know, we’re human beings too. In any case, there’s only one way to find out!
If you find yourself in these sorts of debates often, then bookmark Maggie’s article and have it ready when your opponent asks why the government should grant marriage to same-sex couples. And then come back here and let me know how it went.