Monday, August 6, 2012

For Marriage Equality

I was recently linked to this blog post titled 'Against Gay Marriage'. The author is a gay man who opposes legalising same-sex marriage. What are his reasons for holding such a position? Because same-sex relationships don’t ‘tend towards’ raising children. He admits in the post that not all heterosexual couples raise children, but he doesn’t flesh out the implications of this, for obvious reasons, as it would leave his argument sorely wanting.

What implications can I see that naturally lead from suggesting the function of a marriage is to raise children? Marriages should then not be allowed to people who are past the age of conception, to people with chromosomal abnormalities, to people with reproductive disorders and the list goes on. I recognise that this is somewhat of a slippery slope but I do not see how this can be avoided when such a limited definition of what defines marriage is offered.

On top of this, what of same-sex couples who do wish to raise children? Should they be forced to call their partnership by a different name simply because they cannot conceive by ‘natural’ means? If you extend that logic like the prior situation whereby marriage is denied to infertile people, should those who cannot conceive naturally or who adopt children then be forced to annul their marriage and get a civil partnership/union instead?

The author of this post also suggests that research indicates that children do better with straight parents. Rubbish, I say. There is plenty of modern research that suggests the opposite (, that there is either no noticeable difference or in some studies, the children of same-sex parents performed better than their straight-parented counterparts. Even if all the research strongly indicated that children of same-sex parents outperformed those of straight parents solidly on every metric, would I offer an argument to ban straight people from raising children and getting married? Of course not! Rather, I would argue for more integrated and comprehensive parental support systems through local/national governmental programmes, to try to normalise outcomes so that all children regardless of their parentage receive a fair shot. That seems to be the obvious solution to me, but apparently others seem content on relying on flawed or outdated research and holding to a system that is inherently unequal in terms of the distribution of rights.

Obviously the author of the article is not some kind of gay-hating bigot, but he has bought into the bigoted belief that straight people make better parents, which is unfortunate.

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