Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Procreation Question

When you talk to traditional marriage advocates, there is always the procreation question.  That is, allowing gays or lesbians to get married cannot lead to naturally conceived children.  If the only purpose of marriage in this scenario is to procreate, then under that rhubric, only heterosexual couples who can reproduce should be allowed to marry.  So if a couple can't have kids should be forced to get divorced?

As Ann Althouse pointed out, Justice Breyer went after this concept?

In this view, marriage is about children and not adult desire because it is a device to rein in male desire, to keep men from fathering children they aren't going to raise. It's not that marriage can keep that bad thing from happening. It just makes it less likely, because the marriage norm is fidelity.
Obviously, fornication and adultery go on despite this marriage norm, and it's hard to see why letting gay people marry would mess up the norm. I'm trying to picture this man at the heart of Cooper's vision of society: He's true to his wife, because he's gotten the message that's the norm, but if some gay people can marry, then he's going to start cheating, knocking up some other woman, and it's because of this guy that gay people can be excluded from marriage?
What a nutty set of things we're asked to believe! Who the hell is this stereotypical married man, constrained by what other people are forbidden to do? And why should his ridiculous, tenuous connection to norms carry the day? And how can obsessing over what makes him tick work to keep marriage focused on the raising of children and not on the emotional needs and desires of adults? It seems to be all about the needs and desires of adults — really ridiculous heterosexual male adults.
Who are these people?!

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