Saturday, January 23, 2010

Love and marriage

A friend recently posted this link showing that more states allow marriage between 1st cousins than same-sex couples, including Indiana. Before a great controversy erupts, I verified Indiana marriage law which is that under normal circumstances, the closest relatives who may marry are 2nd cousins. The exception for 1st cousins is that both must be at least 65 years of age. 

But the whole thing, along with Indiana's passing SJR-13, which would add a ban on gay marriage (already illegal under Indiana law) to the state Constitution if it passes a voter referendum in November, got me thinking about marriage issues.

It seems that some of the current arguments against allowing gay marriage (without getting into religious arguments) stem from procreation. It goes something like this: the point of marriage is to have children and gays can't have children (under strictly biological circumstances) so they shouldn't get married.

To show how ridiculous this argument is, I present the following:

1) If the sole purpose of marriage is procreation, the following should not be allowed to marry either:
                * post-menopausal women
                * infertile/sterile men or women (whether by choice or biology)
                * the elderly
                * anyone who does not plan to have kids
1b) In addition, a contract to produce at least 1 child within a certain time limit would need to be part of the marriage procedure or the marriage would have to be invalidated.

2) Many, many, people procreate without benefit of marriage, so marriage is obviously not required to have children. Do we need to institute licenses to have kids?

3) If the groups listed above have other reasons to get married than producing children, don't these same reasons apply to ANY couple wanting to get married?
                * Love (to me, the #1 reason)
                * Legal benefits including, but not limited to, insurance, medical visitation, inheritance
                * Whatever other reasons people have

That's pretty much the basis of my argument. 

For the record, I don't think this is the slippery slope to allowing marriage with animals (hello, make marriage dependent on both parties being human!). I don't think two men or two women marrying has anything to do with my own marriage or will somehow cheapen it. I think divorce is the real threat to marriage. I think allowing gay marriage might actually alleviate some current issues by expanding health coverage to more individuals (via their spouse). 

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