Its Not “For No Good Reason”

Note: The Detroit Red Wings have advanced into the Western Conference Finals and are now halfway toward repeating their 2008 Stanley Cup Win – you’ll have to excuse any lapses in blogging over the next few weeks. GO WINGS!


Of all the things about Josh’s recent article supporting Gay Marriage, one line bothered me more than any other:

“For me, when a law restricts freedom for no good reason it should be repealed.”

This argument seems to fall in line with traditional liberal arguments that our marriage laws are outdated, and that they serve no purpose other than to act as a form of legal discrimination against a minority group. Those holding this view believe, as apparently does Josh, that restricting marriage to its traditional form does little for the country.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Marriage is not just a status acknowledged by the government for tax reasons, it is a social and religious institution that serves as the most important building block of society. Marriage, between a man and a women, is the natural and ideal setting in which to bring up children, who are essential to the health of any population. By supporting – even elevating – traditional marriage through legal and economic recognition, benefit, and reward, the government helps to promote a society consisting of traditional values and institutions that provide a broad social benefit (though admittedly, not without some flaws). Would government endorsement of homosexual marriage damage attempts to promote such a social fabric? Its hard to tell, but its worth noting that countries with more “accepting” policies for homosexual unions (particularly in Europe) are currently facing a broad range of social problems – lower marriage rates in general, higher divorce rates, higher illegitimacy rates, and lower birth rates in general. Though its not likely these problems were caused directly by Gay Marriage, it is likely that they are tied together in a drift away from the traditional principles and unions that keep society strong. That, in my view, would be a dangerous road to travel down – hence my objection to any changes in the law which could potentially weaken or lessen the importance of traditional families.

I also have yet to see a substantial argument as to how permitting Gay Marriage would not open the door to any and all types of “marriages” practiced by various groups. If Gay Marriage is legal, then why not polygamy? Feel free to post a response on that, and I’ll front-page it with some analysis

This is not to say that I am against any legal partnership for those unable or unwilling to marry. Its true that there are certain benefits – hospital visitation, power of attorney, etc. – that many, not just Gays, do not have access to. I’ve long said I would have no problems with a legal partnership open to any two people who were not married – one with the legal rights but without the economic benefits or societal endorsement that I view as helping to promote a stronger social fabric. Whether it be a Gay Couple, an engaged straight couple, siblings, etc. – I see no issue permitting these people basic legal rights, and doing so might even help to cut down on legal fighting that erupts in certain situations. But marraige, as we know it, should and must remain in its traditional, man/woman form – and not just for “no good reason”.




Filed under general

2 responses to “Its Not “For No Good Reason”

  1. The reason I said “no good reason” is it explains my thinking on the subject. Im well aware that others see it differently.

    Men and women (in general) bring up children better. I agree. So lets just have straight couples at the top of the list to adopt and same-sex couples as the last resort.

    Matt makes a lazy argument about social problems in Europe and admits that marriage equality did not cause it. The cause is pretty complicated and I don’t think either of us fully grasp it. By the way Im pretty sure it doesn’t exist outside the Scandinavian countries. I actually think that loose divorce laws are one cause in Europe as is soft on crime policies.

    Calling me a liberal- thats one one to get my blood pressure rising. Im a fan of state efforts to pass marriage equality through their elected officials, Im not a fan of a one size fits all approach on states that aren’t ready. And if two people decide on marriage and that pursues their happiness Im with the all the way whether it be a man and a woman, a woman and a woman or a man and a man. Like I said if it doesn’t harm anyone, you err on the side of liberty.

    So, Im for the less Statist position and Im for federalism.

  2. There are many issues where federalism works just fine – education, healthcare, taxes, etc.

    But social policy isn’t the same thing. For two reasons: firstly, social policy is the root of American strength. A strong military requires a strong economy, and a strong economy requires a sound social fabric. We can’t have half the country with a destructive or damaging social structure, and the rest of the country having different laws. It just won’t work.

    Also – marriage is, in many cases, a life-long, or at least lasting institution. But people move, and their unions are going to move with them.

    Social policy, and not just marriage, requires a national policy.

    Laws banning Gay Marriage do not prevent Gay people from living together, or from loving each other, or from doing the 1001 other things that they might want to do. If there are legal issues that need to be sorted out – then we can talk about those, and we can work out a new institution open to all people unable or unwilling to get married – no matter their sexual preference. The only thing Gay Marriage bans do is help to promote a traditional social structure, and to prevent the rest of society from being forced to endorse unions most don’t approve of.

    and that is the way it should stay.

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