NOM's Maggie Gallagher debates what marriage is at a panel discussion held in Philadelphia, PA in 2009:
Indeed, most people advocate for SSM by noting the decline of marriage: "heterosexuals have high divorce rates," "there are millions of children raised by single mothers, so children don't need a mother and father," etc. Many SSM supporters acknowledge that it’s the decline in marriage that makes their cause *seem* all the more just.
SSM only surfaces in countries that have burgeoning divorce, unwed child-bearing, and cohabitation problems, and it is part and parcel of overall marital decline. The philosophical framework of SSM (i.e. "marriage is about love”) justifies no-fault divorce and many other policies and ideas that weaken the marriage culture.
Kieran, please define "gay" marriage for us. What are its parameters, universal traits that make it distinct from all other unions, and what are its eligibility requirements under the law? Specifically, what are its legal ties to paternity rights, maternal protections, and its rationale towards divorce and annulments?
Your through answer will be most enlightening.
The same as straight couples and "straight" marriages.
The only difference is that instead of one man, one woman, it would be two men or two women.
And what of th children of said relationship? Considering any child unfortunate enough to be raised in sush an environment will only have a biological tie to one of the adults in said arrangment will the child in question be denied his righ to maintain a close personal tie with his/her biological parent?
Only in the world of the marriage corruption supporter would you find "up" equated with "down."
...and since uniting males to females is the entire justification for marriage existing in the first place,there's no point in having any such thing.
Kieran said, "The only difference is that instead of one man, one woman, it would be two men or two women."
So, what you mean is that a sex-segregated union is exactly the same as an opposite-sexed union?
Would you, then, support any two members of the same sex in marrying? For example, let's say two adult sisters love each other very much. Would you promote their right to marry?
Why should marriage be limited to 2 people?
What are the parameters for marriage, according to you? How is it defined? What eligibility requirements would you suggest?
Kieran, would you care to respond to this?
"Is there a special reason for special status for same-sex union[s]?
Is there a public sexual aspect to same-sex union[s] or is sex irrelevant?
What is the societal significance of the core meaning of same-sex union (i.e. the essential and universal features that make same-sex union[s], same-sex union[s]) or is there none that distinguishes it from nonmarriage?
If it is indistinguishable, then, how could it merit special treatment over and above the rest of the nonmarriage category?" (C.O.)
Your thorough answer will be most enlightening. Thanks.
While I disagree with much of what Ms. Gallagher says, she is dead on in this respect: "If We Had a Powerful Marriage Culture, Gay Marriage Would Make No Sense"
Opponents of SSM can claim that children (and the potential to produce them as represented by the pairing of male and female) are central to definition of marriage, but this argument is unconvincing.
1) The current state of marriage law and marriage culture do not support this theory.
2) There is no material interest among the people to change the law to strengthen marriage culture.
You can argue, quite convincingly, that there was a time when things were different. But that's not the world we live in now.
Which is all the more reason why we should work to strengthen the marriage culture in this country, Doogan, not further weaken it.
@Son of Adam
You are correct, we should work to strengthen marriage. We should, but we won't. As I've previously noted, there's simply no desire for it among the general population.
No-fault divorce is now the law of the land in all 50 states. This effectively means that, as a matter of law, marriage is about individual satisfaction. Either spouse can unilaterally end the marriage, without cause and regardless of whether there are children involved.
In this environment, it's difficult to make the case that expanding marriage to include same-sex couples actually does anything to materially weaken the institution of marriage.
Doogan,guaranteeing preference to opposite-sex over same-sex couples is the entire useful purpose of the institution of marriage.