Marriage Watch / Maggie Gallagher
Well, no that's not exactly what the "conservative" lawyer fighting to overturn Prop 8 and impose gay marriage said. But when the judge asked him, "If California would simply get out of the marriage business and classify everyone as a domestic partnership, would that solve the problem?" Ted Olson said yes, that would resolve the constitutional issues, although it would not be politically feasible.
I don't know if he or anyone else recognizes what this statement of Ted Olson's means: the government has no obligation to recognize anyone's marriage as a marriage. What happens to the fundamental right to marriage-or gay marriage--then?
A distinguished Harvard Prof. Nancy Cott testified today, according to the LA Times, that "procreation has never been the central purpose of marriage in the United States. Professor Nancy Cott, who has written a book about the history of marriage in the United States, noted that George Washington, the father of the nation, was sterile. Procreation was one of the purposes of marriage but not 'the central or defining purpose,' Cott testifed. The larger purpose was to create stable households, she said."
Okay, so why weren't sisters allowed to wed? Can't they create stable households? I mean family members of all kinds live together, and raise children. Why weren't/aren't these considered marriages?
People thought there was something kind of central, important, and worth noticing about unions of male and female: they make babies. We need marital unions, in a way we don't need other kinds of relationship, however worthy or unworthy they may be.
I mean even at Harvard, back in the day, they could see that. And back in the day, they thought it mattered.
Nothing about the history, the structure, of marriage in the United States makes sense if you extract the reality that sexual unions make new life, were known to do so (even if not in every case) and were valued both for the good marital unions uniquely produced (children united in families with their mothers and fathers) and the evils they avoided (fatherless children).