Friday, February 15, 2013

Gay Marriage and Children

Here is the latest sky-is-falling alarmism about same-sex marriage from Christian Post.  Allow me to debunk:

The argument that marriage exists for the purpose of procreation is a strawman; there is no requirement that straight couples do so.  I'm actually unable to have children, but when I got married last year, no one asked myself or my wife anything about that.  The clear double-standard is strong evidence that Christian activists seek only to regulate the behavior of gay people, not to treat everyone equally.

Here's an interesting claim from the article:
"Such a shift in its meaning would remove marriage as society's foremost (and perhaps only) means for promoting the gold standard for children-a household headed by a child's own mother and father."
This is false.  There is a far more effective way that society could make sure that a child's own mother and father raise the child: mandate it by law.  Outlaw divorce and force couples with children below a certain age to live and raise the children together.  Once again, however, it is only the behavior of gay people that they are trying to regulate.

The article then makes the point that "in a genderless marriage society, all child-rearing settings are perceived as indistinguishable."  However, that's a strawman, because it includes single-parent child-rearing settings, which are not at issue.  A more accurate conclusion would be to say that all two-parent child-rearing situations are perceived as indistinguishable.  This is a conclusion that is well-supported by research; studies show no difference in achievement or quality of life between children raised by two straight parents and those raised by two same-gender parents.  Ironically, the article points out that the courts noted this fact in the decision striking down California's Proposition 8.

The article concludes with what it admits is a slippery-slope fallacy:
"Although the ultimate outcome of redefining marriage cannot be fully foreseen from our current vantage point, the signs point to danger ahead."  In fact, this outcome is readily observable in states that have already legally-recognized same-sex marriages:  Gay people and straight people enjoy equal protection under the law, and the sky hasn't fallen on any of them.

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