Married with (biological) children
In today’s New York Times Ross Douthat dismisses many of the traditional arguments against gay marriage, but concludes by stating that heterosexual marriage is unique in an important respect.
This ideal holds up the commitment to lifelong fidelity and support by two sexually different human beings — a commitment that involves the mutual surrender, arguably, of their reproductive self-interest — as a uniquely admirable kind of relationship. It holds up the domestic life that can be created only by such unions, in which children grow up
in intimate contact wit
h both of their biological parents, as a uniquely admirable approach to child-rearing. And recognizing the difficulty of achieving these goals, it surrounds wedlock with a distinctive set of rituals, sanctions and taboos.
Is this “organic connection between human generations” so essential to the definition of marriage that allowing gay and lesbians to marry will undermine the essence of the institution? The other question is, what about heterosexual couples who cannot have children or would rather adopt? On what grounds do they have more of a right to marriage than a gay couple?
Image used under a Creative Commons attribution license from Flickr user Steve Polyak