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August 05, 2005

Comments

North Dallas Thirty

Mal, the whole problem with your argument is this.....every bit of it is devoted to saying that the one-man, one-woman marriage is not the best relationship for raising kids, all else being equal.

You can't and you won't win that one. I won't even back you in that regard.

Santorum is right when he says that the point of marriage from a social standpoint is procreation and raising said kids. The question is whether or not our laws, which is the main issue here, should be structured to solely benefit that idea.

He says yes, I say yes, with qualifications. In my opinion, if procreation is the highest purpose of marriage, then non-procreative marriages should not enjoy the same benefits as procreative do, regardless of whether it is heterosexual or homosexual. However, when the relationship becomes procreative, then it achieves that highest level of benefits, with the additional ones being those which facilitate the raising of children.

The Malcontent

NDT, I'm shocked! It sounds to me that you want to "blow up" traditional marriage. Conferring different levels of benefits for procreative vs. non-procreative marriages? Radical!

Nowhere do I argue that one-man, one-woman is not "the best" proposition for raising kids. I think the arguments about which relationship is better are secondary to whether gays should enjoy marriage rights, but now that you raise the issue, I'm not entirely sure that I will concede your point.

I believe that the one ingredient that is the most essential to raising whole, healthy kids is love. That love is not dependent on the gender of the parents. I was raised by a wonnerful, loving mother, and a horrible, abusive, alcoholic father. All things are "rarely" equal, and I would always, everytime, everywhere prefer that a child be raised by a loving gay couple rather than in a dysfunctional, straight home.

For a gay couple to have or adopt a child, there is a conscious, deliberative decision involved that in my book -- all things being equal -- puts them miles ahead of the average straight couple who might be raising children as the result of an unintended pregnancy or lacking the same deliberation.

I think it is good for a child to have role models of both genders, but it is rare that both male and female role models will be found in the same home. And we are not talking about taking rights away from single parents, for example, just because they don't fit an ideal.

Perhaps what we need instead is marriage equality, but a license to allow people to become parents? (The absurdity of the question should be enough to answer itself, however.)

If one concedes, as I do, that homosexuality is exclusively or mostly a matter of genetics, then I believe there are some serious constitutional issues involved with keeping them out of the institution of civil marriage -- due process being not the least of them. That is why the movement is afoot to amend the constitution. Clearly, the proponents of the FMA concede there must be some constitutional rights in play, and the amendment process is the only way to head them off.

But more to the point, I think there is just a disingenuousness to Santorum's arguments. If he were not just a garden-variety bigot, then he would be focusing on what I see as far greater threats to children and families than allowing a few hundred thousand gay couples into his little personal playground of marriage.

Dan

While I wouldn't go so far as to say 'one mom one dad' is the ideal living arrangement for a kid, I've got to agree with the main thrust of what Mal's saying. Are we gonna start requiring parental licenses for the straights? If mom's the breadwinner and dad's the stay-at-home kind is this going to mean confused gender roles? Sorry, Mr. Keaton, but we're not buying your "Mr. Mom" sacrilege.

I'm not a social psychologist. I don't know how important it is to have one dad and one mom in a family. But my gut tells me that, from a practical standpoint, it doesn't really matter. Honestly, if Courtney Love can marry and have a kid (still can't believe DCF hasn't yet fixed that situation), I think we should give the 'mos a crack at it too.

Dan

And if I remember correctly, those few studies that have been done on gay parents have shown that, if anything, lesbian couples do a 'better job' than their straight counterparts. Should the lesbos now get preference over the straights in the adoption process? Bottom line - it's a silly, misguided path to go down.

Malcontent

Dan: If you didn't see my "Barney Frank" post, go back and look at the video, even if you would disagree with most or all that I wrote.

What really struck me was the tone of the DOMA debate from 10 years ago and how over-the-top and mean-spirited it was.

The debates today can still be discouraging for gays, but apart from a few stray comments, you just don't hear quite that strident about gays in Congress anymore.

It does seem that at least a little has changed. In the last 10 years, the polls on acceptance of gays and gay marriage have shifted considerably, and I think the kind of comments some of those congressmen made in 1996 would get them in very hot water today.

Dan

Barney Frank. Oy. I want to like this guy, really. But have you ever seen him in action after a few cocktails? He's cleaned up his act a little, but still.

Anyway. Should shut up before the gay mafia takes me out.

Malcontent

No, but I have seen him naked, involuntarily. When I was in DC, he worked out at my gym, and he had to go and towel his bloated self off next to me.

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