Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Distinctions

The editors of National Review make "The Case for Marriage" in the current issue. Marriage has always had something to do with sex and procreation. In fact non-consummation was long thought to be grounds for annulment in those traditions that didn't permit divorce. The article raises this interesting issue [via Rick Esenberg]:
.... Same-sex marriage would introduce a new, less justifiable distinction into the law. This new version of marriage would exclude pairs of people who qualify for it in every way except for their lack of a sexual relationship. Elderly brothers who take care of each other; two friends who share a house and bills and even help raise a child after one loses a spouse: Why shouldn’t their relationships, too, be recognized by the government? The traditional conception of marriage holds that however valuable those relationships may be, the fact that they are not oriented toward procreation makes them non-marital. (Note that this is true even if those relationships involve caring for children: We do not treat a grandmother and widowed daughter raising a child together as married because their relationship is not part of an institution oriented toward procreation.) On what possible basis can the revisionists’ conception of marriage justify discriminating against couples simply because they do not have sex? .... [more]
The Case for Marriage - Article - National Review Online