January 5, 2011

What is the purpose of same-sex marriage?

The topic comes up from time to time where someone either opposes or supports same-sex marriage. In fact... it recently made the news in California and New York. And it will continue to be a hot topic for a long time to come.

I am not a legal scholar, student or otherwise. I oppose the issue... and not just because "the Bible tells me so." I simply do not see a need for government to be involved with marriage to begin with... well, almost.

I do not hate homosexuals. Some of my friends are homosexuals. Most are fine, outstanding people who are typically harder working than others. They tend to be more trustworthy than even the "Christian" who attends church, judges and curses at others. And their sin is no worse than the sin of the one who commits adultery or has an affair.

But... putting my Bible aside, the whole issue boils down to one simple question:
What is the legal purpose of marriage?

Most people will tell you that the purpose of marriage is to express how deep your love is to someone. To show how committed you are to someone else. You may have your own ideas about why two people should get married. And all that is fine. But it does not answer the question - What is the legal purpose of marriage? Does it answer the question of why we need a government's stamp of approval?

There are some good arguments in favor of same-sex marriage. But there are also some flaws in them. Like...
  • hospital visitation rights - they rights are already available in other legal forms
  • employer benefits - these benefits are becoming more available (See here and here)
  • alimony/spousal support - this support is near obsolete and rarely needed in traditional marriages today
  • tax breaks
  • award of child custody and support
Once you strip away the ones that are already available (hospital rights), becoming available (employer benefits), and the ones that are obsolete (alimony), it leaves you with one common denominator...
It's About Family.

Tax breaks. They are meant to aid low income families who have children to care for and support. I would find it hard to believe that they are meant to help couples that don't have children. And, in the case of adoption, there is no need these tax breaks. Shouldn't the couple or family already be financially stable enough to care for and support a child before they adopt?

Child support and custody. If same-sex couple were to bring children into a home, it should be through an adoption. This issue would be settled before-hand. If it is not, then the non-parent should have no rights to custody and no responsibility for support.. Therefore, this subject is mute... almost.

Almost because this is the only answer that I have to my original question - What is the legal purpose of marriage? It defines a family unit. It lays out who is responsible for the natural product of that marriage - the children. It spells out who is legally and financially responsible for those same children. It simulates an adoption where the contract is preset. Otherwise, there is not one single reason the government should have their hands in the business of marriage.

I dare you to show me one reason that says otherwise.
Give me just one reason.

Marriage is not a privilege, it is a responsibility. And, the sooner we wake up and figure that out, the sooner we have stronger families.

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