The State of Marriage

The Supreme Court has just heard arguments in a case of gay marriage that will be ruled on in 2015. This time, I hear, there will be no dodging the issue by ruling on technicalities, like they did in the California “Proposition 8” case two years ago. The court will decide whether or not states can restrict marriage to a union between a man and a woman.

I stated my views about gay marriage in a post I wrote in this blog five years ago, and they are the same today. Though today I’m more or less resigned to the fact that marriage has become a contract between two adults that doesn’t really have anything to do with kids.

My past opposition to same-sex marriage has been based on the fact that the institution of marriage has changed over hundreds and thousands of years, generally for the better. But it has always been a union between a man and a woman for the purpose of having children and creating new families.

Today, most people I know feel no obligation to replace themselves on earth. Marriage, in their minds, is about finding an intimate partner to share time and expenses with. The plummeting birth rate in developed nations should be proof enough that this adult pairing has become an end in itself. And if having kids isn’t what it’s all about, then same-sex, opposite-sex; what’s the difference?

Back in the days when marriage was about having children, we had a problem of overpopulation, which caused suffering and war. Reduction in birth rates is a move in the right direction.

Even so, the situation we’re now seeing in developed countries will be a problem, if it isn’t already. Countries like Germany and Italy are halving there native populations with every generation by having only one child per woman. Can they afford that? Are they really willing to accept the rates of immigration they’ll need to keep their populations sustainable? I doubt it.

Getting back to the U.S. situation… while I still believe in marriage as a pact between a man and a woman, I also believe in democracy. And if most Americans think gay marriage is the way to go, who am I? I’m just one vote. And yes, I would tell the Supreme Court to let the voters decide. The law is allowed to discriminate between partnerships, in whom the state has different levels of interest. The state is very interested in the state of a relationship, which gives rise to children who must be cared for. Couples without kids? They just aren’t that big a deal.

So Supreme Court, leave it up to the states. If public opinion is trending so strongly toward gay marriage, then gay marriage will prevail. It will be the choice of a democratic society, and I will make my peace with it. In fact, I already have.

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