Marital Anarchy

The campaign for legal recognition of same-sex unions, whether you call it "marriage" or something else, is gaining momentum worldwide. As I've noted before, it is more than a little inconsistent for conservatives to gripe about gay marriage being a threat to heterosexual marriage. We were destroying marriage ourselves, in a variety of ways, while most gay people were still in the closet.

Here's something no one ever mentions: many of the marriage benefits gay people wish to have involve government hand-out programs that should not exist in the first place. Get rid of the welfare state and a big part of the problem would cease to exist. Other aspects of marriage that gay people miss, such as medical and inheritance preferences, can be handled with a little estate planning. Just have a lawyer draw up some papers and you can accomplish what you want, even without a legally recognized marriage.

With these stalking horses out of the way, the need to expand the definition of marriage is greatly reduced. We're left with the moral and cultural distinction of being "recognized" as a legitimate family unit. This is the real issue. Straight people want the union of "one man plus one woman plus (maybe) children" to be the only legitimized family definition. History and biology support this view.

If we expand marriage to include two men or two women, we run into another problem: why stop there? How about one man and two women? Two men and one woman? A man and his horse? Why have age limits? Caveman reports on a case in Germany where a brother and sister - who have produced four children together - are launching a campaign to eliminate laws against incest.

See the problem? If we start opening up marriages to any one of these non-traditional categories, there is no longer any logical argument to prevent any group of people from being "married" to each other. Where will it end?

If you are in such a relationship and want to live together in whatever arrangement, I am not suggesting you be prevented from doing so. I think you are missing out on something that is much, much better, but it's your choice to make. I hope you will realize that society is better off with a legal structure that recognizes the natural order of monogamy between men and women.

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