Gay Marriage Begs A Question?

Well, someone was begging a question and gay marriage came up…..

In the Civitas blog

This was put forth in an argument:
Civitas: Family Matters

[David Cameron] was guilty of having twice begged the question in that part of his speech in which he argued that, because it is demonstrable that (i) children do better if their mother and father are both there to bring them up , and that (ii) married couples stay together longer than unmarried ones, therefore (iii) there is a strong case for marriage being supported by the tax system.

Assuming we would want the children born into our society to do in life as well as possible, and assuming also, as premise (i) of Mr Cameron’s argument asserts that, on the whole, children do best in life when brought up by both natural parents, there would be a strong case for the tax system being made to support the institution of marriage, provided it was within this institution most children were conceived and born, and provided, conversely, that most people who entered into marriage went on to procreate.

Neither of these two provisos, in fact, shows signs of holding true for much longer, however much s[o]me of us might wish they would. Thus, Mr Cameron might be said to have begged the question in arguing in favour of marriage being fiscally supported by having assumed that it was within the context of marriage that most parents begat their children, and that most couples who married did so with the intention, or result, of begetting children together.

Neither of these two tacit assumptions seems likely to hold true for much longer. This is because more and more children are conceived and born to parents outside of wedlock, and more and more homosexual and lesbian couples call for, and seem increasingly likely to qualify for, the same fiscal and other legal benefits as in the past were the exclusive preserve of heterosexual couples who married.

Homosexual and lesbian partnerships tend to be childless or else, where one of the partners in such couples has a child that they both then raise, their children do not grow up together with both their natural parents.

In so far as, by going through the formalities of some analagous knot-tying ceremony, homosexual couples succeed in becoming eligble for whatever fiscal and other legal benefits were formerly reserved for heterosexual married couples only, then heterosexual couples who choose not to marry will have just cause to complain of being victimised, if denied the same benefits should they choose not to marry. This is especially so, if they should go on to have children and if the reason cited for such fiscal benefits being given to married couples is to encourage parents to keep together.

Why, they will ask, should their life-style choices be any less fiscally favoured than those of childless homosexual couples?

The root cause of Mr Cameron’s double-begging of the question is his seeming lack of willingness to assert explicitly that, whilst, as he so coyly put it, ‘families come in all shapes and sizes’, domiciliary units comprising fewer than a natural father, natural mother and their joint off-spring do not form those family units in which children are known to thrive best, other things being equal, which is under the care of and together with both natural parents, irrespective of their marital status vis-a-vis each other.

So. Essentially, primarily due to the impact of recognized gay marriage, the argument can be made that one should deny services to families with children for the benefit of those children. Otherwise it is not fair? Before, it could be argued that the majority of marriage partners will go on to procreate…that being in the traditional confines of the marriage definition, creating a family with offspring. But now?

Dumbing down the benefit of marriage altogether, perhaps. Because it would be extraneous for most gay marriages? Am I reading this argument right?

This is what I would like to see explored. No one has much discussed the long range changes that state-sanctioned homosexual marriage would give to the official definitions and policies.

In some ways it is just more cannon fodder for anti-child cultural efforts and opinions. Another avenue to give expression to the resentment of families with offspring.

Which, yes it is, is present already in our modern culture.

I think it is a fair question, will recognition of homosexual unions in a marriage context rather than as civil unions ‘dilute’ and undermine the institution of marriage in its function of nurturing children?

These comments all arise in the UK, but it isn’t far different a situation in the States.

From a Times article cited within the same post:
“Mark Harper, a leading family lawyer, said that the review would be welcome. “This is a golden opportunity for the Law Commission to bring the law in line with society’s attitudes.”

He added that reforms would be unlikely to undermine marriage, with the numbers of cohabitees and divorces both rising. “The current law for cohabitants is unfair, unjust and illogical. Cohabitants are stuck with a 19th-century property law which is backward-looking, to resolve property disputes between them. It does not consider their current situation or needs, let alone what is fair.”

Providing new legal protection for unmarried couples is not formal government policy. But The Times has learnt that ministers are concerned about the lack of safeguards for them and the effects on children. ”

Let’s look at that statement “Cohabitants are stuck with a 19th-century property law which is backward-looking, to resolve property disputes between them. It does not consider their current situation or needs, let alone what is fair.”

Much of the reasoning it is addressing came about to ensure that women had the wherewithall to raise their children in absence of a breadwinner. Have things changed so much? I think not. In a day when you often need two breadwinners, what happens when one goes missing in the finances of that family? There is a discounting of the sacrifice involved in raising children in this picture.

That is probably one reason the “ministers are concerned about….. the effects on children”.

3 thoughts on “Gay Marriage Begs A Question?”

  1. Allthough I agree with the last comment, I don’t think you can put it so harsh. Everything always has more sides to a tale and I think you should consider both sides.

  2. Thanks for the reply Ilona.

    My previous post was infact an attempt at humour in response to a topic which is of course quite serious.

    I dont believe that the issues being discussed on-topic are really the core issues of the gay-marriage argument at all.

    Marriage, legal-recognition and equal rights in different political territories mean different things to different people. It is easy for ministers to claim ownership to marriage on the grounds of religious belief, however in western political systems, the term marriage really refers to legal recognition and rights to superannuation payments, visa entry rights, power of attorney (medico-legal), employment status, taxation status….

    This debate focuses on the suitability of arbitary couples of people as parents, based on gender difference, rather than education, social status, demographic, economic status, politcial opinion.

    I fail to see how anyone can claim gender-opposite couples can be any better or worse at parenting that gender-equivalent couples. These are not logically or philosophically reasoned arguments but emotional responses….

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