September 14, 2006

More Later

by PG

I freely confess myself to be frequently bewildered by Maggie Gallagher. For example, what is the connection she sees between Andrew Sullivan's arguments in favor of gender-pairing equality, and his claim that the Prosperity Gospel violates Jesus's call to divest oneself of earthly ties to follow him? Nonetheless, I appreciate her notifying bloggers about "Marriage and the Law: A Statement of Principles." I will read and respond to it more completely later, and am tempted to recommend that anyone on my journal who wants to knock out a quick Note should just take this apart.

For now, I will say only that if this truly was produced by a group of people who "do not all agree on individual issues, from the best way to reform unilateral divorce to whether and how the law should be altered to benefit same-sex couples" and "seek to work together across the divisive issue of gay marriage to affirm the basic importance of marriage to our children and to our society," I'm surprised by the repeated appeals to have as many children as possible raised by their biological mother and father.

I consider myself to be in favor in marriage; heck, I was just trying to work out a way for Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt to wed while remaining true to their political principles. But I also can look at a pregnant woman and say, "You are right to have your child adopted by a loving, committed gay couple instead of trying to find the guy who knocked you up and raise that child in the resulting chaos of two street kids' lives." Nor do I think that a child born of surrogate pregnancy, so long as the surrogate was not financially compensated, is worse off than one created by sex between a married couple. Fetishizing the connection, between reproductive sex and child-rearing by two loving parents who are committed to each other, strikes me as destructive of children's best interests because of the implicit deprecation of adoption and other routes to placing children with parents who are most likely to care well for them. If a woman feels that she and the man who got her pregnant are not prepared to raise children, yet is told by law and society that her child will be worse off in any other situation than having the two of them married and parenting, she is less likely to consider her situation in a truly responsible way. Either abortion, to avoid the dilemma by killing its crux, or quick and unstable marriage, will look preferable to open adoption.

September 14, 2006 09:32 AM | TrackBack

Here was my response:

I received the following document excerpt in my email this morning and found it sufficiently interesting to share with all of you. If you are looking to read the whole thing go to Just in case you weren’t aware, I’m a supporter of the “family diversity model” which is apparently failing according to this paper. It seems more likely to me that the “traditional family model” is in fact failing given the lack of marriages actually staying together.

(In response to her 8 points)

Here are a few truths about this paper:

1) You don’t need marriage to create children “love, fidelity, sexual satisfaction, and mutual support”. I think all of us that have made it through puberty are aware of that. I’m not saying it doesn’t meet some important social goals; just that it isn’t the only way to reach those goals.
2) This is a ridiculous statement because it presupposes a necessity for a father. Now, maybe there is a necessity, but “marriage is good because kids need fathers” is horrifically circular.
3) This is just a terrible paragraph. What on earth is this person talking about? “Marriage is a social institution which is held together by religion so you can’t remove the civil law side.” WTF? 4) This one is easy; “neutrality” can easily be read as “equality” and of course we wouldn’t want that in our legal system.
5) Interesting, I wonder if the author is aware that marriage used to confer women as property to men.
6) Yep, maybe they fail because of the way marriage is conceived right now. Maybe, just maybe we should examine the institution of marriage before glorifying it.
7) Seems like this is an argument to “stay married for the sake of the children” although it isn’t very clear. If so, it totally negates all that nice sentiment about marriage being about “love, fidelity, sexual satisfaction, and mutual support”.
8) Hmm, maybe they forgot they were representing traditional AND non-traditional truths about marriage. This is just pure propaganda folks and poorly written propaganda at that.

Posted by: Sean Sirine at September 14, 2006 04:53 PM
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