Reader's view: Gay marriage opponent falls short in his reasoningIn his Sept. 16 “State View” column, headlined “Amendment isn’t about freedom; it’s about children,” Minnesota for Marriage’s Chuck Darrell took an unfortunately constricted view of marriage, thereby devaluing millions of marriages. He suggested the sole purpose of marriage is children.
In his Sept. 16 “State View” column, headlined “Amendment isn’t about freedom; it’s about children,” Minnesota for Marriage’s Chuck Darrell took an unfortunately constricted view of marriage, thereby devaluing millions of marriages. He suggested the sole purpose of marriage is children.
My wife and I are childless — not voluntarily. According to Darrell, our marriage, and those of other childless couples, is less valuable than the marriages of couples who have borne and raised children.
My wife and I did not separate when we found out we could not bear children. Why not? We love each other very much; we value each other’s friendship and companionship; and remaining together promotes our emotional, spiritual and economic well-being. So, too, with those many couples who have successfully completed the alleged purpose of marriage: bearing and rearing children.
Thus, bearing and raising children is but one of the myriad purposes of marriage.
Nothing in this broadened understanding of the purpose of marriage precludes gay marriage. My gay and lesbian friends are as equally loving to one another and as equally promoting of one another’s well-being (in multiple dimensions) as my wife and me. Some are raising children.
So what can cross-gender couples accomplish that same-sex couples cannot? Only one thing: procreation (which is now possible for childless heterosexual couples and homosexual couples with modern technology). So unless Darrell is prepared to say the sole purpose of marriage is to procreate, there is no reason to deny gays and lesbians the right to marry. They can accomplish all the other purposes of marriage — love, companionship, the promotion of well-being and child-rearing — as successfully as any cross-gender couple, and maybe better, given divorce statistics.
Yes, marriage is about children. But it is clearly about more than mere procreation, and confounding the two is where Darrell fell short.
Geoffrey G. Bell