An anonymous lesbian expressed why she wants to marry. Her sentiments are representative of many gays:


“I want to know that if I have children with my partner that they will not be taken away from their parent if I die. I also want to know that if I do die that my partner can make that [sic] decisions for a funeral as she knows I would want it. I want to know that my insurance will cover my partner who may not have the luxury of having a job that provided insurance. I also want to know that if I die my partner and children will not be ripped from our home because they are not my ‘family’. These are the rights that you ‘straits’ get from marriage. You don’t have to acknowledge me…but I do serve this country and pay my taxes just as you do, I deserve the same rights as you do, nothing more, nothing less.”


Does she deserve the right to marry?


Same-sex couples think they are entitled to the legal, financial, and social benefits of the institution of marriage. When they are denied access to the institution of marriage and its attendant benefits they cry Discrimination! just as this anonymous lesbian did. But why think they are entitled to the institution and benefits of marriage in the first place? On what grounds are they entitled to them? Is it because they are given to others? That’s not a good reason. Most governmental benefits are given to some but not others.


For example, the government offers welfare benefits only to those who fall below certain income thresholds. Why? Because our government has an interest in helping the poor of our society. The economic stability of the poor is necessary for the good of society. Is it discriminatory for our government to withhold welfare benefits from Tom Cruise? Yes, but the discrimination is justified because Tom does not meet the criterion. Should the criterion be changed so as to include Tom simply because he wants to be included? No, because his inclusion is unrelated to the purpose for which the benefits exist in the first place.


Are same-sex couples entitled to the institution and benefits of marriage because they love one another? As important as love may be, the government is not interested in promoting romantic love. (Besides, marriage neither brings nor secures love. Just ask all the cohabiting and divorced couples!) Love is unrelated to the reason our government regulates and affords benefits to those willing to enter into a marriage contract. The reason the institution of marriage has been privileged by our government is because the pairing of a man and woman is the only thing that produces what every society needs for survival: children. The only way to produce children is by the pairing of a man and woman. And because the government has a vested interest in having those children raised in a stable environment, they want to promote the long-term pairing of the man and woman who created those children. The best way to accomplish these goals is by reward those who are willing to take on the obligations and responsibilities that come along with marriage and children.


Given the reason our government privileges marriage, why should the institution of marriage be opened up to include same-sex couples, and how is it that they qualify for the benefits of marriage? Do homosexual couples fulfill the purpose of marriage? Do they have anything to offer society that society could not obtain from them if their relationships are not recognized by the government? No. Then society is justified in denying them access to the benefits and institution of marriage, in the same way we are justified in barring Tom Cruise access to welfare benefits.


The demand of same-sex couples to have their relationships recognized as marriage on the grounds that they love one another is tantamount to my demand that the government pay for my education because I have blonde hair. The color of my hair is unrelated to their subsidizing of my education. In the same way, the love homosexual couples have for one another is unrelated to the purpose of marriage. Benefits are given to those who deserve them; to those who fulfill the purpose for which the benefits exist in the first place. So long as homosexuals are unable to produce children without the help of the opposite sex, society has no reason to privilege their relationships the way they do heterosexual relationships. It’s simply good social policy.


That leads me to what I want to talk about: New Jersey’s Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. I will create a separate post for this.


P.S. The rights Ms. Anonymous wants can be secured through legal means wholly apart from marriage.