As a sociological reality, this criticism is hard to dispute.But as an argument against same-sex marriage it rests on a false choice.
We can realize that a law that once seemed well designed could, in fact, be fairer.
Reexamining marriage laws with this possibility in mind, we should register the following facts.
According to the other, it is simply absurd to believe that considerations of equal treatment favor recognizing same-sex marriages. Civil marriage was instituted, let us concede, to safeguard the interests of children by endorsing and protecting the kind of stable, committed relationships that produce them and are suited to their upbringing.
But there is no way to know in advance which couples can or will have children; we would hardly want county clerks to administer fertility tests or ask intrusive questions about people’s ability or intention to reproduce.
They say that doing so will enshrine the idea that marriage is about the fulfillment of adults rather than the interests of children.
This slogan is of a piece with their broader criticism of the sexual revolution, which they say has harmed children by encouraging adults to seek romantic fulfillment even when it conflicts with their responsibilities as parents.he debate about same-sex marriage often seems limited to two points of view.According to one, opposing the judicial invalidation of traditional marriage laws is tantamount to supporting segregationist racism.But even if they have no children, we can understand perfectly well why they would choose to make a vow of permanent and exclusive commitment.The intelligibility of this choice is all we need to justify their inclusion.It would suppress the reality that committed romantic relationships Another way of saying this is that sexual counter-revolutionaries are telling a noble lie.The lie is that it is immoral to think of sex and marriage as anything other than child-directed, and its motivation is that, if we allow people to think otherwise, some parents will falsely analogize their own situation to that of people who have no children.The noble lie thus forecloses a piece of irrationality on the part of the public (which is always the justification of noble lies).The trouble with noble lies is that sooner or later people see through them.It may also be true, as traditionalists argue, that we would never have designed an institution from scratch solely to protect a certain category of amorous relationship.But neither did we have to safeguard the interests of children by protecting a certain category of amorous relationship.