My pro-family argument for accelerating same-sex marriage has run into some flak from Touchstone‘s Jordan Ballor, who thinks I’ve committed a non sequitur. The burden of his argument:
It’s true that we need to connect the natural telos of marriage
to child-rearing rather than some ephemeral or hormonal understanding
of pseudo-romantic love. But that would seem to lead us toward the
normativity of the institution of heterosexual marriage, wherein the same couple that join to beget the children stay together to raise them.
I get that it should lead us to support the institution of heterosexual marriage, but why as normative? It should lead us to support the institution of marriage wherever children are involved.
It seems incontestable that being gay or lesbian does not entail being
deprived of the natural parental instinct. Why else should gays and
lesbians want to adopt and/or procreate? Society should, therefore, take
pains to make it possible for them to be married.
Here’s the justification given in court yesterday by Proposition 8 defense lawyer Charles Cooper:
The key reason that marriage has existed at all in any society and at
any time is that sexual relationships between men and women naturally
produce children. Society has no particular interest in a platonic
relationship between a man and a woman no matter how close, no matter
how committed it may be, or emotional relationships between other people
as well. But, when a relationship between a man and woman becomes a
sexual one society immediately has a vital interest in that for two
reasons – one, society needs the creation of new life for the next
generation. But secondly, [society’s vital] interests are actually
threatened by the possibility that unintentional and unwanted pregnancy
will mean that the child is born out of wedlock and raised by, in all
likelihood, its mother alone and that directly implicates society’s
So far as I can see, this too amounts to an argument for SSM.