Ryan Anderson, a Heritage Foundation fellow, offers up the same tired old argument against marriage equality that has never made a lick of sense. Marriage is a wonderful thing and is good for children, this argument goes, and therefore we must deny it to gay couples.
Marriage is society’s best way of ensuring the well-being of children. State recognition of marriage protects children, we saw yesterday, by encouraging men and women to commit permanently and exclusively to each other and take responsibility for their children.
True! So why does this magically not apply to the children of gay couples, which number in the many hundreds of thousands in this country? Anderson and his fellow bigots cannot recognize that married gay parents help children in the same ways that married straight parents do, for one simple reason: They don’t think that gay parents, or gay people, should exist at all.
But how can the law teach that fathers are essential if it redefines marriage to make fathers optional? Redefining marriage diminishes the social pressures for husbands to remain with their wives and children, and for men and women to marry before having children.
Seriously? What does he think is going to happen here, that gay men are going to marry women temporarily and then leave them and any resulting children to jet off to Massachusetts to get gay married instead? You know when that sort of thing happens? When we don’t allow gay people to get married. Gay men are much more likely to enter into a sham marriage with a woman, intentionally or unintentionally, when society treats being gay as a shameful thing. Anderson is trying to take us back to the conditions that create the very problem he claims to care about.
Redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships makes marriage primarily about emotional union, more about adults’ desires than children’s needs.
That bridge was crossed a long, long time ago — by straight couples, not gay ones. And again, what about the children of gay people? Why do the bigots never address them in making such arguments? I’ve known many gay couples who got married precisely because they wanted to provide a permanent, stable home for their children — you know, just like straight people often do. But Anderson thinks we should prevent them from doing the very thing he claims is so important.
These arguments are incoherent and inconsistent because they are post hoc rationalizations, weak pretextual attempts to place a more respectable veneer over the top of their real reason for rejecting equality, which is “gay people are icky.”