Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Gay Marriage Or Civil Union?

So now New Jersey is becoming the third state to legalize civil unions as an alternative to marriage. Looks like a good thing. Here is why: Society has an interest – a big interest – in encouraging monogamous relationships among gays (especially male homosexuals), because in this country homosexuals (and bisexuals) have been a major vector for AIDS. Meaning, the less gays screw around, the better for dealing with the AIDS pandemic.

It is also good because it is retaining a distinction between such unions and marriage, because that has an entirely different social purpose. Marriage is about creating a permanent bond between a (prospective) father and mother for the sake of protecting family life and reproduction, which are fundamentally necessary for the continuation of not only society but also human existence.

Notice I am not defending the usual PC arguments for gay “marriage.” Those arguments are not relevant to society, and the continuation of human existence. The arguments revolve around the convenience or financial benefit of the persons in the homosexual relationship, as if that mattered compared to such important matters as the continuation of society and of human existence itself.

It is quite possible that, as time goes on, we will find that it is important that there be a distinction between encouraging reproduction and the protection of children on the one hand and the ability of people to inherit property from each other or have power of attorney or such because they have a nonreproductive but sexual relationship.

In future, it might well make sense that heterosexual couples who have no interest in children be put in a class of civil union, not a class of marriage intended to protect families and children.

In the meantime, what is to be said of people who equate such matters as whether people are included on each other’s health insurance policies with the fundamental question of how the procreation of future generations is to be encouraged and protected? In my opinion, not much. They seem to be into narcissism, not social responsibility. The world deserves better.

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