Thursday, March 26, 2009

Babies As Shields

Watching and listening to many hours of pro- and con-same-sex marriage testimony before the Senate and then House committees in Vermont, I was struck by the effeteness of the anti side.
Source Note: The Burlington Free Press covered the whole process fully. Click around that site and the Vermont Freedom to Marry one for many clips of the public and legislators.
Nearly all anti-SSM testifiers were consumed with marriage as being almost solely for the purpose of biological procreation. There's a side door to this argument that cries, "Think of the children." The idea is that if same-sex couples have children by artificial insemination or adoption, the resulting kids will "be robbed" of knowing their biological parents and grandparents.

Those are specious at best. There are far too many opposite-sex marrieds (or shacked up couples) who either:
  • Did not form a relationship to have children.
  • Do not want to have children.
  • Are unable to have children by age, sterilization or other physical limits.
  • Have adopted children.
  • Have children with artificial insemination, surrogacy or other medical help.
The related assertions about the nature, purpose and heritage of marriage, as well as its worth to society, insult many. Both gay and straight couples who fall into any of those broad classes of what the anti folk deem inferior have every justification to be angry.

Yet what is most telling about this testimony is that it has shifted from the previous untenable God-told-me claims. Some of the voters not affiliated with lobbying and other special interest groups did conflate religious ritual and civil marriage; they are just dumb.

What the alleged subject matter experts for the con-SSM side returned to in Vermont though was the marriage-is-for-making-babies posture. That appears to be a real retrenching, just short of surrender.

Several of the legislators were typical of what many voters must be like as well. They said they were adopted or knew couples who used artificial insemination or knew many couples who had no intention of having kids. These of course were true of both opposite and same-sex couples.

If the last, best defense the anti-marriage equality types have is procreation, six-by-twelve (all New England states with SSM by 2012) is at hand.

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