Thursday, October 26, 2006

Unmarried Straight Couples and the Marriage Amendment

Via columnist Patrick McIlheran, a sensible comment about the claim, made by people who oppose the Marriage Amendment, that it will deprive heterosexual unmarried couples of the benefits of marriage.

Community columnist Vivian Roe observes:
. . . regarding unmarried straight couples, I’m all for preventing those who want the milk without buying the cow from being on equal legal footing with couples who make it legal. Many unmarried couples have children and say they want to ensure benefits for their kids. Perhaps the first step toward stability and security is to not have kids illegitimately.

No one benefits when society accepts irresponsible behavior or grants perks without demanding the work. And a couple who only sort of commits to each other should not expect the benefits of a marriage license any more than a person who takes a few classes in college should expect a diploma (even if he went to all the frat parties).
Of course, this is similar to the argument for excluding homosexuals from marriage.

If you decline to participate in the kinds of sexual activity that might produce children, you have opted out of an institution whose purpose, from the very beginning, was to create the proper context for the conception, birth and rearing of children.

We personally think of gays demanding the right to be married as like pacifists demanding the right to be admitted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

In virtually all ways, pacifists have the same rights as people willing to fight. But when you make certain choices, you have closed off certain options.

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