It seems a great number of participants in the same sex marriage debate have decided the best thing to do in the face of cold, hard logic is sling children across the battlefield of #respectfuldebate like they’re a bunch of moral hot potatoes.
The argument that marriage has nothing to do with children is a sound one; however this seems contrary to the beliefs of so many people who don’t look at marriage as only the joining of two human beings, but rather an institution that helps to establish a nascent nuclear family.
With this belief, I understand how they’d take steps to arrive at a “think of the children” argument as a way of mounting righteous opposition to same sex marriage. That said, the reasoning does diverge somewhat, depending on who you’re speaking to.
Some people think that queers cannot by any natural terms have children. Leaving aside the obvious holes in such a dubious declaration, let’s consider the most basic criteria required to qualify for a marriage license in Australia today:
- Both parties must be over 18
- One must be a man and the other a woman
Now, there is no such criteria that requires fertility testing for either parties, so we can reasonably assume that a legal heterosexual marriage can exist where one or both parties are unable to produce children.
And before you open your maw to indignantly scream “adoption!” or “IVF!” to circumvent the fertility thing, queer people are able to adopt children and also go through IVF.
So, if you were to argue that marriage’s reason is to provide the starting point for a family (and that biology demands it), you’d have to concede that an infertile couple’s heterosexual marriage is decidedly non-traditional and perhaps, to take it to its most extreme logical conclusion, that it is void. If this makes you uncomfortable – if maybe it feels a little unfair or ridiculous – perhaps it’s worth reconsidering your opposition to same sex marriage on those grounds.
Moving on to the next golden stream in this river of piss, there are those who believe that children must be considered in the marriage equality debate – not because queer people can’t have children, but because they can.
By now a large number of people may have seen some interesting posters popping up across Melbourne and Sydney: products of a crusade to prevent the “fags” from “molesting children” by ensuring same sex marriage remains illegal. Hmm, how thoughtful.
I fail to see how marriage equality can lead to child molestation. Even if I am being generous with a slippery slope argument, it just doesn’t compute.
I think the real argument here is that homosexual = child molester; not, gay marriage = child molesters.
So, since the argument is that child molestation is contingent upon homosexuality itself, not on homosexual marriage, we can therefore dismiss this as a valid claim to consider when discussing same sex marriage, because the marriage stuff is only incidental to the gay stuff.
And now, because I find myself being extraordinarily and perhaps insanely generous by entertaining this feeble non-argument and providing a response, it is worth clearly stating that heterosexuality is not a preventative for child molestation, the same way that homosexuality is not a precursor for, or cause of, paedophilia or child abuse.
That’s all folks.
Feel free to email me if ya wanna fight about it.
Header image courtesy of Etienne/Flickr.