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Questioning Gay Rights

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Questioning Gay Marriage Rights.

The central position of marriage, as explained by Maggie Gallagher in her article 'What Marriage Is For: Children Need Mothers and Fathers' is very well described by its title. Gallagher believes that marriage is for procreation and procreation alone. The reason for a couple to be married is to be able to produce children and raise them so that they continue to do the same: procreate. Marriage also regulates sex and the lives of men and women economically and socially. Gallagher points out that same-sex marriages or unions cannot lead to procreation and hence should not be considered. Same-sex questions the institution of marriage in that the desires of individuals are given preference over those of children. Whereas same-sex marriages can be meant for mitigating sex and social life, they are not considered as a natural means of going about it.

Gallagher believes that marriage is a fundamental institution for society: "The laws of marriage do not create marriage, but in societies ruled by law they help trace the boundaries and sustain the public meanings of marriage" (Gallagher in Vaughn, pg 435). This specifically refers to the fact that there are cultural and regulatory aspects involved with marriage as opposed to it being a "mere contract" between a man and a woman. Marriage, according to Gallagher, is a defined relationship between a man and a woman; its rules take origin in society's expectations from them, specifically referring to a man being a responsible father and woman being a responsible mother. These cultural and regulatory decisions have been followed through generations (Maggie Gallagher in Vaughn, pg 435). The regulatory aspect of marriage brings up the point of "sticking it out for the sake of children" (Gallagher in Vaughn, pg 436). The following principles as defined by Gallagher seem to come to a conclusion that marriage isn't about love and affection towards each other; rather it is a culturally and socially 'arranged' law that will keep the society rolling forward.

This has been seen long before there were written laws, when a man was seen as the power structure of the house and the woman was the caregiver. The sole purpose of marriage was to have a socially acceptable status. Raising children meant that the status was going to follow through to the next generation, if the children wanted it or not. If this was the principle marriage is now based on, then individuals who are sterile should not be allowed to marry? (Vaughn, pg 410). Arranged marriage, if still followed through in this age, could cause consequences such as individuals, involved in the union, asking for samples of DNA for a sterility check-up. This would question not just the integrity of the individual but it would become a market system for marriage bureaus, hurting the lives of those who cannot reproduce. Jonathan Rauch also points out this major flaw that the traditional institution of marriage is based on. To further make this case stronger, he says that if marriage is essentially for producing children, women going through menopause should not be allowed to think of marriage (Rauch in Vaughn, pg 414). It follows that a comparison between polygamous relationship and a meaningful relationship between a couple who is childless can be made.

Although children cannot be a central claim for marriage, it so happens that they



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