What is Marriage? – Children
Let’s begin by exploring where the procreation and rearing of children fits into the modern understanding of marriage. Let’s assume we have two couples – one is other-sex and one is same-sex. Both want to get married. The George et al paper says that the procreation and rearing of children is one of the necessary goods of marriage and that therefore the same-sex couple cannot by definition be married because they can never procreate.
Setting aside issues of infertile couples etc, let’s turn our attention to the core issue – is the procreation of children a necessary good of marriage? You might want to conisder the following questions to help our discussion.
- How does the established research that indicate that children fare better if they grow up with married parents who conceived them fit into the argument?
- If the procreation and rearing of children is not a necessary good of marriage, how should the state view the procreation and rearing of children? Would any reference in law to the different treatment of the children of a married couple (eg, the fact that it is easier for married couples to register the birth of their child then unmarried couples) undermine a view that procreation and rearing was not a necessary good of marriage?
- Can it any way by logically tenable to treat procreation and rearing of children as a good in some marriages but not others? Wouldn’t this by definition creating two different forms of marriage?
Please try and stay on topic – I will be vigilant in making sure we stick to the issue of the necessary good of procreating and rearing children.