Friday, July 14, 2006

The Liberal argument against gay marriage

From today's NYT, by Kenji Yoshino, a professor at Yale Law School:
What’s noteworthy about the New York decision, however, is that it became the second ruling by a state high court to assert a startling rationale for prohibiting same-sex marriage — that straight couples may be less stable parents than their gay counterparts and consequently require the benefits of marriage to assist them.


“Heterosexual intercourse,” the plurality opinion stated, “has a natural tendency to lead to the birth of children; homosexual intercourse does not.” Gays become parents, the opinion said, in a variety of ways, including adoption and artificial insemination, “but they do not become parents as a result of accident or impulse.”


To shore up those rickety heterosexual arrangements, “the Legislature could rationally offer the benefits of marriage to opposite-sex couples only.” Lest we miss the inversion of stereotypes about gay relationships here, the opinion lamented that straight relationships are “all too often casual or temporary.”
A real conservative, of course, would say that it's ridiculous to look at a citizen's rights as just another benefit doled out by the government.

A real conservative would also say that the government should not penalize responsible behavior and reward irresponsible behavior -- in this case, penalizing gays for making responsible parenting decisions by withholding the "benefit" of marriage.