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Volume 69, Issue 135, Friday, April 23, 2004


Gay marriage offers no benefit to society

by Sean Trobaugh

There is only one effective argument in favor of gay marriage: that gays are entitled to an equal right to marry (and to enjoy the benefits of that legal state) based on the Declaration of Independence assertion that "all men are created equal." We define this in our society as giving rights to everyone able to fulfill their inherent responsibilities. (For example, only adults are allowed to vote). 

Some groups will never be able to fulfill the responsibilities required for a right. For example, why are men not allowed the right to get pregnant? The answer to this is obvious, but the lesson is often overlooked. Some groups are not equal to others in the functions they can perform, and hence the benefits they receive. 

With this in mind, why do societies encourage marriage and entice couples to marry with the benefits and social acceptance coveted by homosexual couples?

Every independent successful society throughout history has followed the same model for marriage: One man and one woman, as a couple, has remained the fundamental unit.This system has lasted for some six to ten thousand years relatively unchanged, regardless of factors like religion and culture. There have been minor exceptions, but even when allowed they are not often practiced. To understand why, we cannot look at people as individuals; we have to look at them from the perspective of a society, where people are a resource.

There is one resource that a society needs to be successful -- children. Without procreation, the society dies off. This is the fate of any isolated homosexual society, since the practice of their relationships does not result in children. 

There can be no successful purely homosexual society -- the only way they can exist is as a dependant group pulling new members from a successful society. Every society gains a distinct benefit from heterosexual marriage -- a breeding pair that will result in children. Do not be distracted by individuals, as a particular heterosexual couple that is infertile is irrelevant when looking at the entire class of people.

All of the benefits used to entice heterosexual couples to marry are centered on support for children as they grow and develop. The benefit to society by offering these enticements is to encourage heterosexual couples to reproduce. There is even a societal benefit in non-breeding heterosexual marriages, as they reinforce the desire of breeding pairs to marry in order to conform to the norm for established heterosexual relationships. Why should a society bribe gays with benefits when their relationship does not reward the society, but rather drains the society of potential breeding adults with no corresponding benefit? 

The groups of heterosexual couples and homosexual couples are fundamentally unequal in that one leads to children, and the other almost exclusively prevents children.

Americans should tolerate gay relationships, as in the end we value the happiness of our people. But happiness is not why our society gives benefits to married couples. Just as men are unable to become pregnant, gay couples are unable to benefit society in the way heterosexual marriages do. Gay relationships do not deserve equal treatment for their unequal tendency to procreate.

Trobaugh, an electrical engineering junior, 
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