Thursday, March 22, 2012

If I Were President - Same-Sex Marriage:

"Marriage, marriage is what bring us together today..."  to quote one of my favorite movies, "The Princess Bride."  But today and in many cases it is "Marriage" that is dividing people.  And so the issue of "Same Sex Marriage" or "Gay Marriage" has become a political football that is used to divide, anger and frustrate people.  Most of all it is a distraction from what is important.

There is only one reason that the US Government cares about marriage.  That reason is Citizenship.  Marriage is one of the few ways that citizens are created.  This happens in two ways.  First, and most commonly, the natural product of a marriage is children.  Children of US citizens are also citizens.  Second, people married to US citizens may become US citizens themselves.  This is why the US Government cares about marriage.

Children:

The vast majority of children are born to heterosexual parents.  I am not going to delve into the biology that facilitates this.  

It is possible to determine a parent through genetic testing, however, most of the time it is easiest just to look at the marriage and birth records to see who is descendent from who.  So when my wife has a child, that child is a citizen because at least one of the parents of the child is a citizen.

Spouse:

Because a married couple may produce children, a non-citizen spouse of a citizen gets a special pathway to becoming a citizen.  Trust me this is not an automatic thing that movies make you think it is.  It still takes years and there are many steps and lots of paperwork.

Other relationships:

A marriage or other type of union that does not have the potential to produce children/citizens will not be an institution that the government cares about.  This is directly related to its inability to produce citizens.  BFF declarations don't matter, because they don't produce citizens.  My daughter's brownie troop doesn't matter, because it can't produce citizens.  And so forth.

Yes there are other organizations that the government does care about, but we are talking about marriage. And the only reason the government cares about it, is because of the citizens that are produced out of it.

Adoption:

Sure, adoption is a path way to citizenship.  If I adopt a non-citizen, they also have a pathway to becoming a citizen.  But this really doesn't matter when we are talking about marriage.  You don't have to be married to adopt a child, so this pathway to citizenship is irrelevant.

Marriage Benefits:

I could go on an on about marriage benefits, but that would bore most people.  When this is brought up, it is used as some argument for fairness.  Somehow it is not fair for people who like each other but are unmarried to not have the same tax, insurance and visitation in prison rights as married people.

This is a really strange argument.  Let me just address them all with two answers.  Answer 1:  The government has an interest in making marriage attractive so that it can better track who is and is not a citizen.  Answer 2:  Life is not fair.  (And that is a good thing.)

Basically it is an issue of Right:

Citizens have rights.  Other people have rights too, but not the same rights.  The government was formed to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" as stated in the preamble of our constitution.  FYI; posterity means children.

As much as it would be nice if the US government could extend rights to all peoples everywhere, that is not what it is for.  And those other people might not want us to do that anyway.

The US government has the responsibility to secure the rights and privileges of it citizens.  Marriage is an institution that creates citizens.  So the US government has an interest in this institution.  Other institutions that don't have this citizen creating power are of less interest.

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