Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gay marriage

This started out as a comment on NCO Brief.

It is not unreasonable for the State to encourage the raising of children in families, by giving tax breaks, simplifying paperwork, and the like. To the extent that marriage means anything, it is about the making and raising of children, something that every self-sustaining government must take an interest in. It is not practical (or desirable) for the government to review every child to determine how much their parents should be rewarded, but it is possible to give useful general support with marriage subsidies. (IMHO divorce rates don't refute this. Marriage subsidies do help keep an extra parent around for the first few years of the kid's life, a time when extra social contact is uniquely valuable.)

To put a simple lifestyle choice on the same footing, with the same subsidies and benefits, is corrosive to those interests. It must either take money away from other needs, or the taxpayer must be held up at gunpoint for more money, while at the same time trivializing the real purpose of the laws. Proponents of government-subsidized homosexuality cannot plausibly pretend surprise that taxpayers might object to money being frittered away for their private gratification.

In any event, the ostensible reasons in support of gay marriage are probably a smokescreen. I do not mind if San Francisco and its provinces legalize gay marriage. However their experiment works out, we will all learn valuable lessons in due course, and any people harmed can simply drive over to Sacramento and harass the legislature into making some changes. The real reason gay marriage is being popularized is to set the stage for it being litigated in the Supreme Court, so that one more aspect of American life can be regimented in a single winner-takes-all contest. The statists want to bring to family law what they brought to drug law and race relations. The prospect of child custody cases being decided by a National Family Law Administration is chilling.

I agree. For that matter, what the hell were they thinking allowing interracial marriage? I can't believe our tax dollars are being used to subsidize such degenerate behavior as a white person marrying a black person. I mean, if a white person wants to choose to be attracted to blacks, that's their prerogative, but the courts don't have the right to push their activist ideas on us. God, it's like our government is set up to prevent judges from being influenced by populist opinion. For thousands of years gays and blacks and whites couldn't marry, why destroy tradition now?
Sorry to post twice but two other things:

1. Should infertile couples not be allowed to marry?

2. How could someone with a blog called "Starlight Temple" be against gay marriage?
Hold on. I'm not against homosexuals or homosexual households. I am just opposed to meddling in child rearing for venal political ends. The U.S. fertility rate is a wonder of the developed world, in stark contrast to the demographic collapse other developed countries are facing.

Nobody knows exactly why that is, or how the marriage laws play into it, but somehow the system delivers good results. Throwing that away just to pacify a political faction strikes me as foolish.

Gay marriage will also have unexpected consequences. For example, if there are any income tax benefits to marriage, gay marriage means we will have brokers who match people anonymously and handle all the paperwork to create a tax shelter marriage. Alimony law will be turned inside out, because the "equal protection" clause of the Constitution would require that women be treated with total suspicion in heterosexual divorce, rather than the expedient favoritism now given.

Regarding infertile heterosexual couples, the biology is just too erratic to make sane laws. So you have to compromise and allow it so society can get the (presumed) benefits from marriage laws, without being tangled in litigation.

"For thousands of years gays and blacks and whites couldn't marry, why destroy tradition now?"

No, for thousands of years all sorts of arrangements have been tried: miscegenation of all degrees and types, pederasty, free love communes, polygyny, nuclear families, paired couples with communal child rearing. You name it, it has been tried, and the results recorded.

The evidence shows that racial mixing is usually neutral to good (hybrid vigor), despite all the scary racist PR. The evidence shows that most sexual arrangements do not result in a stable society. E.g., polygynous societies tend to explode within a generation or two, except for the nobility of a feudal society. For individualistic capitalism, only the heterosexual nuclear family seems to result in a stable society. (For people who are willing to compromise on individualism, the Israeli kibbutzim seem reasonably robust.)
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