What’s love got to do with it?

I watched a televised debate tonight on the issue of same-sex marriage in Ireland. A panel of three discussed the pros and cons but it seemed to be a 2:1 fight. A gay man who is against gay marriage and a Catholic woman argued and insisted that the only point, or certainly the most important, of marriage is to pro-create. They argued that a child should be raised by their biological mother and father, that this is the safest and most appropriate environment for a child, and that anything else is detrimental. Not to mind a child whose parents have died and is raised by a family member or foster/adoptive parent. Not to mind a child raised by a single mother or father because their spouse is incapable of creating a protective, loving home. And what of a loving, safe and financially comfortable man and woman who cannot conceive a child naturally, and so choose to adopt, or find a surrogate? No, that’s unnatural, therefore the child is not going to develop to a high standard. This small-minded duo also failed to mention any of the other many institutions or purposes of marriage, most specifically love. There are many couples whose marriages do not result in children. They might never want that. Their decision to marry is to tell the world that they love each other, that they are devoted and faithful to each other and choose to build a home together, sharing resources and support. To those who oppose same-sex marriage, you are entitled to your opinion, but leave the kids out of it. A couple does not marry to have kids, they can do that anyway. They marry because they are in love and they want to share that, not be demoralised for it.

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