The Argument Against Aboring Marriage Between People Of The Nuclear Family

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In arguing against allowing marriage between people of the same sex, Maggie Gallagher appeals to a definition of marriage rooted in traditional notions of the nuclear family and the importance of such family structures to the wellbeing of entire societies. Gallagher cites research showing that children raised by both of their biological parents tend to have better health, do better in school, are less likely to commit crimes, and thrive more by nearly any relevant assessment than children who are raised in any other environment. This much is not in dispute. However, it is worth asking, as Corvino does, whether such statistics indicate a causal link between family structures and children’s health and success, or whether the link is due, at least in part, to both measures being correlated to a different underlying cause (e.g. a family’s socioeconomic status). Suppose we assume the former, that differing family structures are in fact the main or only cause of the different outcomes for the children they produce. Gallagher’s argument then looks something like this: …show more content…
The primary purpose of marriage as a social and legal institution is to promote an ideal family structure for raising children. Same-sex couples (who are not able to have children that are biologically related to both parents) could never fit this model of the ideal family, so in order to argue for a right of same-sex couples to marry, one must appeal to other reasons, such as love between spouses. To publicly define marriage to be for the benefit of spouses over children is to loose sight of the reason societies created the institution in the first place.

Therefore, we should not allow same-sex couples to

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