Do My Husband And I Threaten Traditional Marriage?
Many here argue against gay marriage, reasoning that marriage is a covenant centered on procreation. But what about marriages where no procreation is possible: are they a threat to "traditional", procreative marriage as well?
I ask because my husband and I fell in love and married long after I reached menopause. Barring some miracle, there will be no children of this union. Does that make our marriage any less of a covenant in your eyes? Should we not have married, or consummated the union, because there was no chance of reproduction? Should "traditional", procreative marriages end when the kids are grown and fertility has ceased?
"Traditional", lifelong, monogamous and loving heterosexual unions seem to me to be the nest of choice for rearing children. I put the "heterosexual" modifier at the end for a reason. In addition to all the benefits of stability, ethical and affectionate behavior, I think that heterosexual unions provide the kids with exposure to the gender differences and modelling characteristic of the majority of men and women. But I don't have enough reliable data or personal experience with gay-parent families to say that heterosexual modelling in the home is worth more than that. And to raise a child in a heterosexual home lacking stability, love or faithfulness seems inferior to me to a gay-parent home that has all of the other qualities.
But stable, faithful, loving unions are good for parents, too. Partners in such unions enjoy greater financial stability, better mental and physical health, and for men, at least, longer lifespans. A good marriage is a positive social good, whether there are children or not. Why, then, should we regard a good childless marriage as a threat to society at large or to a good reproductive marriage in particular?
Don't get me wrong: there's nothing that I'd like better than to get in the time machine with my husband, go back to our 20's or 30's, and raise our kids together. But that will never happen.
So, is our marriage a threat to "traditional marriage"? And if it isn't, why should any other childless marriage, even a gay one, be such?