Winning the Gay Marriage Debate

Here’s the video from Mike Huckabee’s appearance on the Daily Show last week. The conversation along with my weekend of progressive networking at the DemocraticGAIN job fair got me thinking about the gay marriage debate and how proponents can win it.

(Okay, the Tubes are not cooperating. Here's the link.)

The core of the gay marriage debate revolves around Huckabee’s argument that marriage’s definition stems from its purpose. Those who anatomically cannot procreate therefore cannot be married. The implication of this argument (which Stewart fails to pick up on) is that a child reared by anyone other than their biological mother and father is inferior.

A brief detour: Liberals and conservatives disagree over society’s and government’s role in perfecting the welfare of the people. Liberals often argue that government’s job is not to judge people morally, but ensure a bare minimum of human dignity. Sometimes that means giving needles to drug addicts, but if it saves lives, it’s worthwhile. Conservatives, however, argue that government must represent the highest ideals of society. Its job is to lead men to their better selves, not support them in perpetual meanness. Taxpayer funds should to be spent to mitigate the hazards of drug use.

Progressives seem to miss that gay marriage opponents are actually asking them to provide their own definition of marriage. Any definition of gay marriage devalues the role of procreation. While proponents may be afraid of the backlash from such a definition, I don’t believe it’s far off from society’s expectations. Americans marry much later in life than they once did and the old maid stereotype sets in later, too. We tend to marry for love and decline the option in its absence. To win support for gay marriage, proponents must in fact agree with conservatives that they wish marriage to move beyond being an institution for the creation of offspring.

What, of course, is the purpose of marriage then? Gay marriage proponents must answer that question as confidently as Mike Huckabee does on the Daily Show.

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