I lay awake in bed all night pondering something my fellow (but much more successful) blogger Joel asked me recently. Now, I have a shitton of respect for Joel, as well has his 2 books, Swish- My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever and Gay Haiku... so when he asks a question... I give it thought. So, last night, in my caffeine induced insomnia... I pondered Joel's latest issue.
Well, I'm working on a proposal for a book about marriage equality. And I'm trying to discuss the "marriage is for procreation" objection as a fallacious syllogism, but I can't figure out what kind it is, mostly because I can't figure out exactly what "for" means.
Marriage is for procreation.
Same-sex couples cannot procreate.
Therefore same-sex couples should be forbidden to marry.
Now, I know that this is a flawed syllogism, because look:
Books are for reading.
Jane cannot read.
Therefore Jane should be forbidden to buy books.
Baseball caps are for shielding the head from the sun.
Today the clouds are covering the sun.
Therefore people should be forbidden to wear baseball caps today.
But I can't figure out which kind of flaw it is (undistributed middle, illicit process, etc.).
So I came up with "exclusive preposition"... which... it is. But wasn't what Joel was looking for (sniffs and sobs) but he called my idea brilliant, so I feel better about it. But yes, last night, I lay in bed next to a snoring beast of a blanket hog- uh... mean, my husband... and thought about well... What IS marriage for? as well as WHAT is FOR procreation?
This is what I concluded at 4:47am:
Marriage is for legal distribution of assets between 2 people.
Essentially, this is all a "marriage" is for, in the sense that a marriage is nothing more than a legality between consenting adults who wish to join together for a proposed lifetime (though, really... few hold this ideal any longer). Anything and everything else a marriage might be, or might be part of a marriage, you can actually have without being legally married. Some might look down upon your sinful union but nobody is going to jail for it. Marriage is a kind of business relationship... a partnership in which things are not divided 50/50 the way they are in commerce, but rather things are 100/100. Everything that is yours is your spouse's, and everything that belongs to your spouse is yours. At least, this is how a healthy marriage should be, in my tiny little opinion.... but hey, this is my blog. So there.
And what about procreation? Marriage isn't for procreation, as Joel points out. Besides, lots of people who procreate are not married. I'd even hazard a guess that it's close to 50/50 in North America.
Again, 4:47am had me with this conclusion:
Consentual heterosexual intercourse with deliberate omission of contraception is for procreation.
Mother of all Creation... that's a mouthful. But it is true. Yes, same sex couples procreate, as do couples with fertility issues, with a little professional help. That help comes in the form of simulated consentual heterosexual intercourse with deliberate omission of contraceptive. A lesbian couple cannot concieve without a sperm donor and a turkey baster. Gay couples cannot get their surrogate pregnant no matter HOW frequently they have a go at one another... they require simulated hetero intercourse.
So, now I am functioning on about 3 hours sleep, but I feel better about the world, having put this issue into perspective.
Also, on Lost last night, we got more Martin Keamy, and well... Kevin Durand and his giganticness ALWAYS make me happy.