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We are not living in the stone age. Marriage in our civilization has long been an essential right afforded to all heterosexual couples.

Procreation Is Not the Purpose of Marriage

Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling halting enforcement of California’s gay marriage ban made a strong case for being upheld by higher courts, according to legal analysts like Bloomberg’s Ann Woolner. But same-sex marriage opponents’ biggest argument was empty from the get-go: the idea that the primary purpose of marriage is for procreation, hence gay marriage is wrong.

I’m far from the first and I won’t be the last to point this out, but it bears repeating: by that logic, heterosexual couples who don’t or can’t reproduce shouldn’t be allowed to marry either. Yet we don’t forbid the sterile, the elderly, or the childless by choice to marry. Why? Pure sentimentality? No—it’s because we as a society consider marrying to be a fundamental right. (Not to mention the fact that doing so would lead to all sorts of absurdities.) Children are beside the point.

The cultural phenomenon of marriage may be rooted in evolutionary processes that helped protect children. But we are not living in the stone age. Marriage in our civilization has long been an essential right afforded to all heterosexual couples. Extending that right (“the chance to be equally miserable,” as rapper Eminem put it) to same-sex couples is the logical and obvious next step in the advancing visibility and acceptance of gays.

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About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is a Publisher and Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Culture, where he reviews NYC theater; he also covers interesting music releases. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting at http://www.orenhope.com/ you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. Jon also writes the blog Park Odyssey at http://parkodyssey.blogspot.com/ where he visits every park in New York City. And by night he's a part-time working musician: lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado, a member of other bands as well, and a sideman.

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