I'm agreeing with so many comments on here. First and foremost, saying marriage is solely for the protection of children (which may or may not enter the picture), is ridiculous. Marriage is, and should be, a right that any two people who are in love can enjoy. Period. By entering into a marriage, one's relationship isn't any more holy or valued than any other committed relationship, it's simply an avenue for people who are in love to demonstrate their love and committment for the other. Look at Scandanavian countries: they are consistently ranked the "highest quality of life" but have one of the lowest marriage rates. I think the important thing is that marriage is an option for people, all people, who want to go that route.
Secondly, saying that a marriage "legitimizes" children, is completely bogus. As a teacher and a former social worker (who worked with pregnant and parenting wards of the state) and an adoptee (my biological mom was 16 and my biological father was 34. Yuck, I know.), anyone, and I mean anyone, can produce a baby. Sure, if you don't know your biological parents, there will be curiosity, but what really matters is that the child is raised with love. In my class of 29 students, I have 3 whose two biological parents are together. Does that make those children better or more loved than the other kids? No way. It just means that the Beaver Cleaver "ideal" household has changed and everyone has the right to define their family for themselves.
What matters most (again, as a teacher/social worker/compassionate person) is that each and every child is loved, cared for, and wanted; ideally by as many people as possible. Kids who are adopted/born to couples who are unable to conceive naturally (for whatever reason) are, in my opinion and experience, often the most loved kids out there. Their parents had to work to become parents and that work often involves years of waiting, hoping, a huge financial committment, and opening your lives to the scrutiny of many people to see if you'll be a "fit" parent. When I was a social worker, I had a 13 year old boy who was a parent. Twice. He was a gang-banger and, when I became his case manager, was locked up for 6 months for armed robbery. He was robbing a jewelry store to "put a ring on it for his baby momma." (AKA, he was going to propose to his kid's mom who was, at that time, 15). And miss Maggie G wants to tell me that because those two kids were going to get married, their relationship was sacred and their kids were going to have a better life simply because their parents were married? I. Don't. Think. So.
posted 2 years, 4 months ago
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