The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 13, 2012

Your View: Marriage a stable social contract with benefits

Joel Jackson, St. Peter

— Russell Blaschko in his opinion piece of Oct. 4 (“We license marriage because of children”) has boiled his reason for marriage licensing down to one single component — progeny. In his view, the marriage license is all about the unique sexual act that results in creating children.

Well, it’s quite clear that in today’s world one doesn’t need a marriage license to produce or to care for offspring. Adoption is available to one or two parents regardless of their marriage status or their sexuality. Some of those families would be strengthened if we allowed adoptive same-sex parents the benefits of a marriage license.

Also, the marriage license granted to heterosexual couples in no way ensures their offspring will be nurtured appropriately and lovingly. That has more to do with functional vs. dysfunctional family situations and has nothing to do with parental gender. So, marriage must be about more than mere procreation.

I have been happily married to my wife for 29 years but we have no children. Marriage for us is all about the public promise we made that ties the two of us together as legally witnessed by our family and society. It embodies a lot more than simply sex and procreation. It provides a stable social contract that also grants us certain benefits both economic and social.

Those benefits, within the marriage promise and commitment, should be available to all of us, or else we are condoning discrimination, pure and simple.

I will vote “no” on the marriage amendment in November to end this discrimination.