On Sunday, The New York Times had an excellent article about marriage written by David Sarasohn, who has been with his wife for 35 years. One challenge to their marriage was infertility. While the couple was eventually able to have kids, the author resented how social conservatives say that marriage is solely about raising children. According to the author:
Marriage these days seems not only less effective in uniting people, it also appears to be playing a growing role in dividing them, particularly when it comes to what seems to be the last group actually excited about the idea ‚Äî gay people. For an institution that these days can use all the support it can get, their application should not be easily dismissed.
And when I hear people explain that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because the purpose of marriage throughout history has been to produce children, and they can’t do that, I envision decades of our anniversary cards being shredded.
During those years when our marriage was clearly failing in its natural assignment of procreation, were we not, according to these people, really married? If marriages have to be about children ‚Äî rather than about affection and respect, or even the kind of endurance that leads teenagers to marvel at any marriages that have lasted longer than they have been alive ‚Äî then gay people aren’t the only ones whose unions are somehow unsanctified.
It is tragic that social conservatives, who seem to know very little about healthy relationships, have bastardized and distored the concept of marriage to fit their exclusionary agenda. Sarasohn, whose marriage actually lasted, raised an important issue and obliterated the absurd idea that marriage is only about children.
For the record, my parents have been married for 40 years and are also fed up with social conservatives, many of whom have shattered multiple families, prattling on about “family values”.