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March 10, 2004

Why Not?

This guy thinks he's cute proposing that he be allowed to marry his grandmother.

Why not?

If his point is that there are many benefits that family members might be able to assure by marrying each other-- such as shared medical benefits and such-- that's exactly why gay couples want to become family members to one another.

He points out the two reasons that blood relatives might be the only individuals who should be barred from marriage-- birth defect worries and attempts to evade estate taxes through community property transfers.

The concern on incest could be dealt with simply by prohibiting sexual relations between close relatives, whether they are married or not -- it's not like the birth defect problem is prevented by withholding the marriage certificate. As for the fear of a family evading estate taxes, I just find it hard to believe that is a big motivating worry of the far right. For the rest of us, simple adjustments in community property laws involving family members would solve that problem.

The basic point is that family arrangements ARE complicated and our present laws are probably too focused on nuclear family relationships. If the gay marriage debate forces us to discuss the need for extending marriage-like benefits to a range of other family relationships, that is no doubt all to the good.

Posted by Nathan at March 10, 2004 07:23 PM