William C. Duncan has an interesting idea as to why lesbians and gays shouldn’t get married- they can save on their tax bills! He quotes from an online tax publication that “But certain provisions in the tax code actually put same-sex couples at an advantage, because the individuals in these relationships can benefit from one another in ways that heterosexual couples are legally forbidden.”
You know, when you are making your arguments in support of “saving marriage” you really should not make an argument that, basically, invalidates any reason why you should actually get married in the first place! Sheesh.
In fact, he continues on about that concluding with:
The article relies on this 2007 study which lays out the scenarios in which same-sex couples are likely to have significantly more favorable tax treatment than married husbands and wife precisely because they are not married. The author thinks the majority of Americans won’t like the fact that same-sex couples get a better tax deal so they will support redefining marriage. Or maybe they’ll just ask for tax reform.
Duncan makes the assumption that all straight people would get married. Actually, that is not the case, and this only gives greater reason for straight people not to get married. It seems rather confusing as to why someone who is adamant about supporting opposite-sex marriage would want to present an argument for why same-sex couples wouldn’t want to get married that undermines the entire argument about marriage.
However, that isn’t what caught my eye about this particular article. Duncan begins with this paragraph:
One of the biggest problems with the redefine marriage movement is its inability to give a reasonable account of what marriage is. The courts supporting same-sex marriage have typically said marriage is the way society gives its stamp of approval to committed relationships (but why?).
Try asking an anthropologist or an historian what marriage is if you don’t know. It’s pretty simple, really. The standard definition of marriage used by anthropologists and histories runs something like “a union between two or more people to provide an economic advantage to the individuals involved.” Inheritance laws differ from culture to culture, as to what constitutes a marriage, but all marriages have two things in common- they involve more than one person and they provide an economic advantage to those within it.
Marriages between more than two people were fairly common in most cultures, but not all practiced strict polygamy. Some practiced polyandry, which is one woman and more than one man. Some even practiced non-gender specific group marriages. The evidence is that the Celts engaged in marriages that could be any combination from strictly multiple female households to male and female households to strictly multiple male households. The Greeks reported households of nothing other than men. Inheritance laws were strictly handled through the female line, so it was not as if marriage was necessary. As the Celtic saying goes “You always know who your mother is, but you only have her word on who your father is.”
Maybe Duncan should stop puttering around making bad arguments and study some history.