I made the mistake of listening to the Supreme Court arguments today on Proposition 8. Some of the questions and answers made me clap, and others made me annoyed. But after all the back and forth about marriage’s purpose for procreation, one question kept popping into my head.
Does our society really need more kids?
The idea that marriage is for the purpose of having children is ridiculous, and sounded ridiculous in court today. Tons of people get married with no ability, or desire, to procreate. So no matter what marriage used to be (which by the way was also about property – some of that property being human), today it is different.
But the broader question this whole procreation logic begs for me is, does our society still have a vested interest in people having children?
We have lots of kids. Lots of kids in orphanages, lots of kids who aren’t properly cared for and lots of kids who are unwanted. Coming from the pro-choice sphere, I know too well that not every pregnancy is wanted, whether inside or outside of marriage.
The way the arguments proceeded today, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that the state has an interest in ensuring procreation. I am trying to figure out why no one asked, “Is there an extreme shortage of humans in the United States? Should I go get pregnant as soon as possible? And if not, why is this still part of the argument?”
With so many children, and people period, do we really need to be encouraging procreation anymore? And if not, why do we care who gets married? Shouldn’t instead we be addressing society’s need to care for the kids we have?
That’s all I got. Let me know if you have ideas.