so, let me get this straight…

The Los Angeles Times had an interesting story this morning about the latest argument from the anti-gay marriage folks desperately trying to get the Supreme Court to take them seriously. So here’s their argument, at least as far as I and my roomie (two PhDs between us, mind you) can figure out.

Straight people need marriage because only straight couples can accidentally procreate. Gay couples have to plan to have children, and thus don’t need marriage, because they aren’t procreating willy nilly.  So because gay couples plan their children, marriage isn’t a big deal to them. Yep, you read that right…opposite sex couples need marriage because they make irresponsible reproductive choices. Gay couples, on the other hand, do not make irresponsible choices, and therefore do not need marriage. Basically, they’re arguing that straight people are incompetent and can’t help but reproduce without thinking about it. Marriage is the only thing keeping us from random acts of conception by straight people.

There are so very many problems with this, it’s tough to know where to begin. I get why they’re making this argument…their others have been shot down (tradition, it’s not *really* unequal) and the others, such as the push to allow people to vote on it isn’t looking too good either, since several states just voted the way they would really prefer states not vote. So they’re desperate. I get that. But damn.

Here’s the question…if straight people are so irresponsible about sex, why does nearly every woman who is sexually active in the US use some form of birth control at some point in her life? No, really. It’s 99%. Not exactly chump change. 62% of all women of reproductive age are using birth control right this minute. Another 31% are infertile, pregnant, or trying to become pregnant. (guttermacher.org) That’s 94% of all women who are being responsible about their reproductive choices. That leaves 6%…guess what? Those women? Well, we don’t know why they aren’t on birth control. Maybe they’re virgins who aren’t having sex. Maybe they’re using the rhythm method, or their male partner has had a vasectomy. Maybe they can’t afford birth control. Who knows? But the vast majority of straight women (and hell, that’s even an assumption…maybe that entire 6% are lesbians!) are making solid, responsible, reproductive choices. The rate of unplanned pregnancies in the US has dropped over the last several decades (with a small bump — no pun intended — in states where sex ed is abstinence only).

So by this logic, and given these numbers, straight people don’t need marriage either. Unless they’re part of the very small minority of couples not being responsible, they can forgo marriage too. Wait, the only people needing marriage are irresponsible straight people having unplanned babies. So does this mean that teenagers should be forced to get marriage (stats show that the largest number of unplanned pregnancies occur in younger women)?

This argument’s logic is so twisted, it’s tough to follow it. In fact, you can’t. Not if you’re a thinking person.

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Published in: on January 27, 2013 at 3:36 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. My takeaway from their logic was that marriage is necessary so unintended babies (which can, and do, happen with birth control) will not be accidentally illegitimate. Or something. Not that I think they gave two thoughts to birth control, or how many women use it, or how effective (or not) it can be.


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