That is a fair point, but it fails to address Alfonso's more potent argument (and the one he unfortunately seemed to stress less), which is that a man and woman close to one another in kinship cannot marry. To me, this is concrete, globally-accepted, and long-standing proof that we limit the definition of marriage at the expense of the happiness of an (admittedly small, but so is the homosexual set as a percentage) group of people. In this case, over a period of centuries we came to the conclusion that those who happen to fall in love with a relative ought not marry.
A brother and sister could theoretically have a long and joyous married life. Yet we forbid them to wed, and deny them that chance at happiness. Why? Forget religion; forget constitutionality. It is a decision that society has made in order to enforce a certain social order. In fact, we limit marriage to non-kin largely because of procreative and health issues, which is the chief reason many oppose gay marriage.
My argument does not stipulate that elected governments lack the authority to limit the definition of marriage at the expense of a small group of people. To be clear, I wrote:
Because I don't believe this is a constitutional issue, it is up to the states to define marriage and the legal privileges and responsibilities associated with it. Every state legislature should expand its definition of marriage to allow it to include two members of the same sex.Holding the position that legislatures should exclude siblings from marrying while permitting same-sex marriages is not inconsistent. So the key question is the one Joe raises in his second paragraph above: against the loss of opportunity for potential members of same-sex couples, what would be the beneficial outcomes of not extending marriage to same-sex couples? Joe refers to procreative and health issues. I don't find either compelling as a reason to exclude homosexual unions in marriage given that the behavior is legal, but I haven't seen Joe's particular arguments.
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