Friday, July 09, 2004

Senator Sam Brownback on Marriage

I don't know why I bother, but according to Republican Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas here are some of "the costs that we face as a society if we fail to protect traditional marriage."

First of all, Brownback refers without dispute to "a recent study showing federal revenues increasing by upwards of $1 billion a year as a result of redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships." So allowing same-sex marriage would reduce the deficit.

He also notes, again uncritically, that "supporters of homosexual marriage have even cited a projected boon to the wedding industry as an argument for the economic benefits of mandating same-sex marriage." So same-sex marriage will improve the economy.

So what are Brownback's objections to it?
  1. Brownback points to studies that show that children in single-parent families, children born to unmarried mothers, and children in stepfamilies or cohabiting relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes... . Not quite to the point, but so be it.

  2. He then says, "Redefining marriage is certain to harm children and the broader social good if that redefinition weakens government's legitimate goal of encouraging men and women who intend to have children to get married."

    Is it really government's legitimate goal to encourage people who intend to have children to get married? Does Brownback truly believe that the government is the best judge of how people should arrange their lives? I didn't know that Republicans had adopted such a positive attitude toward social engineering.

    And if Brownback does want to be a social engineer, what about gay and lesbian parents? Doesn't this argument say that government should encourage them to get married?

  3. Brownback then says, "If marriage begins to be viewed as the way two adults make known their love for each other, there is no reason to marry before children are born rather than after. And if it is immaterial whether a couple should be married before the birth of a child, then why should they marry at all?"

    What does that have to do with same-sex marriage?

    Is he saying that marriage should not be viewed as the way two adults make known their love for each other? I'm afraid I missed the point.

  4. Brownback goes on to say that "the system of marriage-like same-sex registered partnerships in Scandinavia established in the late 1980s has contributed significantly to the ongoing decline of marriage in that region."

    In other words, Brownback is saying that because same-sex couples may have registered partnerships, heterosexual couples are less interested in getting married. What's the connection? Does he really believe that?

    Brownback also claims that "In the Netherlands, same-sex marriage has increased the cultural separation of marriage from parenthood, resulting in a soaring out-of-wedlock birthrate."

    In other words, Brownback apparently also believes that the out-of-wedlock birthrate has increased as a direct result of the existence of same-sex marriage in the Netherlands. They must be growing some good stuff in Kansas.

  5. And finally Brownback argues that "the decline of the institution of marriage goes hand in hand with a decline in married fertility, and a corresponding decline in population."

    It's amazing what some people will believe.

    Too bad we let them make our laws.
Brownback concludes by saying that research has shown that "in a [traditionally] married state, adults of both sexes are vastly healthier, happier, safer, and wealthier, and live longer lives."

Since the same results will probably be found for adults in same-sex marriages, I suppose Brownback is arguing that it is in the government's interest to keep gays and lesbians less healthy, less happy, less safe, less wealthy, and to prevent them from living longer lives. Why does he want the government to do that?

I must say that the article convinced me that same sex marriage has a lot going for it as good social policy. Since as Brownback points out
"an influential organization of lawyers and judges, the American Law Institute, has already recommended sweeping changes in family law that would equalize marriage and cohabitation, extending rights and benefits now reserved for married couples to cohabiting domestic partners, both heterosexual and homosexual."
others must be convinced as well.

Given the case Brownback makes, how can anyone oppose same-sex marriage? Too bad he doesn't listen to his own arguments.

Thanks to Matt Welsh for noticing this article.

1 comment:

Ben said...

I live in Kansas, and when people ask me who my two senators are (this has actually never happened), Brownback is the one I always forget.

He's just so mind-numbingly stupid that I think that if I weren't able to willfully forget he exists, my head would probably explode.

Thanks for the points though. I had heard an interview or read something where he basically made those same exact points, but again, I had long forgotten it. No matter how much I'd like, I should always remember how stupid my representatives are.