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09/01/2010

Addendum: Our future selves would be embarrassed if we didn't birth this post

by Jeremy Hooper

All right, so we know we just covered her --- but we simply must do one more little item on Jennifer Roback Morse. Because honestly, this quip that puts same-sex civil marriage all up in the procreation and reproductive technology argument, and that puts future equality activists in the "embarrassed" chair, is one of the oddest assessments of the fight that we've heard in a very long time:


*SOURCE: Jennifer Roback Morse [Ruth Institute]

"I honestly think a lot of people in the same-sex marriage debate today who think they're on the right side of history and that we're on the wrong side of history, and we all are going to be embarrassed -- I think that thirty years from now, if we go on like this, that they will be embarrassed, right? Because if you have a social norm that says anybody who can pay gets to do anything they want, ya know, think about it -- the Dept. of Defense can pay. The Dept. of Defense has money. The pharmaceutical companies have money. Hugh Hefner has money. There are a lot of people who have money who can do what they want, and if the norm is that you get to manufacture other people for your purposes, we think it's cool because as far as we know, every person has a child to love, but how do we know that's going to be the purpose? I think this is a very dangerous areas we're going into."

Okay, first and most obvious: Same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting is actually a different thing. Gays are not require to run to their nearest surrogacy center within an hour after saying "I do." Believe it or not.

Also, gay couples are having children, independent from the marriage contract. This is a right that is happening all over the country, and one that has nothing to do with how the individual state or federal law recognizes the family. Other than, of course, to the family itself, for which marriage equality freedom would be a major step forward.

Plus, what's with the major money factor and odd Hefer and Defense Dept. references? Yes, certain reproductive methods do get pricey. But they don't have to. There are homespun options that costs, well -- how much does a turkey baster go for these days anyway?

So while Ms. Roback Morse might think that her wholly reproduction-based arguments are the foundation for equality activists' future red faces, the obvious reality is that this can and will only happen if something major occurs in this world which forces children to become a marital requirement, and then produces a society where a vast majority of the married gays create little farts that stink up American society's collective dinner party. Otherwise, we're fairly confident that the 2040 awkwardness will most fully lie with those who look back on their 2010 condemnations and realize how much time and money that they wasted trying to thwart a complete and utter non-problem.

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