As promised, my stance on marriage, for anyone who wants to get into it with me (a discussion, not a marriage).
The denotative definition of marriage, according to Merriam-Webster:
Marriage exists independently of procreation and procreation exists independently of marriage. People who don’t marry have children, and people who marry don’t have children. Infertile couples are allowed to marry, as are couples who have no interest in having children. The State has never in the history of this country inquired into the procreative capacity or intent of a couple before issuing a marriage license.
Progeneration is a function of vaginal sex and vaginal sex alone. The desire to copulate is inborn and overwhelmingly powerful and needs not an ounce of encouragement. It is not reliant on marriage–witness the propagation of the human race in the days before marriage existed as an institution, or the propagation of any species of animal which is quite obviously incapable of understanding or engaging in such an institution as marriage–and it is not threatened in the least by an expansion of marriage rights.
If anyone is going to argue that this last notion is untrue, the burden of proof is on them to show why and how gay marriage will affect the rate of population growth or the ability/desire of heterosexual couples to procreate. Since gay marriage is already permitted in certain states, there should be evidence that it’s legality has had a suppressive effect on heterosexual procreation, if there is indeed a suppressive effect to speak of.
Regarding my personal view of “what marriage is good for then,” it’s this: it is in the government’s interest to know when the interconnectedness of two adult and consenting citizens’ private lives is so complete and profound that it demands consideration where certain legal and financial rights and duties are concerned. This is why marriage licenses are, and ought to be, issued.
But for ordinary people, marriage means many different things. It is often simply an expression of romantic love and a desire to make that romantic love “official”–a desire as fatuous as it is common.
To elevate one union of consenting adults above another–and the right to marry is surely an elevation–is unequal and unjust.
In short, marriage inequality disallows a large number of people from engaging in something that is entirely harmless but important and beneficial to them, while marriage equality poses not a single threat to anyone on earth.