Marriage Muddles

People continue to lobby and argue for the continued modification of marriage to legally include not merely someone of the same gender, but multiple persons.  

This essay argues that marriage arrangements should be as myriad as the people who make them up.  Whatever makes you happy.  The essay is confusing – every child she knew growing up came from a married, heterosexual family unit.  Yet she asserts that “innumerable” people were doing different things.  Further, she asserts that both “race” and “health” were factors in some of these alternative arrangements, though I’m not certain how either race or health would dictate, in and of themselves, an alternative family arrangement.  The heterosexual family unit seems to pretty universally exist among every race.  And while there are probably some health conditions that would preclude marriages of any kind, I’m not sure how health would preclude specifically heterosexual marriage.  
That’s not even inquiring about “circumstances” that made heterosexual (and monogamous) marriage unattainable or undesirable.  
Her definition of family is interesting as well – emphasizing shared property, child-rearing, and activity in their neighborhoods and communities.  I’m not sure I would agree that these are the defining characteristics of a family, though they are often associated with families.  Further, her suggested way forward to accommodate family structures of any size and type is to gut any legal meaning to the term marriage, and instead create civil unions that are actually a form of business partnership.  
On the flip side of the argument is this essay, arguing about the importance specifically of fathers in a family.  While it is a fairly well documented fact that children who grow up without fathers around are far more likely to struggle to achieve economic independence and health, it is certainly not something that is talked about much in the fracas to redefine marriage as a basically arbitrary arrangement.  In the ongoing economic and political argument over how to have an economically healthier nation, the role of fathers is basically ignored in favor of wealth redistribution and other “solutions”.  
How hard we must work to avoid acknowledging what history ought to teach us is obvious – families matter.  Their composition matters and their stability matters, not just to the individuals who comprise them but the larger society of which they are the basic building blocks.  

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