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On the object level, I don't know the relative social value of same- and opposite-sex marriages. The only cause of disparity I might expect would be through differing propensity to raise children; but if so, this could be more directly addressed by offering different recognition to childless and child-bearing couples, rather than using sexual orientation as a proxy.

But there's a broader issue this touches on, which is a general injunction against profiling. We've largely embraced an ideal that your demographic traits should not be held against you by the law.

If you wanted to reject this principle and be consistent about it, you'd have to also advocate that the government consider the expected social utility of marriages based on all available demographic factors: age, race, religion, wealth, etc.

If you bite this bullet and want to contest the non-profiling principle, that's its own discussion. If you think sexual orientation isn't like those other categories I named, that's also its own debate.







The only cause of disparity I might expect would be through differing propensity to raise children; but if so, this could be more directly addressed by offering different recognition to childless and child-bearing couples,


Um, the idea of marriage is to create a stable environment before having children.


We've largely embraced an ideal that your demographic traits should not be held against you by the law.


The problem is that there is a trend to use an ever increasing definition of what constitutes a "demographic trait". Taken to it's conclusion would make it illegal to make decisions based on evidence.


If you think sexual orientation isn't like those other categories I named, that's also its own debate.


Yes, for one thing it affects the social value of marriage much more then the others.
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VoiceOfRa
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We've largely embraced an ideal that your demographic traits should not be held against you by the law.

This is a nice ideal, but I don't think we are anywhere close to it. There are still plenty of laws that take demographic factors into account. For example, your age determines whether you can vote or drive a car, your race may be taken into account in public university admissions, your gender determines whether you can be drafted into the army etc.
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melian
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