If the public purpose of marriage is children, we need to change a lot of laws

February 03, 2011

If we take Peter Sprigg's commentary on the "public purpose" of marriage seriously, then our legislators better get busy drafting some new bills. ("Same-sex marriage is contrary to the public interest," Feb. 2.)

Mr. Sprigg insists that marriage is only about making and raising babies, in the natural, God-ordained way. If that is the case, then we need to include new rules on which heterosexual couples will be allowed to apply for a marriage license.

Infertile? Don't bother thinking about marriage. Low sperm count? Go to the back of the line and wait. Over 50? Just stay home and fill out an AARP membership application, not a marriage license.

What's love got to do with marriage? Nothing, according to Mr. Sprigg, as love is a "private purpose" that does nothing to further the interests of society, the state or child welfare.

Perhaps Mr. Sprigg is comfortable reducing marriage to nothing more than base animal instincts, but I prefer to see love between two consenting and respectful individuals as cause for affirmation and celebration — regardless of their capacity to reproduce.

Alessa Giampaolo, Reisterstown

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