The Family Research Council tries to support its anti-gay position ("Same-sex marriage is contrary to the public interest," Feb. 2) with the losing argument that marriage is primarily about procreation. But it isn't. There are good public policy reasons behind the government's endorsement of marriage, and procreation is only one of them. By encouraging lifelong commitments, marriage fosters cohesion and stability in society, the growth and enrichment of communities, and — when there are children — the care and nurture of children in stable households.
The Family Research Council has taken this last point and run with it to the exclusion of all others. Its procreation argument is compromised, however, by the exceptions it must make for infertile couples, those who choose not to have children and those who want to adopt — for everyone, in other words, except same-sex couples.
A more helpful approach would be to ask, "Would legalizing same-sex marriage in any way discourage procreation? Would it hamper the care and nurture of children?"