I don’t have a dog in this fight. Personally, I feel a vague discomfort that government/society is at all involved in defining personal relationships, however I acknowledge that there are a myriad of economic and legal issues, particularly in the areas of children and property, that require some form of regulation.
So be it, specific forms of personal relationships incur contractual obligations that must be legislated.
That given, I see no valid reason why two men or two women shouldn’t be able to incur those same obligations. As this protestor neatly prints on her sign, “Against gay marriage? Then don’t have one”**. Makes sense to me.
But being unencumbered by structural dogma, I also see no valid reason why the contract should be restricted to two parties. Heinlein certainly made good arguments for more than two adults in a familial relationship.
I know this stance angers those who are fighting for gay marriage, because it appears to play into the slippery slope fears of their opponents (who do argue that a reason to oppose gay marriage is that it could lead to polygamy) (they also argue that it could lead to bestiality, which is a ridiculous misapplication of logic). However, if we can cast off historical precedent in western culture by substituting gender in the traditionally accepted marital relationship, what argument can there be against substituting number as well? Personally, I think both would be good things.
(Anyway, it’s not like group marriages would be recognized anytime soon — culture would have to change first, as it has over several decades with homosexuality being brought out into the open. Unfortunately, the sole model publically acknowledged at this time involves creepy old men, females who are too young, and cult-like environments. Not what I have in mind.)
**That statement reflects my view on another sticky issue: against abortion? Then don’t have one.