Social Stigma

ROSLYN Phillips has it all wrong (The Advertiser, 22/8/11). Regarding studies which show children do best when raised by both a mother and father, I suggest they might say more about the social stigma attached to alternative family arrangements than anything else.

In any case, arguments for changing the meaning of marriage to include same-sex couples do not rely on such questions.

While child-rearing certainly has been important in the cultural history of marriage, that has never been its defining function.

Rather, marriage always has been about two consenting individuals committing to support each other for life.

The social benefits of this are obvious. Marriage reduces the burden of care on families, communities and the state.

That is the reason marriages between men and women who are too old to have children, infertile or simply choose not to raise a family still are allowed and celebrated. Such reasoning clearly applies equally to same-sex couples.

BEN ADAMS, Park Holme.

The Advertiser, Aug 24, 2011.

See allĀ LETTERS to The Editor for Wednesday, August 24 here.

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