Over at The Public Discourse, Professor Emeritus Jameson W. Doig of Princeton began a dialogue with Professor Robert George also of Princeton on the proper definition of marriage today. Professor Doig’s point appears to be that Professor George has not been consistent in his views. My point is not to defend Professor George: he is a big boy and can take care of himself.
My point is that Professor Doig’s entire article avoids some important questions. How will redefining marriage redefine parenthood? Are we happy with that redefinition? And do we really want to change the relationship between the State and the citizen in the way that this redefinition really entails?
The problem begins with Professor Doig’s very first paragraph.
I want to begin with two Vermonters, Ann and Ellen, who have been together as a couple for more than thirty years. They have three children—Bert, who has graduated from college and is now married (to Maria) and working in a small business in Vermont, and Alison and Beth, who are in high school, both doing well in their academic work and excelling in soccer. One of the three is adopted, and Ann is the birth-mother of the other two.
Do you see who is missing from this equation? Without knowing anything else about this family, we know that the father of Ann’s biological children has been safely and legally escorted off the stage. The children will never have the opportunity to have a relationship with their father.
Most children have a legally recognized right to know and be cared for by both of their Read more…