Letters to the Editor

Yesterday, Sara Bales responded to Lauren Walter’s article: “Same Sex Marriage Defies Nature.”

Sara claimed that Lauren’s definition of marriage was too strict – that is, it ruled out obvious cases of what we commonly consider marriage.

These examples were heterosexual couples who had been born or become sterile.

I presume that the conclusion of this argument was to reject entirely that there is a procreative or “fertility” requirement to marriage.

However, Sara seems to have missed Lauren’s point.

Lauren was of course saying that there is a uniting and procreative aspect to marriage, and that both are necessary to what we call marriage.

The procreative aspect, according to Lauren, is there by nature and cannot be removed.

And I think that this is all she meant by procreative or “fertile.”

She meant that by nature, heterosexual couples engaging in “sex” produce offspring, and by nature homosexual couples engaging in “sex” produce no offspring.

Notice that while I used the same word “sex,” I actually referred to two different kinds of activities.

Now it may happen that by accident or some defect, the heterosexual couple is not able to produce offspring, which surely presents a worry for some definitions of marriage.

But Lauren’s definition, since it relies on nature, bypasses this because in optimal or natural conditions heterosexuals produce children and homosexuals cannot.

So if we define marriage as procreative by nature, we can happily call Sara’s uncle married.

Moreover, Sara’s interpretation of “we didn’t create it” is too strict as well.

Lauren obviously didn’t mean to say “we,” meaning her and other BGSU students.

She did not say this because those kinds of statements lead to obviously false results like implying we shouldn’t abolish slavery.

No, instead she meant that marriage is founded on natural principles which were not human constructs.

And that makes her claim a lot more plausible.

– Richard McNeely, Graduate Student, Philosophy, [email protected].