TirithRR the Eccentric wrote:
why does the government take an interest in this?
which provide stability for those involved,
I guess I really need to spell it out. By promoting the stable environment of a marriage, regardless of whether or not children or dependents are involved, the government is promoting a stable environment for it's citizens. I do believe that a stable social environment is better for a government and it's population as a whole.
Why does the government care about a stable environment for its citizens? Actually, could you explain what you mean by "stable environment"? Why would the government care if two people marry, or live separately, or live together without being married?
Let's approach this from the other direction and maybe it'll become clearer. Let's pretend that that we live in a magical alternative world in which new humans appear magically out of thin air, fully educated and capable of becoming productive members of society. Would society ever develop marriage? Would any governing body ever create some kind of subsidy to reward/encourage people to get married?
My answers are "maybe, but it'd be a lot less important", and "absolutely not".
What are you answers?
Or, benefits for marriage and children are separate because there is a social benefit, beyond the environment for children, to a marriage. A benefit for the two involved in the marriage...
But is there sufficient benefit to the rest of society to justify the cost? Like I've said before, the child wants the cookie, and that's a good reason for using the gift of a cookie as a reward/incentive, but that's not sufficient reason to give it to him. There has to be some other reason which justifies what you're doing.
Put another way, as a single taxpayer, I accept that I pay a bit more relatively speaking for health insurance, loans, social security, pension (if I paid into a pension), and what not than married people because I believe that those things serve as an incentive to people to get married, and the alternative of me having to pay more to raise a ton of children born to single mothers is not as good. I'm willing to do that for that reason. I'm not willing to pay that extra relative amount just because it's a nice thing to do for anyone who wants it. Gay couples don't produce the problem of me having to pay taxes to help single mothers raise their children. I don't care if they marry or not. I do care if heterosexual couples marry or not.
You are so stuck on this idea that marriage revolves around children, completely ignoring the many non-child related benefits of being married, and how it's somehow impossible to determine if there are children or not, so they just give them to all capable... yet we do provide benefits to those that have children, and can determine that they have children or not...
So since you can find exceptions to the general rule and reasons I'm talking about, we should just give the same benefits to couples who can't possibly produce children together? That just makes no sense. There are some arguments to be made for further narrowing down who we grant marriage to, but you want to use that as an argument to go in the other direction. So, since the current system isn't perfect, we should just embrace imperfection and apply it in situations it completely doesn't apply to?
That just seems like really really bizarre logic. When your car gets a small dent, do you take a sledgehammer to it and put dents everywhere else as well? That's basically what you're arguing here. It makes no sense at all to me.