OK, I'll bite: Why? BR is arguing that "any two consenting adults" should be able to marry. He has stated the issue is consent. I'm asking...if consent is the issue, then:
- Why is marriage limited to two people? Why not three? Or 10? Or 50?
- Why are there laws preventing people from marrying relatives?
There are separate answers for each, and you won't like them....
- Answer: Marriage is limited to two people because that is a long standing tradition based on Judeo-Christian and other religious principals. If you favor limiting it to two people, then you must acknolwedge this.
- Answer: People cannot marry relatives because A) The potential consequences to their future children (birth defects) and B) Religious and moral principles common to nearly all societies. If you agree incest should be illegal, then you agree with both of these statements.
What does the above mean? Simple. It means marriage is based on two concepts: Judeo-Christian and other religious principles, and procreation. Governments recognized marriage based on these roots Moreover, if consent is the issue, then no law preventing any number of consenting adults from doing anything is valid. Incest, polygamy and even beastiality (unless the law for the latter is written to protect the animal itself...obviously it cannot consent).
Speaking of governments and recognition: The argument that we cannot base decisions upon societal norms which themselves are religious in nature is bogus, especially in this country. Our 1st Amendment has been perverted to a high degree. It was never intended to create the "wall of separation" as outlined by the USSC, nor was it intended to remove all religion from the public square. The people of the United States, through their elected representatives, have every right to support societal norms like marriage, just as they have the right to regulate grossly immoral behaviors like incest and beastiality. Supporters of gay marriage that hang their hats on consent do not believe the government (people) can regulate any behavior whatsoever, unless it directly hurts another person (violent crime, for example).