The following is a question to supporters of gay marriage, but first some context. In recent discussions about gay marriage, one phrase often used by the supporters has been "love is love". The idea being that marriage is (to supporters of gay marriage) primarily a decoration of love between two people, and the legal recognition of that fact.
My question therefore, in light of that fact, is as following:
If the only criteria for legal recognition of marriage is to do with romantic love, upon what basis would the state be able to prohibit legal recognition of polygamy or incestuous marriage?
In either of those two cases, I am sure that the participants involved would state that they have genuine romantic feelings. Is there any basis for preventing these people from also having their marriage recognised?
Marriage's purpose historically (That being to encourage the father to raise the children (Creating the family, and thus contributing quite a bit to society as a whole) as well as political/economical benefits for both parties involved--simply put, since women couldn't inherit, their parents got them married and so on and so forth) has been more or less replaced by its current purpose: that being to structure and encourage the family unit and to contribute to society. Marriage as a whole is really good for the community--mostly on account of the children.
Of course, getting multiple adults in the same household to raise at least one child is best accomplished by getting the child's /parents/ to raise their respective child, and due to the nature through which children are brought into this world, love is more or less inevitably going to be considered the primary prerequisite for a modern day marriage.
But gay people can not reproduce with one another (Gay people of the same gender, I mean. A gay man could impregnate a gay woman, just not another gay man), so they don't really qualify for the, "all parents raising their respective child," thing. However, while getting multiple adults in the same household to raise at least one child is /best/ accomplished by the child's parents raising said child, that doesn't mean that this is, necessarily, a requirement. Moreover, the fact that the two love each other increases the odds of them sticking together and providing the child with a healthy upbringing. Its a matter of practicality, really--its simply more cost effective to get two people who love each other to raise a child. Think of it as a compromise between the state and its people, and the state actually gains from what it gives up.
As for polygamy, it is generally considered less cost effective than binary marriage--two is a good number, maybe a third auxiliary parent figure in the form of a godparent if the two isn't effective. Money goes into a marriage, and the more parents you have, the more the government has to give up--three may work better than two, but the loss in capital is too high for the marginal increase in parental support to justify. Furthermore, it diminishes the emotional attraction between any two given progenitors, thus decreasing the likelihood of said two staying together. Finally, genetically, since we are inclined to want our own offspring to thrive and create more offspring (pyramid scheme?) it is against our nature to share our spouse with anyone else.
Incest speaks for itself, I'm afraid. Genetically it causes weird blips. Furthermore, its easier to force someone into marriage if you've established a dominance over them throughout their life--uncles marrying nieces, older siblings marrying younger, and so on and so forth. The reason this is an issue is because the affection might be one sided, and the other side may or may not have a choice in the manner. Which I find wrong, although I can't speak for everyone.
I believe those people should too be able to have their marriages recognized. It may seem taboo but gay relationships were once seen as taboo and look how far they have come.
Good to see consistency.
While I agree that yes, "love IS love" and do support gay marriage, I can see why in many countries/states marriage is not allowed between members of the same family. Before you all jump on me, please remember that I am not saying that I think this is morally RIGHT, just that I CAN SEE why governments may be hesitant to make this legal, and the reason is health of prospective children. In incestuous partnerships a resulting child is far more likely to suffer genetic abnormalities than a child whose parents were not related by bloodline. However, incest is a tricky subject that I don't particularly want to get involved in a heated discussion about as I am unsure where I stand on the issue, and because I do not want to judge anyone unjustly or criticise unfairly.
Yet we still prohibit incest in incidents of sterility.
That's presuming that legislation is rationally based and consistent.