Family Matters

From a recent edition of NPR’s Talk of the Nation:

When you have very low fertility rates, it may be OK for a while, but over time your population gets older and older. And as your population gets older and older, as I think Stan was pointing out, what you start to see is, if you will, the ecosystem for families begins to weaken.

You have – the schools begin to close down. The kind of restaurants and facilities you have, the tax system has to change in order to support the older people. So there are a lot of things that happen. But fundamentally, it’s not like we can have the population we have now, and that population will be, in terms of age, like it is. It will be very old. You have to start thinking about societies by 2050, where there’ll be more people over 80 than under 15.


PATRICE: Well, in my circle of friends, I’m about 24 hours old, and when I talk to a lot of my friends, we – a lot of them don’t seem to be interested in having kids at all. You know, it’s sort of the concept is odd, or they just think oh, well, it’s – kids are expensive, and they’re going to tie me down, I’m not going to be able to have the lifestyle I want, kind of like the guest is saying.

You know, the cost of having a child is a big deterrent for a lot of people my age. And also, we’re kind of trying to – we’re trying to see what’s going to happen with our futures, taking longer for us to get to the futures we want because…

HEADLEE: In your career, you mean?

PATRICE: Yeah because we have to stay in school longer and, you know, work a little bit longer to get to a point where we’re at a stable career and can even consider buying a house, so…

HEADLEE: So you want kids, Patrice?

PATRICE: I’m not sure about that myself.


From a post at National Review’s “The Corner” blog:

America can’t arrive at a serious answer to this question—Should government redefine marriage to include same-sex partnerships?—by appealing to equality.

Why not? Because every marriage policy in every polity known to history draws boundaries, excluding some types of relationships from marriage. Parents can’t marry their children. Brothers and sisters can’t marry. People beneath a certain age can’t marry. People who are already married can’t marry.

In other words, governments, whether autocratic, aristocratic, monarchical, or democratic, have always “discriminated”—i.e., made distinctions—in their marriage laws. And in that sense, there is no “equality” issue in marriage law similar to the equality that racial minorities rightly sought, and won, in the civil rights movement….

For millennia, governments have legally recognized the nature of “marriage” as the stable union of a man and a woman, both because that’s what it is and for good public policy reasons, including the well-being of children and the promotion of family life. Does that recognition involve distinctions? Yes. Does it result in injustice? No.

From First Thoughts:

As much as any idea (and perhaps more than most) gay marriage has carried the day not because it is sound but because it is a fashionable. Hence the enthusiasm for French Elle‘s endorsement of gay marriage in its “Marriage for All” issue. This opinion is not only correct, it is stylish, and has been said to be so by our foremost arbiter. (The cover image, of two beautiful women presented as a lesbian couple, appeals not to our liberal faculties of pity for the oppressed so much as our anxiety before the wealthier, more beautiful, and better connected.)

None of this is surprising. What is notable is the note of caution Elle’s editors raise about the issues of insemination, surrogacy, and adoption:

Among Elle’s editors, if yes to marriage seems the majority,the question of insemination, surrogacy, and adoption, how these things affect transient mothers, gives us pause and splits us.