Friday, June 05, 2009

Marriage experience, even in same-sex marriage, will help adult children deal with eldercare demands

There’s another good argument for legalizing same-sex marriage that get overlooked, surprisingly, by the gay lobby. As the population ages, more and more childless people are pressed into eldercare (and that may happen as assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and home health agencies become overwhelmed by demand) and also into other family situations, such as raising siblings’ children after family tragedies. Some states, strapped by the financial crisis, are likely to start enforcing their filial responsibility laws.

Some who has his or her own adult relationship, with some legal recognition (and I understand that the president prefers to leave it up to the states and tends to prefer civil unions) is more likely to be able to be open to the personal intimacy and attention that this kind of care requires, without feeling undermined by the process. It is much healthier when someone has his or her own adult life first, including relationships. It’s surprising that this point doesn’t get made more often.

Of course, such an argument assumes that the individual is open to committed intimacy with someone in the first place, and moves beyond the world of fantasy.

I think that the California Supreme Court hinted at this in its original May 2008 opinion.

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