State Interests In Marriage

548 Words3 Pages
Opposite sex couples have always been what people consider “natural” and “normal,” which is why the institution of marriage revolves greatly around heterosexuality. Some people may believe that weddings and marriages are things created by the state to fulfil the needs of the people and grant their wishes in true happiness, when in fact, it is merely a way to legalize and reassure opposite sex relationships. William Duncan’s article, “The State Interests in Marriage,” describes how “marriage is necessary to ensure that children are brought into the world” (Duncan 164 -165) and raised properly. It is evident that one of the state’s main interest in marriage is procreation and though people do not need to be married to have children, heterosexual marriages help to provide children with the benefits of being raised by both a mother…show more content…
Moreover, Mary Bernstein’s article, “The marriage contract” adds to Heath’s ideas by claiming that the state “continues to promote the heterosexual nuclear family as the norm” and is “pouring billions of dollars into promoting marriage as a way to overcome a variety of social ills” (424). Instead of offering rewards to the people for participating in opposite sex marriages, Bernstein argues that the government promotes marriage by presenting it as the solution to several social problems, such as health care. The United States is unlike many Western countries that offer universal healthcare for its citizens and because of this, the government advertises marriage as a way for wives and children to gain health insurance through their husbands. As a result, because the state is unable to force people into marrying the opposite sex, they use various methods in making marriage a heterosexual and desirable thing. Not only are heterosexual marriages influenced by the state, but it is also impacted by social and cultural
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