Now that a good number of jurisdictions have--one way or the other--successfully redefined marriage to include spouses of the same sex, a few questions come to mind. These questions are specifically intended for those who favor this development. Not that others aren't welcome to answer; just that I think I already know what your answer will be.
It's how those who think "same sex marriage" involves no contradiction would answer these questions that interests me:
1. Is there any necessary connection between marriage and romantic or sexual attraction?
2. Is there any necessary connection between marriage and procreation--and by extension, child-rearing?
3. Why shouldn't people with a close familial relationship (parents-children, siblings, etc.) be able to marry?
4. What difference does the number of people consenting to marriage make?
1. Under the until-recently-universal understanding of marriage, there actually wasn't any necessary connection to romance--marriages have been known to be arranged, and still are, and--while I'm not advocating this approach, they have been successful. It's no secret that people will marry not so much for romantic reasons, but for financial reasons. After all, you can have all the romance you want without marriage, right? Wasn't one of the arguments for redefining marriage that same-sex couples were being denied "the benefits of marriage"? I don't recall anyone arguing that not being able to married diminished anyone's romance.
The connection to sexual attraction was assumed--but, again, who can say whether a couple who married ever felt it? The issue for validity--at least as the Catholic Church understands it--is that it has to be possible. I.e., if a man and a woman utterly lack the ability to consummate their marriage, it's not a valid marriage. But simply failing to consummate it doesn't invalidate it. We believe Mary and Joseph never consummated their marriage, yet it was valid, on the assumption they were perfectly capable of doing so, but never did.
This may sound odd, but think about it: an elderly couple marries. Presumably they enjoy each other's company and are affectionate--but they may bluntly tell you, if it ever came up in conversation, that they are "past all that." Yet there has never been an issue of their getting married.
You may wonder why I ask: because one of the powerful arguments for redefining marriage is that gay people love each other, and they should not be denied something heterosexuals have access to.
But once the law allows for same-sex marriage, what prevents any two people who are not in the slightest way homosexual from entering into a same-sex marriage? Two widows who would prefer to mingle their lives and households and finances with each other--after years of friendship--over against finding a male mate, especially when there may not be so many suitable men around. An elderly parent and his or her divorced child. Two friends.
Why not--if there is no essential connection between marriage and sexual attraction?
2. Of course those opposing redefining marriage insist there is an intrinsic connection between marriage and procreation; but this is the very point that advocates of redefining marriage dispute. Which means, doesn't it, that questions of who can adopt are--or ought to be--unrelated? (This is one of the likely harms of redefining marriage: children who are raised in "same sex marriages" will suffer.) But if, as redefinition advocates insist, there's no essential connection between marriage--as they conceive of it--and procreation and family, then why should redefining marriage change how people are evaluated as potential adoptive parents?
3. Related to that: the longstanding objection to incest was, beyond the fact that it was morally repugnant, that it might result in malformed children. Now that procreation and marriage are effectively autonomous--and we no longer frame laws based on such "repressive" notions as "moral repugnance"--why not allow incestuous marriages?
4. Once again, once marriage is (a) no longer essentially connected to procreation or (b) defined in terms of social good, but no primarily in terms of self-fulfillment, why should those who want multiple husbands and wives be denied? Why be so "mean"?
I gave you my answers. Advocates of redefining marriage, what are yours--and the rationale for them?