At MarriageDebate.com, Maggie Gallagher notes a significant development from the Lewis decision, especially from Judge Parrillo's concurrence. The opinion cites work of Dan Cere to the effect that there are competing models of marriage out there. The Massachusetts court in Goodridge espoused the "close personal relationship" model of marriage which the New Jersey court rejected in favor of what I guess is the "procreative" model of marriage. I'm trying to figure out what model of marriage I would espouse. My views on marriage are pretty well summed up by Maggie Gallagher and Linda Waite when they wrote in The Case for Marriage:
Despite changing attitudes toward sex and gender roles, the substance of the marriage vow as Americans understand it has changed surprising little. Marriage is, above all, seen as a permanent union ("until death do us part"), which includes the promise of sexual union ("forsaking all others"), of financial union ("with all my worldly goods I do thee endow"), and of mutual support ("to love, honor, and cherish").
Each part of this public vow is part of the punch marriage packs, the secret to its power to change lives. But if one part of this package is more important than the others, it is probably the promise of permanence.
The promise of permanence is key to marriage's transformative power. People who expect to be part of a couple for their entire lives--unless something awful happens--organize their lives differently from people who are less certain their relationship will last. The marriage contract, because it is long-term, encourages husbands and wives to make decisions jointly and to function as part of a team. Each spouse expects to be able to count on the other to be there and to fulfill his or her responsibilities. This expectation of a long-term working relationship between husband and wife leads to substantial changes in their behavior, of which the most important is, perhaps, what economists call specialization.
I believe that model of marriage, the "promise of permanence" model can and should be applied homosexual couples as well as heterosexual couples. I don't believe that marriage is essentially a procreative union, although of course many married couples will procreate and marriage is the optimal setting for procreation because of how it transforms the relationship.