In his May 18 Silver Pen letter, Jim Dickson writes that any benefits for same-sex couples should be based "on the value of their contribution to the culture." Presumably, Dickson believes that same-sex couples contribute less to society than opposite-sex couples do, since he argues that extending marriage rights to same-sex couples would represent "watering down the definition of marriage."
Perhaps Dickson would be interested in a 2010 study, published in the journal Pediatrics, that found superior results among the children of lesbian parents. Overall, these children fared better socially and academically, and had fewer disciplinary and psychological problems, than children in traditional mother-and-father families. So by Dickson's criteria, we should give more government benefits to lesbian couples than to opposite-sex married couples.
But why stop there? Why don't we try to find out whether Irish-Americans or Lutherans or short people are more or less likely than other groups to successfully raise children, and distribute government benefits accordingly?
Or maybe, just maybe, the government shouldn't be in the business of predicting who will contribute the most to society based on demographics, and should instead offer equal rights, responsibilities and benefits to all committed couples.