Marrying Your Roommate for Health Care

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Well, here's one I haven't seen in years, which surprises me now that I think of it. This is the original argument against same-sex marriage/civil unions, and it really would devalue marriage in many ways if anyone did this. 76% is pretty high, too, so it's not as if a few people would be taking advantage of the system. Of course, anyone who thinks marriage is a fundamental constitutional right isn't going to see a likely abuse of that right as a reason not to recognize it, but it really surprises me that I haven't seen this argument more often. Thanks to Josh Claybourn for pointing this out.

4 Comments

That's a pretty weak arguement as there is nothing (but social convention) preventing that same abuse from happening with heterosexual marriage as well. You do of course remember my freshman roommate who came up with the cockamamie idea of marrying (heterosexually) one of his friends (and then getting an instant annulment) in order to get off campus housing for his sophomore year. IIRC, the reason that fell apart was that his friend's boyfriend wasn't so keen on his girlfriend getting married to someone else.

What I'd like to see is that same sample of people being asked if they would marry a person of the opposite sex just to get better health benefits, keeping in mind the quote from the article: "I don’t see anything wrong with it...just because you have a marriage certificate doesn’t mean you have to be in love or bone each other."

I didn't say it was a good argument, just that I was surprised not to see same-sex marriage proponents pulling it out! I do think it's incredibly revealing about how little people value marriage, but that just confirms my argument that we shouldn't be so worried about undermining something that has very little left to undermine.

The other thing I should have mentioned on this is that a poll presenting people with this idea doesn't really measure how much people would do it. First, they have to be in the situation described in the poll, and that limits the number considerably. Second, they have to have the idea rather than having a pollster present it to them. Many people wouldn't think of this on their own. Third, they have to be willing to take the action themselves rather than just indicate that they would do it in a short conversation. That means overcoming laziness, any lingering doubts over the morality of it, and any societal or family pressure not to do it. So all in all I don't expect anything like 76% of single people in Indian to do this. I don't have any idea how low it would be, but I don't think it would be all that common. It would almost certainly happen, but so does opposite-sex marriage for stupid reasons, as Wink pointed out.

THG is a spoof site in the same vien as The Onion.

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