Nattavudh Powdthavee is completely off the mark. Having children is not like winning the lottery. The happiness we experience from our children is lasting, constant, omnipresent, and far deeper than any material gain. It is also hard, and frustrating, and the most tiring experience of my life, which makes it all that much more meaningful. Winning the lottery doesn’t come with this sacrifice or personal invesetment, and so of course we value it less. Having to work for things, or to give up a huge part of our own selves in order to work for others, adds immeasurable value to our lives, the sort of sustained value that really does, in fact, lead to lasting happiness. It’s not always a rush, like being in love or winning lots of money, but it stays with you.
On that note, I truly feel that this is one of the most pertinent reasons that gays should be allowed to marry. Denying people one of the greatest joys in life because of sexual preference is immoral and goes against everything this nation stands for. Gay parents should be every bit as able to face the struggle, the frustration, and the love of raising a family. They have every bit the same right to the pursuit of happiness that striaghts have. So don’t listen to this nonsense that children somehow don’t make us happy. They may make reluctant or negligent parents unhappy, but the vast majority of parents experience a profound and lasting joy from their children.
Fact is, you can’t break this sort of thing down into a nice, scientific study. It’s not so simply quantified.