[This isn't about real-life gay marriage. The issues, traditions, physical conditions, and theology are all very different. Sythyry wants to discuss this, though I told zir it was potentially flammible. -bb]
And then there's the perplexing and troublesome question, of what sort of marriages to allow in the city.
Let me cite the best case for restricting marriage to same-species that I can. Each species has its own standard and stereotypical pattern of marriage. Cani marry in packs of a dozen or so. Herethroy, with three sexes and unequal numbers, have an intricate arrangement of intersecting triads. Rassimel tend to find a single soulmate, sometimes two, and mate for life. Orren are usually married to two or three people at a time, with a divorce or new marriage every year or two. Zi Ri establish long-term occasional liaisons with a few conspecifics: one year together, eight years apart, say. Gormoror marry in violent heterosexual pairs. Sleeth mate with whom they feel like, and do not marry. Khtsoyis do something gross, I'm sure.
Anyhow -- given this -- how could a Rassimel marry an Orren, say? If the marriage were in Rassimel style, the Orren would not be able to endure it for long. If it were in Orren style, the Rassimel would soon be plunged into despair at the inevitable breakup.
To which there are, I think, two responses:
That is only true in stereotype. Some Cani certainly prefer pack marriages. Some -- my own keeper Arfaen -- never found that comfortable, and prefer an Orrenish or (if I must be honest) even a Sleethish style of living. Phaniet has a Rassimel-style [quasi]marriage with Este and seems to prosper in it, though I think Este the Rassimel is more comfortable with the small-for-Cani size of it.
So, should a Cani with a Sleethish marriage style --- or one not described by any prime species --- be compelled to marry as a Cani? It will not work well!
- So what? Even if it were true -- true generally, or true in a particular instance --- why should people not be allowed to do things against their nature in this regard? Even things that are likely to end up badly? We do not, for example, forbid the fighting of duels --- we do not forbid gambling, or drinking to the point of sickness and inevitable hangover --- we do not forbid the making of investments that might fail --- we do not forbid a thousand other ways in which a person might risk a greater or lesser disaster. Marriage is a voluntary act (pace the arranged marriages common in certain social strata, which are, in any case, always cisaffectionate). If it goes bad, the victims are the ones who chose it in the first place. So by what rationality do we forbid this one out of the many?
Anyhow, the argument about whether to allow cross-species marriages is more or less irrelevant. If the wrongfolk found a city, cross-species marriages will be allowed in it, and we shall see how that works.
The practical question is, what sort of laws should govern marriages? Ideally the same laws would apply to huge Cani pack marriages and Rassimel couples, to crystalline Herethroy and fluid Orren matters --- and of course to all the combinations.
And, there is the question of tofyofs and prostitutes. I certainly don't want the part of the tofyof laws that forbid all body-play outside of a marriage or tofitude. On the other hand, it is quite likely that the city will be a tourist spot, and that a significant part (let us be realistic) of the tourism will be the sex trade -- probably more of it cross-species than usual. I want to have some laws that protect the workers in that profession. What should those laws be?