This week on March 26, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments about whether California’s ban on same-sex unions violates the constitutional right to “equal protection of the laws.” The Obama administration says the law inserts prejudice that is “impermissible,” while those who defend marriage as the union of one man and one woman say it is the people’s right to decide. Currently the states have been making the decisions about what type of union is sanctioned, with citizens voting by an overwhelming margin to retain marriage as a union of a man and a woman that may or may not result in children. The vast majority of American society still believes that marriage is more than an emotional attachment; it is an institution that benefits society and the children that come from that marriage. Forty-one states have made the decision to keep traditional marriage, including the most recent addition of North Carolina with a plurality of 60 percent.
Marriage is not about individual’s desires as much as it is about the future of a society that will be built by stable and nurturing relationships. Throughout the centuries societies have recognized that children need both a father and a mother to achieve optimum results; a society that places the desires of adults over the needs of children is placing itself at risk. Governments have recognized that marriage is an institution that benefits society in a way that no other relationship does. It is the least restrictive means to ensure the well-being of children, while respecting everyone’s liberty to form their own relationships.
Some of the arguments that will no doubt will be aired in the media and in your social networks and family on marriage and the consequences of redefining it:
Marriage in its traditional form is a “socially arranged solution for the problem of getting people to stay together and care for children that the mere desire for children, and the sex that makes children possible, does not solve.” [James Q. Wilson, “The Marriage Problem” (HarperCollins Publishers, (2002), p.41] “Research clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage—” [Kristin Anderson Moore, Susan M. Jekielek, and Carol Emig, “Marriage from a Child’s Perspective: How Does Family Structure Affect Children, and What Can We Do about It?” Child Trends Research Brief, June 2002, p.1] Another study in the Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 65, No. 4 states “[t]he advantage of marriage appears to exist primarily when the child is the biological offspring of both parents.” Marital breakdowns cost taxpayers—A study at the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project concludes that marriage and fertility trends “play an underappreciated and important role in fostering long-term economic growth, the viability of the welfare state, the size and quality of the workforce, and the health of large sectors of the modern economy.” [H. Brevy Cannon, “New Report: Falling Birth, Marriage Rates Linked to Global Economic Slowdown,” UVA Today, October 3, 2011] “Redefining marriage would further disconnect childbearing from marriage. That would hurt children, especially the most vulnerable.” [Ryan T. Anderson, “Marriage: What It Is, Why It Matters, and the Consequences of Redefining It”, Backgrounder, March 11, 2013 p.8] Leading LGBT advocates admit that redefining marriage changes its meaning. Andrew Sullivan states: Marriage has become “primarily a way in which two adults affirm their emotional commitment to one another.” [Andrew Sullivan, “Introduction,” in Sullivan, ed., Same-Sex Marriage, pp. xvii and xix] Redefining marriage would put into law the principle that marriage is whatever emotional bond the government says it is, weakening monogamy, exclusivity, and permanency, the norms through which marriage benefits society. [Ryan Anderson, p. 8] Once the government redefines the marriage commitment the door is open for so-called “polyamory” (an arrangement of more than two persons calling their relationship a marriage.) A new term “throuple” was promoted by an article in New York Magazine on July 29, 2012 “He & He & He.” Redefining marriage threatens religious liberty. Chai Feldblum, an appointee to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, argues that the push to redefine marriage trumps religious concerns: “[f]or all my sympathy for the evangelical Christian couple who may wish to run a bed and breakfast from which they can exclude unmarried, straight couples and all gay couples, this is a point where I believe the “zero-sum” nature of the game inevitably comes into play. And, in making that decision in this zero-sum game, I am convinced society should come down on the side of protecting the liberty of LGBT people.” [Chai Feldblum, “Moral Conflict and Liberty: Gay Rights and Religion,” Brooklyn Law Review, Vol. 72, No 1(Fall 2006), p. 119] Same sex marriage is already being used to blackmail and bludgeon Christian ministries into accepting a lifestyle that is unacceptable to them morally. (Massachusetts and District of Columbia Catholic adoption agencies)
Strategies for getting the message back on track:
“All Americans have the freedom to live as they choose, but no one has a right to redefine marriage for the rest of us.” And—“the benefits of marriage to society are too great to jeopardize them for a social experiment.” While respecting everyone’s liberty, government rightly recognizes, protects, and promotes marriage as the ideal institution for childbearing and childrearing. Promoting marriage doesn’t ban any type of relationship: Adults are free to make choices about their relationships, and they do not need government sanction or license to do so. The confusion resulting from further delinking childbearing from marriage would force the state to intervene more often in family life and cause welfare programs to soar. This costs us the tax-payers money and the children even more. To those who argue that heterosexuals have made a mess of marriage: Do we reinforce those mistakes by making it worse or do we work to make marriage stronger? Do you give a sick patient a poison pill to make them well? “Counterfeits always devalue the real thing.” [Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D. “Five Myths about Same Sex Marriage] To those who ask how their gay marriage harms our marriages: It is not about me or you and our individual ideas of marriage, IT IS ABOUT THE WELL-BEING OF CHILDREN. To those who ask why everyone shouldn’t be able to marry whom they love: Love whom you chose, but that doesn’t mean that you are entitled to redefine marriage for everyone.
The bottom line is that laws governing marriage require the consent of the governed, not a panel of black-robed unelected judges. The states, according to the U.S. Constitution 14th Amendment are the ones who make decisions about what kind of marriage arrangements they will tolerate. Some states have already decided that marriage should be nothing more than an emotional union, not a bodily union that is made possible by biological complementarity. Others (41) have chosen to keep a well-established institution intact—now the job is to rebuild and support marriage. The very well-being of society depends on it.