Marriage is the union of the two sexes, not just the union of two people. It is the union of two families, and the foundation for establishing kinship patterns and family names, passing on property and providing the optimal environment for raising children.
Marriage is of such importance that it is uniquely protected in the law and culture. No civilization can survive without it, and those societies that allowed it to become irrelevant have faded into history.
Marriage laws are not discriminatory. Marriage is open to all adults, subject to age and blood relation parameters. As with any acquired status, the applicant must meet minimal requirements, which in terms of marriage, means finding an opposite-sex spouse. Same-sex partners do not qualify. To put it another way, clerks will not issue dog licenses to cats, and it is not out of "bigotry" toward cats.
Giving non-marital relationships the same status as marriage does not expand the definition of marriage; it destroys it. For example, if you declare that, because it has similar properties, grape juice must be labeled identically to wine, you have destroyed the definitions of both "grape juice" and "wine." The term "marriage" refers specifically to the joining of two people of the opposite sex. When that is lost, the term "marriage" becomes meaningless.
You can no more leave an entire sex out of marriage and call it "marriage" than you can leave chocolate out of a "chocolate brownie" recipe. It becomes something else.
Requiring citizens to sanction or subsidize homosexual relationships violates the freedom of conscience of millions of Christians, Jews, Muslims and other people who believe marriage is the union of the two sexes.
Civil marriage is a public act. Homosexuals are free to go through "union" ceremonies with each other privately, but they are not free to impose counterfeit "marriage" on their fellow citizens via the law.
Although marriage is especially important as the fountainhead of natural family life and the well being of children, even childless marriages are a social anchor for children.
Marriage encourages the sexes to complement each other's strengths and weaknesses. Even the most successful homosexual relationships, at best, mimic marriage.
It is wrong to create fatherless or motherless families by design. This has more to do with the desires of adults than the needs of children. Human experience and a vast body of social science research show that children do best in married, mother-father households.
The drive for homosexual "marriage" leads to destruction of the gold standard for custody and adoption. The question should be: "What is in the best interests of the child?" The answer is: "Place children, whenever possible, in a married, mom-and-dad household."
It is wrong to encourage people to remain trapped in homosexuality. As society rewards homosexual behavior, more young people will be encouraged to experiment with homosexuality, and more will be discouraged from overcoming unnatural homosexual desires. If "gay marriage" is legalized, children in schools will be taught that this is the moral equivalent of true marriage and that one day perhaps some might "marry" a member of their same sex.
Unlike with race or ethnicity, homosexuality is in no way immutable or genetically determined. It is a chosen behavior. People need not embrace unnatural feelings, and many homosexuals have overcome "gay" desires and gone on to lead heterosexual lives, including getting married and having children. Science has produced no credible evidence of innate homosexuality. The most famous "born gay" study, by Dean Hamer, a homosexual activist researcher, could not be replicated. Thus, comparisons to inter-racial marriage cases, such as Loving v. Virginia (U.S. Supreme Court,1967), are irrelevant and misleading. The very soul of marriage--the joining of the two sexes--was never at issue in Loving.
Legal and Social Fallout
When same-sex relationships acquire marital-type status in the law, several things occur:
Businesses that decline to recognize non-marital relationships are punished through loss of contracts and even legal action. This is already occurring in San Francisco and in Canada.
Children are taught in school that homosexuality is a normal, healthy, safe alternative to actual marriage.
"Hate crime" laws are employed against people who reasonably insist that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.
Corporate employee "diversity" programs step up their attack on traditional morality as a form of "bigotry."
Traditional groups such as the Boy Scouts, already harassed and defunded, come under even harsher attacks over their moral stance.
Religions eventually will be told by government authorities to recognize "gay marriages" or lose their tax-exempt status. Enforced "equality" trumps religious freedom. For example, in 1997, a Washington, D.C. court overrode the religion-based objections of Georgetown University, a Catholic school, to sponsoring a homosexual activist group on campus.
Other groups, such as bisexuals and bigamists, will demand the right to redefine marriage to suit their own proclivities. Once the standard of one-man, one-woman marriage is broken, there is no logical stopping point.
"Civil unions," "domestic partnerships" and "gay marriage" are being promoted as an extension of tolerance and civil rights. But they are really wedges designed to overturn traditional sexual morality and to construct a system to punish dissenting views.
For our children's well being, and to protect the fragile freedoms of religion, speech and association, we must not allow the creation of government-imposed counterfeit "marriage" by any name.
Marriage is civilization's primary institution, and we tamper with it at our own peril.
Robert H. Knight, director, Culture & Family Institute, an affiliate of Concerned Women for America. Mr. Knight was a draftsman of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the current law that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman for all federal purposes and allows states to resist demands to recognize counterfeit "marriage" licenses.
Copyright © 2003. This article can be found on the Concerned Women of America website. Reprinted with permission.