What reasons, other than religious reasons, might someone want to keep marriage defined as only the union of one man and one woman? There are actually thousands of reasons. They are born each day. Marriage must be protected to protect children.
How does that follow? How will children be affected by broadening the definition of marriage? To discover the actual truth about this complicated issue of same-sex marriage, it’s important to be correct rather than politically correct.
Let’s start by identifying the main reason we have marriage laws in the first place. The main reason the government is involved in marriage is not to recognize that two people love one another or have a romantic affinity for one another. We don’t have marriage laws to recognize the fact that you get a tingle when Barbara wears that blouse. Why should the state care about just romantic feelings?
The real reason governments have an interest in promoting natural marriage because only natural marriage perpetuates and stabilizes society. Strong marriage laws encourage men and women to procreate and then stay together to mother and father their children. That benefits children and all of society because children raised in biological two-parent homes tend to do better and cause society much less trouble than children raised in other situations.
Why is this so? Because men and women are different. Mothering and fathering are different. A mother brings unique benefits to her child that a father cannot provide and vice versa. Same-sex couples always deny children in their care either a mother or a father. Only natural marriage can provide and protect the parenting unit that every child deserves—a mother and a father. That’s why limiting marriage to a man and a woman is not bigotry—it’s biology. It’s based in the biological facts of nature and the needs of children.
Homosexual activists inadvertently admit this in arguing for same-sex marriage. While they assert that men and women are the same—that there’s no difference between homosexual and heterosexual relationships so those relationships should be treated equally—their entire case denies that point. If men and women were really the same, the activists would simply marry someone of the opposite sex—which according to them is the same as someone of the same sex—and be done with it. The very reason they are demanding same-sex marriage is precisely because they know men and women are drastically different.
Since same-sex and natural marriage are different behaviors that result in different outcomes, they should not be treated equally. The law must treat people equally (which it already does) but not their behaviors. When the law treats these different behaviors equally the cultural understanding of marriage changes and children get hurt.
The law is a great teacher. It shapes opinions and behaviors for generations to come. Wherever same-sex marriage becomes law, the public doesn’t come to see two types of marriage—natural and same sex. It comes to understand that marriage is genderless. In other words, by dropping the gender requirement, the law helps teach society that marriage is a genderless institution merely about the romantic desires of adults and nothing about the needs of children. Well, if marriage isn’t about the needs of children, then what institution is about children? Do we really think we can divorce children from marriage and avoid negative consequences?
We can’t. In fact, we’ve been experiencing negative consequences since no-fault divorce laws passed in the 1970s. Those laws make dissolving a family too easy and should be repealed. They also help teach people that marriage is only about the desires of adults, not the needs of children. If marriage is all about my happiness and not the needs of children, then I should get divorced if I’m not “happy.” The law is teaching me that if the tingle is gone I should move on. No wonder families break up at alarming rates, and children are damaged in the process. Making marriage genderless through same sex marriage will further hurt children by annihilating their connection to marriage completely.
Making marriage genderless also impacts what we teach our children. In Massachusetts, for example, parents now have no right to even know when their kids as young as kindergarten are being taught about homosexuality, much less opt out of it. Why are we indoctrinating five year olds with any information about sex, especially homosexuality? And why is California now mandating that homosexuals must be identified in public school curriculum and only depicted in positive ways? Nothing negative can be said even if it’s true! That’s not education; that’s propaganda. Our education system is politicized and propagandized and our children are the victims.
Some states even dictate how parents educate and counsel their children outside the schoolroom. California, along with New Jersey, now make you a criminal for counseling your own child out of unwanted homosexual desires. Do you realize the totalitarian nature of this? The state has given itself the obligation to indoctrinate your children into homosexuality and taken away your parental right to counsel them out of it. Are you the parent of your own child or is the state? Is this still America?
If all of these observations make you mad, don’t blame me—I didn’t make up the facts of nature. I didn’t make up the fact that men were made for women and that babies only come from their unions. I didn’t make up the fact that mothers and fathers are different and bring unique parenting skills and benefits to their children. I didn’t make up the universe in such a way that children tend to turn out better when raised by a biological mom and dad. I didn’t make up the fact that we all have desires we ought not act on, regardless if we are born with those desires or acquire them in life. These aren’t “my” truths or my morality. They are self-evident truths. They are not hard to know—just sometimes hard to accept.
It can be summed up this way: Conservatives try to adjust their behavior to fit the facts of nature. Liberals try to adjust the facts of nature to fit their behavior. No matter how well intended, the latter is an impossible approach that often leads to tragic results.
If we truly love and care for people, we won’t abandon self-evident truths and celebrate destructive behavior. When we do, not only do children get hurt, so do many others as we’ll see in tomorrow’s column. Click here to read yesterday's column, Same-Sex Marriage: Stealing Rights From God.
Frank Turek (CrossExamined.org) is an award-winning author/coauthor of I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, Legislating Morality and Correct, Not Politically Correct. He also hosts a TV show that airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. ET and Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET on DirecTV, Channel 378.