Marriage is Bedrock of Our Society
- 11 June 2006 by Author 0 Comments
Marriage is Bedrock of Our Society
By Richard Larsen
What is it about something as fundamental to the very fabric and structure of our society as marriage that brings out the best, and the worst, in us? The discussions this past week surrounding the U.S. Senate’s Marriage Protection Amendment have generated a cacophony of reactions: some positive, and some not so positive. To an extent, the point is moot for now, since the Senate failed to pass the MPA with the necessary 2/3 majority required. But the issue does need resolution.
Many criticize the amendment as writing discrimination into the Constitution, while in reality, it is an attempt to protect marriage as it has been defined for eons. Moreover, the amendment seeks to halt the onslaught of litigation and challenges to state constitutional amendments, which have passed by enormous margins in every single state that has put the issue before the electorate
Marriage, historically, has represented the legal, moral, and cultural recognition of binding relationship of one man and one woman. Many want to reduce marriage to nothing more than a relationship between “people that love each other.” The fact is, marriage has always been about protecting society, at least in part, through procreation.
According to the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, marriage is an institution FOUNDED BY GOD, to achieve the full union of complimentarity between male and female, for the purpose of bringing new life into the world. Very simply, if marriage was simply about “people that love each other” gay marriage would have been accepted centuries ago, along with other versions of “marriage.”
When marriage includes homosexual couples, religious entities like the Catholic Charities of Boston must relinquish its role as an adoption facilitator. After placing thousands of children in traditional families for years, they are now being forced, because of Massachusets state law, to place children in homosexual homes. They could no longer follow their charter and conscience of placing children into traditional families.
Free speech is jeopardized even further as exemplified by two recent experiences in Canada, which has redefined marriage. A Catholic priest is awaiting trial by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for giving a homily in which he criticized Canada’s legalization of same-sex “marriage.
A lesbian couple in British Columbia sued the Knights of Columbus, a charitable Catholic men’s group for refusing to rent its social hall to the couple for their “wedding” reception after finding out that the couple was homosexual. The Knight in charge of booking the hall for events worked with one of the lesbians at the local Costco. After the Human Rights Tribunal ordered the Knights of Columbus to pay an unspecified amount to the couple for “emotional damages,” the Knight was fired from Costco by his openly-homosexual supervisor for “workplace hostility.”
Evidence abounds for protecting marriage as currently constituted if viewed objectively and without predetermined knee-jerk reactions. Sociological and demographic engineering occurs incrementally, so to the scientific mind, it may seem obtuse or irrelevant. But that doesn’t negate its validity.
Scandinavian countries that have redefined marriage are experiencing a meltdown of traditional marriage. British demographer David Coleman and senior Dutch demographer Joop Garssen have written that “marriage is becoming a minority status” in Scandinavia. In Denmark, a slight majority of all children are still born within marriage. Yet citing the 60 percent out-of-wedlock birthrate for firstborn children, Danish demographers Wehner, Kambskard, and Abrahamson argue that marriage has ceased to be the normative setting for Danish family life.
Some may suggest that this is simply anecdotal evidence, and that there are many other factors contributing to this decline. This is undoubtedly true. The gradual liberalization of sexual norms and erosion of Judeo-Christian values in those countries have all contributed to the unraveling of the family unit. The recognition of homosexual marriages served as the states’ legitimization of those trends. A round object increases in velocity as it begins to roll downhill to the point where it can become difficult, if not impossible to stop. The increasing liberalization of values fundamental to our country threaten the U.S. with a similar degradation of familial stability.
Many are the arguments against same-sex marriage, and none of them frankly have anything to do with discrimination or homophobia. Perhaps those advocating such a change should be required to elucidate the necessity of altering marriage’s parameters.
Why must it be a marriage? I have yet to hear a logical explanation as to why a binding homosexual relationship must be a marriage as opposed to a civil union. Civil unions could be imbued with definitive rights that are peculiar to such relationships without forcing the redefinition of the bedrock of our civilization. This could potentially skirt the religious liberties, effects on free speech, adoption, and a host of the issues that could otherwise pour forth into society as from a Pandora’s box.
Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.