This is probably as politically-incorrect as one can possibly be these days. The usual disclaimers apply – what I’m saying here doesn’t represent any organization, just my opinion.
This whole definition-of-marriage thing is pretty distorted in the media and online “conversation” (to use the term loosely). It’s held up as a step toward civil rights, and maybe that’s understandable, since people with same-gender attraction have definitely been discriminated against historically and even persecuted. I don’t think anyone is happy about that fact. If you look at the country today, most people are all for treating people fairly and with respect. So then people ask, why the objection to re-defining marriage?
What it all comes down to for me is that it’s not about an adult’s right to have his or her lifestyle sanctioned by the government. No one has that right. Of course we can choose our lifestyle, but I don’t get the government to give me special treatment because I like video games or because I serve in my church calling. People who like to skateboard or hunt or smoke or play basketball or party all night don’t get to have laws passed to guarantee them equal exposure in the media or school literature. The law should preserve people’s rights to choose lifestyles, but it shouldn’t institutionalize them.
So what about marriage? Well, that’s not about lifestyles. It’s about brining human beings into the world. Creating a physical body for the children of God. Granted, not everyone believes that last part, but society as a whole considers human life sacred (even most atheists), so we have laws about that. In other words, laws about marriage are not about adults’ rights at all; they are about children’s rights. A child has a right to a mother and father. A child has a right to not be introduced to sexuality in Kindergarten by a government employee. (Having a mom and a dad in a text book doesn’t present a sexual issue because it’s just about families – kids get that. A dad and a dad brings up the notion of why, and how the child got there – subjects kids deserve to hear first from their parents, and when their parents decide they’re ready.)
That is why the law needs to preserve a proper definition of marriage. Children have a right to the kind of family that will give them the best chance at success in life. Of course, marriage isn’t just about children. But the parts that aren’t don’t really need government support. If people want to live together without being married, or if insurance companies want to cover a domestic partner, or even if they want to file taxes jointly, I’m not complaining about that.
And finally, to make sure this is clear: This is not about civil rights! There are already laws to preserve safety and freedom. There are no socially-accepted lynchings or people trying to make separate schools for people who are attracted to the same gender or to restrict votes. Trying to compare this to the civil rights movement diminishes the importance of that movement. And ironically, the people pointing that finger are often themselves the ones making hateful comments at huge groups of people. But that’s fine, they can talk all they want. The point is that no one’s civil rights are being violated here. Except, arguably, the children, whose schools and other government institutions are going to force them do deal with issues they shouldn’t even have to think about. We need to leave them alone and let adults pursue their lifestyles on their own time.