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May 13, 2004

Column #1,185

What's Wrong With Same Sex "Marriage?"

by Michael J. McManus

On Monday, May 17, Massachusetts will become the first state to legalize same-sex "marriages" as the result of a 4-3 decision by the state's highest court. This is a watershed moment in America's history being forced by the vote of one judge..

The decision in the case Goodridge v. Department of Health is radical. It declared that the historic definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman was irrational. The court compared opposition to same-sex "marriage" to racist prejudice against interracial marriage.

So it purposefully set the date for the legalization of gay marriage as May 17, the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision of the Supreme Court which ruled that segregated schools were unconstitutional.

However, this is not a civil rights issue. Rev. Walter Fauntroy, a former aide to Martin Luther King, and major black denominations were the first religious leaders to join the "Alliance for Marriage" that is fighting for a Federal Marriage Amendment. America's Catholic bishops and the National Association of Evangelicals signed on two years later.

Significantly, the Goodrich decision quotes the U.S. Supreme Court's decision striking down a Texas sodomy law: "Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code."

The arrogance of both courts is obnoxious. "Marriage is a divinely ordained institution, not a social experiment to be reinvented and redefined by a handful of unelected elites." That statement is not by a religious leader, but of U.S. Rep. John Hostetler.

What's wrong with two homosexuals choosing to "love, honor and cherish one another as long as life shall last?" Nothing. Individuals have the right to live as they please. But two percent of the population does not have the right to change the definition of marriage itself.

In Massachusetts, marriage no longer legally joins a husband and wife or bride and groom but "Party A" and "Party B." Soon Massachusetts will no longer be able to speak of mothers and fathers, but only "parents."

However, children do not simply need parents, but long to be brought up by their own mother and father. Neither two lesbians nor two gays can give a child the same opportunity for wholesome growth as a mother and a father.

Marriage is "society's way to seeking to ensure that the people whose sexual act creates the baby are committed to one another and the baby," writes author Elizabeth Marquardt.

 Goodridge argues "It is the exclusive and permanent commitment of the marriage partners to one another, not the begetting of children, that is the sine qua non of civil marriage."

Nonsense. What percentage of gays make a "permanent commitment" to one another? America's largest gay magazine, The Advocate, studied 2,500 gay readers in 1995. It reported that  of average 38 year-old gays, only 2 percent had sex with just one man, 57 percent had more than 30 male partners and 35 percent had more than 100.

In the past year alone, over 60 percent had five or more partners.

Could such people provide a stable home for children? Obviously not.

The sine qua non of marriage IS the begetting of children, and to give these innocents a stable home.

Goodridge states, "If procreation were a necessary component of civil marriage, our statutes would draw a tighter circle around the permissible bounds of nonmarital childbearing." I agree. Same-sex couples shouldn't be allowed to adopt children. Yet today a third of lesbians and a fifth of gays bring up children. The Kinsey Institute reports that under 8 percent of homosexual relationships last as long as four years.

Gays point to the erosion of heterosexual marriage by divorce, and have a valid point. I regularly advocate legal and pastoral reforms to reduce divorce, but today's crisis is gay marriage.

"The reality is this, once one state has legalized same-sex 'marriage' it's only a matter of time - I'm talking weeks, not years - before the other 49 states will have their marriage laws challenged as well," asserts Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council.

Gays will fly to Provincetown, Mass. to "get married." Many will then demand their home states recognize the "marriage." If denied, they'll file law suits that are likely to end up in the Supreme Court, which ruled that gays have a right to "seek autonomy" such as "personal decisions relating to marriage."

Perkins is fighting for a Constitutional Amendment limiting marriage to "the union of a man and a woman." If you agree, call the local offices of your Congressman and Senator. 

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