NOM BLOG

Anderson: Why Marriage Matters for America and Conservatism

 

Ryan Anderson, co-author of What is Marriage? One Man, One Woman: A Defense writes for the Heritage Foundation's Foundry blog:

Some former officials in the Republican Party are urging the Supreme Court to redefine marriage for the nation. But support for marriage as the union of a man and a woman is essential to American—and conservative—principles. Indeed, nothing could be less conservative than urging an activist court to redefine an essential institution of civil society.

As my co-authors and I argue in our new book, What Is Marriage?, and in the amicus brief we filed with the Supreme Court, marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces. It is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are different and complementary, on the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and on the social reality that children need a mother and a father. Marriage has public purposes that transcend its private purposes.

Marriage predates government. It is the fundamental building block of all human civilization. All Americans, especially conservatives, should respect this crucial institution of civil society. This is why 41 states, with good reason, affirm that marriage is between a man and a woman.

...Redefining marriage is a direct and demonstrated threat to religious freedom that marginalizes those who affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman. We have already seen this in neighboring Canada and right here in places such as Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.

What should the Supreme Court do? The Supreme Court should not usurp democratic authority from citizens and their elected officials.

38 Comments

  1. John Noe
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Some former officials in the Republican Party are urging the Supreme Court to redefine marriage for the nation. But support for marriage as the union of a man and a woman is essential to American—and conservative—principles. Indeed, nothing could be less conservative than urging an activist court to redefine an essential institution of civil society.

    These people are nothing more than RINO's and should be sent over to the other party. It is an affront on our civil liberties and rights when politicians want the court to legislate from the bench and impose something on America that we do not want.
    No conservative, moderate, or independent would favor judicial activism and have the court nullify religious freedoms, our 10th amendment rights, and our democracy.

  2. Posted February 28, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    This issue couldn't be phrased better.

    It is more difficult to write a 'brief' (amicus brief) than to go on and on in a piece of writing (like in my comments). The work of this trio of gifted researchers, including Dr. George, has put the issue in a rigorous, formal academic publication so that the debate can be concentrating on the unemotional arguments for each side of the issue of SSm (and indirectly on same-sex civil unions).

    There is an implication in this post by Anderson: That marriage (and they do not mean merely civil marriage) is not about mutual love. There can be abundant love in a marriage, and marriage makes mutual love grow between the married couple, but love is not an essential aspect of marriage.

    This must be so, for mutual love (with someone outside the marriage, perhaps as a result of financial hardship) is often why marriage ends in divorce.

    Mutual love cannot possibly be a condition for marriage, and at the same time be a condition for divorce. To make it so would spell disaster for the institution of marriage.

    The book "What is Marriage" is a scholarly answer to the proposition that marriage (and civil marriage included) is whatever we (adults) want it to be.

    SSm advocates have forced the waste of enormous resources at the worst possible time only to get what they personally want for themselves, no matter what the consequences would be for the nation. And all for an emotional definition of the conditions of civil marriage.

    Thanking the scholarly trio for their essential contribution to the debate on SSm, by making it a debate on the more fundamental question of "What is Marriage?"

    Lastly, it is important to then note a secondary question: If marriage is a partnership possible only between a man and a woman, what can government do to register friendships as such, perhaps in a different category? And why should they not be in a different category, on the merits of the specific type of partnership? The answer from SSm advocates would be "Because we don't like it, and you hurt our feelings if you don't give us what we want; and so we will hurt you back."

  3. Posted February 28, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Many legislators get elected because they they are good at shaking hands (campaigning, who does this remind us of?) and staying in good terms with as many people as possible. But the issue of "What Marriage is Not" has no safe middle ground. Legislators will need to learn this empirically, for in theory they cannot see it. A degree in jurisprudence and philosophy of Science is certainly not a requirement for public office, and their political careers wouldn't take off. But as many as we can educate on the social science of this SSm topic, the better. Even Democrat legislators are not safe in the long terms imposing SSm, but they don't know it yet.

  4. David Broadus
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I think the majority of married people in the world would tell you they got married for love - I would hope so, anyway. Otherwise, what could possibly be the point of it? I don't believe that the world is so underpopulated that we must force people who aren't in love to procreate, do we? And as all straight marriages are valued and respected in law, whether they result in children or not, being able to procreate isn't a condition of marriage at all. It therefore can't be used as such to stop gay people from getting married. It's what you folks would call a 'red herring'.

  5. OldKingBlog
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Earth to David: Here's the real deal on marriage:

    Whether one believes in God or not, it is an undeniable fact that tens of millions of years of evolution have devised sexuality for the purposes of pro-creation. Nature is a very harsh mistress, as those who study the natural world can readily attest. Therefore, we can, with all honesty, call a homosexual devolutionary; an individual whom nature, for reasons that may always remain obscure to us, did not intend to reproduce. Under normal circumstances, that is, in a sound and happy marriage, there is no more natural affection as that shown between a husband and wife, and between parent and child. In response to what we can call the naturalness of marriage, it is incumbent upon both citizen and public official to continue to recognize the centrality of marriage and to maintain that centrality in law, and to reject all attempts to abolish it or legalize so-called alternatives. Traditional marriage was created to safeguard the welfare of, and to establish responsibility for, any offspring ensuing from heterosexual activities, and not to give legal and social approval to unrestrained and irresponsible sexual activity.
    Let the members of the demimonde live out their lives and conduct their private business privately, far from the public eye and with no control over public institutions.

  6. Ash
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    @David,

    You claim that most people get married for love, and that you can't see any other point to marriage besides that. But then you claim that procreation is a "red herring" as it is not a condition of marriage.

    Is "love" a condition of marriage, as in a legal requirement? And why don't we let loving siblings marry each other?

  7. David Broadus
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    I didn't say love was a legal condition for marriage, only that most people get married for love. Thank goodness! It must be awful to be married to someone you don't love! Why don't we allow siblings to get married? I'm sorry, I thought we were having an adult conversation. I think everyone, gay or straight, knows the difference between familial and romantic love.

  8. Robert
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Geez, the religio-homphobe crew here at NOM is beside itself over GOP support for same-sex marriage. I can live with that!

  9. bman
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    DB->....being able to procreate isn't a condition of marriage at all. It therefore can't be used as such to stop gay people from getting married. It's what you folks would call a 'red herring'.

    Your argument is a red herring.

    Its about marriage giving moral sanction to the pro-creative act.

    Its perfectly rational, for example, that marriage would sanction an OS couple to have sex and try to procreate with each other, even if they are infertile.

    By contrast, its quite irrational and perverted to have marriage sanction two men to have sex and try to procreate with each other!

    Marriage sanctions a couple's right to have sex and procreate together before man and God.

    This sanctioning that marriage gives to the sexual relationship is why same sex couples should not be allowed to marry.

    It's no red herring to withhold moral sanction from something that would pervert moral purpose of that sanction.

  10. bman
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    OldKingBlog->Traditional marriage was created to safeguard the welfare of, and to establish responsibility for, any offspring ensuing from heterosexual activities, and not to give legal and social approval to unrestrained and irresponsible sexual activity. Let the members of the demimonde live out their lives and conduct their private business privately, far from the public eye and with no control over public institutions.

    Well stated and explained.

    The question now is whether DB will respond or avoid your post.

  11. Randy E King
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Robert,

    Are you back to making up new words in defense of your indefensible position?

    You must have realized that the filth that is inherit with your proclivity has started to putrefy the bastardized words you were using yesterday.

  12. Posted February 28, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    David Broad: Ash's points are logical. You argue from a condition for a marriage license, but then you forgot 'love' is not a condition for a marriage license.

    I think it looks like you are just getting started thinking about these things. You came to the right place (no pun intended).

    " I'm sorry, I thought we were having an adult conversation - " is what people say when they are losing an argument. :) It is true, you WERE having an adult conversation, but you can't answer logically.

  13. David in Houston
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    "It is an affront on our civil liberties and rights when politicians want the court to legislate from the bench and impose something on America that we do not want."

    What about the civil liberties of gay Americans? Why do your CHOSEN beliefs trump their Constitutionally-given civil rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness... not to mention the equal protection clause?

    The Supreme Court nullified bans on interracial marriage even though the majority of Americans didn't want that to happen -- 72% to be exact. We do not live in a direct democracy. Majority does not rule in the U.S., the Constitution does. Secondly, some Americans DO want gay Americans to have civil equality in our country. The last election proved that in four different states.

  14. Posted February 28, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Claim: "And as all straight marriages are valued and respected in law, whether they result in children or not, being able to procreate isn't a condition of marriage at all. It therefore can't be used as such to stop gay people from getting married."

    The premise of this argument is that all 'straight' marriages are not required to 'result' in children. But of course, they are already married, so why would they need to 'result' in children? Yes, they need not adopt children either. So, does that leave an opening into civil marriage for friendships that cannot possibly have children? No. It is impractical to check everyone applying for a marriage license for perfect fertility. A man and a woman could marry in order to provide even an adopted child with a mom and a dad. Or they know to be perfectly fertile, yet decide not to engender or adopt children. Or they could be almost fertile, temporarily. There are other reasons why a fertility test is not made as a condition for a marriage license. Guess, what, neither do they check for sex at the time of the application. They determine the sex at birth, and follow the required birth certificate.

    They don't/can't check for 'love' either, so love is not a requirement either.

    The following observation shows the logical fallacy in this very common argument:
    " being able to procreate isn't a condition of marriage at all. It therefore can't be used as such to stop gay people from getting married."

    So, conditions for getting a marriage license are supposed to decide the matter? Therefore the condition that marriage be a) for opposite-sex partnerships only b) adults, and c) not closely blood related decides the matter.

    And you lose.

    Now my question is: How can we stop gay people from getting married, if we don't know for sure who they are (assuming you mean people of homosexual persuasion)? Are they the ones smiling, while in-line at the clerk's office? Hey, all the people in-line are usually gay and smiling. . .

  15. Posted February 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    David over there:
    Why do your CHOSEN beliefs trump their Constitutionally-given civil rights to vote against SSM?

  16. Randy E King
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    @David,

    People are not what they like to do. You only show your bigotry when you fabricate reasons why it is ok to do what it is you like to do, in the privacy of your own home; which is nobody else's business.

  17. Bobby
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Little Man - There is no constitutionally given right to vote against the rights of another

  18. Randy E King
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Bobby,

    There is no right to have words mean whatever you want them to mean.

  19. OldKingBlog
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Earth to bobby-poo: A comment RE your statement: "There is no constitutionally given right to vote against the rights of another:" yes, there is, its called fhe First Amendement. I trust that even a lefty libertine like you, who has lived his whole life rationaliziing deviancy, has heard of it...

  20. Robert
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    One has to wonder just how much longer the catholics are going to be willing to fund the failing NOM organization. Game over, kids.

  21. Bobby
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    I am aware of the 1st amendment OKB. It does not give anyone the right to take away rights from another.

  22. Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    Bobbie: Your use of circular reasoning without a clue of it totally amazes me.

    If "There is no constitutionally given right to vote against the rights of another", then: why are legislatures voting for or against SSM? Obviously, the question has been resolved, but you are not on the par with History.

    So, now here comes the 'fatal logical blow': Show me constitutionally SSm is a right. Where in the constitution does it explicitly state that people of the same gender can marry?

    Nowhere.

    Therefore we can vote to reject SSm. Just that fact dooms your movement, logically speaking.

    Now, do you hate me for being logical? Circular reasoning is funny. :)

  23. Bobby
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Little Man - As usual your post lacks logic. The constitution is a living legal document that does not contain a list of do's and don't's. That is why we have a court. Have you ever heard of the 14th amendment?

  24. David Broadus
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Well, there are really two points to address here. The first is the common usage on this page of words like 'pervert' and 'deviant' when talking about gay people. Science has looked at being gay as a benign variant of human sexuality for many decades, so when one uses these types of words one is really showing an animus against gay people on a personal level which overlooks the reality of what makes a person gay and what it says about the person as a whole. A person who is against immigration law, for example, would not refer to immigrants using ethnic slurs. They would not be respected if they did so. Likewise, those who continue to use slurs against gay people will find they are not respected.

  25. David Broadus
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    The second thing that comes up is what 'marriage' actually means. The common thread here, from what I can gather, is that marriage is, and always has been, the sanctioning of a sexual relationship by God, the church and society. That is your view - fair enough. But that is not to say that that is how all people view marriage, or how it has always been.

    The first recorded evidence of marriage dates back some 4000 years, and were mostly about preserving power and forming alliances. Polygamist marriages were most common for many thousands of years. The idea of marriage as a sexually exclusive, romantic union between one man and one woman is a relatively recent development. Until two centuries ago, monogamous one man/one woman households were a tiny, tiny portion of the world population.

    So - there is an obvious historical disconnect here in saying "marriage has existed unchanged for thousands of years". It simply isn't true.

  26. Chairm
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Got 2 comments in the que.

  27. Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Per David Broad:
    Again, the same appeal to history: ["marriage has existed unchanged for thousands of years". It simply isn't true. ]

    Well, question: Who is saying that?

    What is the type of marriage that has existed for such a long time?

    Has SSm, a formal government institution, existed for thousands of years? And where and in which societies did SSm join up with opposite-sex marriage as a government institution?

    Don't know? I'm not surprised. Well, there is a little tribe, in isolation that allowed homosexual sexual behavior in one even more isolated corner of their island. If you and I were stranded in an isolated island, we might also get 'friendly'. . . But is that government instituted marriage? (a government for 10 persons?)

    There was a Caesar who got government approval to marry his horse, Caligula, who was incestuous, and opened up his sister's womb to remove and eat his own fetus/child. Is that what you mean by marriage having changed (for a short time?) Yep, it sure has changed, and not for the benefit of the horse. So, how many horse children do you think that generated? Why would a government regulate such a marriage, except forced by a mad-man?

    Come on, support your argument with historical substance. Anyone can make historical statements. I can simply say the reverse you said - and we are tied.

    Until recently, "marriage has existed unchanged, as to gender, for thousands of years."

    and

    "homosexual behavior has existed, as to gender, unchanged for thousands of years."

  28. David Broadus
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Um. Right. One of NOM's arguments is that marriage has existed as between a man and a woman for 2000 years. Why should we change it now? I've pointed out that this isn't true. Because it's not. That's it, really. I'm sure you enjoyed writing that weird essay, though.

  29. roger
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    David Broadus - You can quibble over the one man-one woman (polygamy etc) but the fact remains: no society in all of recorded history has ever equated same sex relationships with opposite sex ones. There is a good reason for that - Same sex relationships can't make babies.

  30. David Broadus
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Which is an entirely different argument.

  31. Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Broad: I've pointed out that this is true. Because it is. Marriage (not homosexual behavior) has always been an opposite-sex institution. There may have been other institutions, or exceptions made to the institution's rules temporarily, to please tyrants, but marriage has always been an opposite-sex concept.

    There are crazy people who commit mas murders. So you think crazy people cannot deviate from natural sexuality? That's the first thing they try.

    On the other hand, homosexual and lesbian behaviors have been instituted in societies, but not as marriage. (What, they couldn't invent a different word?) It wouldn't feel so radical, if it was legalized as marriage - loses it's thrill.

    It would be very easy for you to provide an example to the contrary, but you are unable to do so. You would have done so, by now. Yes, it was fun showing your statement has no historical basis, and you are simply repeating what you've heard - hearsay.

  32. Chairm
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    "[The marriage norms that emerged 3,000-4,000 years ago in Mesopotamian public codes and Egyptian teachings] "were essentially embraced and built upon some 2,000 years ago [...] [The] river valley accomplishment clearly shows us that marriage is more than a private relationship. [...] [Social] institutions exist in order to solve basic problems and meet core needs. Why does the insitution of marriage exist? It emerged in the two river valleys, and exists everywhere, to address a fundamental human problem and meet a fundamental human need. The problem is that humans are divided into males and females and that they reproduce sexually. The need is for a shared life between the sexes and for the successful raising of children."

    * * *
    The core meaning of marriage has remained constant even if there have been cultural variations in the protocols and regulations of marital status. The marriage idea: 1) integration of the sexes, 2) provision for responsible procreation, and 3) these combined as a coherent whole (a set of principles, practices, and social rules and moral teachings).
    * * *

    "[U]nderneath these amazing and diverse particulars [of cultures and of times and places] there is a foundational human institution, called marriage."

    [...]

    "In all or nearly all human societies, marriage is socially approved sexual intercourse between a woman and a man, conceived both as a personal relationship and as an institution, primarily such that any children resulting from the union are -- and are understood by the society to be -- emotionally, morally, practically, and legally affiliated with both of the parents [mother and father].

    "That's what marriage is. It's a way of living rooted in the fundamental physiological and biochemical adaptations of our species, as developed over the course of our long prehistory. T first entered into our recorded history in the two river valleys about five thousand years ago. T is constantly evolving, reflecting the complexity and diversity of human cultures. T also reflects the idea that does not change: For every child, a mother and a father."

    "The exact wording of this definition is my own, but the definition is anything but idiosyncratic. T rests on a large and growing mountain of scholarly evidence. T incorporates widely shared conclusions about the meaning of marriage reached by the leading anthropologists, historians, and sociologists of the modern era. As a result, I don't think that the essence of this definition should be controversial."

    [...]

    "From sexual desire, the female and male of the species come together for sexual union, from which develops an interpersonal relationship and a shared way of life, which in turn every society surrounds with elaborate rules and invests with important meanings.[...] Across cultures, marriage is above all a procreative institution. T is nothing less than the culturally constructed linchpin of all human family and kinship systems. Arriage brings together biologically unrelated persons to produce the next generation, create fatherhood as a social role for men, and radically expand the reach and possibility of kinship ties. T brings together the two sexes in such a way that each chikd is born with two parents, a mother and a father, who are legally and jointly responsible for the child"

    "Human groups from around the world -- despite their diversity in so many areas [...] all have fashioned kinship symbols and marriage rules aimed at guaranteeing that each child is emotionally, morally, practically, and legally affiliated with both parents."

    [...]

    "[This is] the core meaning of marriage. [But] understanding our inheritance does nottell us what to do with it. At the same time, surely the understanding helps. It tells us what the stakes are. It contributes to moral and intellectual seriousness. As we debate the future of marriage in one society, surely recognizing the basic structure of marriage as a social institution offers us the right starting point, the best place to stand in order to gain the clearest view ahead and try to take our best steps forward."

    "At minimum we ought to consign to the cultural dustbin the comically inadequate definitions of marriage that currently dominate the debate in the United States. [See examples offerred by gay marriage advocates.] [...] All of these definitions make the same basic point: Marriage is a private relationship based on mutual caring. Ost of them even follow the same rhetorical style. They typically begin with the claim that marriage is constantly changing. Next they say that marriage in former days was really terrible; it was racist and sexist, and mostly it was all about property. [...] [So] then why not say that marriage today is whatever we want it to be -- especially if this formulation might help us achieve some useful social goal?"

    [...]

    "The result is a generalized conceptual disaster [...]"

    The snippets enclosed in quote marks (" ") are excerpts from the book, The Future of Marriage. The author is David Blankenhorn who continues today to stand by the content of that book published in 2007.

    The second paragraph in this comment, enclosed in the asteriks (*** ***) is comprised my own words summing up the core meaning of marriage. Blankenhorn's account is very close to the wide consensus among scholars across the board.

  33. Posted March 2, 2013 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    WoW! Back 3-4K years in history to Mesopotamia. And China may have its own history of types of marriage. Including polygamy, what is outstanding is how marriage DOESN'T change in its core essence from which variations proceed. We may get a wart on our skin, but what is outstanding is our bodies generally follow our DNA code, or we would cease to live.

    There's little mention, today, of the special bonding power of children to their biological parents and grandparents.

    But, given a child shares genes with both parents, the child has some attributes of each parent, and perhaps some attributes of a grandparent mix too.

    This genetic resemblance is not cloning - producing copies of a single person - but generally a magical mix of physical characteristics, genetic tendencies, which combined with early child-rearing produce varied family members with a common bonding and mutual identity.

    The love and loyalty and security and variety which develops between members of a blood-related family in contemporary generations (different ages) exceeds what simple friendship (often between same age) can even hope to achieve.

    There are 'bad apples' in any family, but that's empirically the exception, not the rule. If it had been the rule, we probably wouldn't even exist.

    Thanks Chairm

  34. bman
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    DB->The second thing that comes up is what 'marriage' actually means. The common thread here, from what I can gather, is that marriage is, and always has been, the sanctioning of a sexual relationship by God, the church and society. That is your view - fair enough. But that is not to say that that is how all people view marriage, or how it has always been...."

    What marriage means is an essential question to resolve before one can rightly understand the issue.

    I hope you do not let that question go undeveloped in your own thinking.

    Regarding your comment that marriage did not always mean the same thing in history, the two excerpts Chairm provided from David Blankenhorn's book appear to answer that.

    As follows:

    "The core meaning of marriage has remained constant even if there have been cultural variations ..."

    "In all or nearly all human societies, marriage is socially approved sexual intercourse between a woman and a man...., "

    Note, especially, the phrase, "socially approved sexual intercourse between a man and a woman."

    Its really no different than the idea I gave, that marriage sanctions the right of a man and woman to have sexual relations.

    I also want to quote from the New Funk and Wagnall's Encyclopedia of 1955 because its not affected by today's marriage politics.

    Here are some excerpts on what marriage meant across cultures according to scholars in 1955,

    ....Because the familial unit provides the framework for most human activity and is the root of all social organization, marriage is inextricably linked with economics, law, and religion...

    There is an inextricable link between marriage and religion exists across societies.

    Marriage is essentially a social practice, entered into through a public act, and reflects the purposes and character of the society in which its found.

    Marriage is not simply a private contract. It has a public meaning and purpose that people enter when they marry.

    If, for example, a couple entered marriage expecting to have sexual relations outside the marriage, their deviation from the public purpose of marriage as a monogamous relationship was not sanctioned by society.

    Its the public meaning of marriage to American society we are addressing, then, and not whatever private meaning some may give it.

    The phrase, "...reflects the purposes and character of the society in which its found.." also addresses your objection about historical differences.

    Differences in other cultures only show what marriage means for those cultures.

    Those differences do not define what marriage means to American society, or even other cultures.

    Consider, for example, your claim that marriage doesn't "always" mean monogamy since other cultures practice polygamy.

    Its not relevant to what marriage means to American society, nor does it prove polygamy must be adopted by American society. Other differences you cite are irrelevant for that same reason.

    Your appeal to alien cultures and alien value systems seems moot at best, therefore.

    All societies...impose penalties upon birth out of wedlock, even if only in the form of social disgrace

    ....marriage is in all cultures the predominant institutional framework for sexual intercourse...

    The last two excerpts agree in principle with the David Blankenhorn excerpt, "In all or nearly all human societies, marriage is socially approved sexual intercourse between a woman and a man...."

    In sum, scholars in 1955 unaffected by today's politics viewed marriage as

    (1) having a common public purpose across cultures of sanctioning sexual procreation between a man and woman,

    and

    (2)as being inextricably linked to the religion of a society.

  35. bman
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Correction: The statement, "The core meaning of marriage has remained constant even if there have been cultural variations..." was Chairm's paraphrase of Blankenhorn. I noticed the asterisks afterwards.

  36. bman
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    DB->Science has looked at being gay as a benign variant of human sexuality for many decades,...

    I posted on the "science" question twice but neither post got through so this is a condensed version.

    Anyway, consider how former President of the APA , Dr. Nicholas Cummings, described the "science" of those decades.

    He said the APA conducts research, “...when they know what the outcome is going to be...." and, " …only research with predictably favorable outcomes is permissible.”

    In another interview he stated, "The APA has permitted political correctness to triumph over science, clinical knowledge and professional integrity. The public can no longer trust organized psychology to speak from evidence rather than from what it regards to be politically correct."

    Nuff said.

  37. zack
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Bman...you are magnificiantly articulate.

  38. bman
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the affirming feedback Zack!