Even states that issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples continue to distinguish between marriage and same-sex “marriage” for many purposes.
In an article on The Public Discourse, Adam MacLeod, an associate professor at Faulkner University’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, asks the crucial question: What do proponents of “marriage equality” really want?
Massachusetts and New York continue to treat marriage and same-sex coupling differently. Despite eliminating from law the fundamental predicate that every marriage involves a man and a woman and binds the father and the mother of any children that result from the union, the courts and lawmakers of Massachusetts and New York have left in place incidents of marriage that presuppose this predicate. Yet proponents of marriage equality are not flooding the Massachusetts or New York courts with lawsuits to eliminate those incidents.
This raises a question: What do proponents of “marriage equality” want? If they are asking for governments to make marriage and same-sex couples the same in law, then they are asking for governments to eliminate the incidents of marriage that connect children to their natural parents. If same-sex “marriage” proponents are not asking governments to eliminate those legal securities for children, then they are not asking for full marriage equality.
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The reality of same-sex “marriage” has not yet caught up with the logic; for now, Massachusetts still distinguishes between real marriage and same-sex “marriage.” But even if some of the incidents securing the rights and duties of parents and their children remain in place, the inchoate effort to achieve marriage equality harms the culture of marriage and thereby harms the children whom marriage is supposed to protect, particularly the least well-off.
These are costs of the as-yet-unsuccessful effort to make marriage and same-sex couplings the same in law. The law teaches, and people are prone to learn from it. The law of same-sex “marriage” is that man and woman, husband and wife, father and mother, are fungible. A marriage can be a marriage without one or the other, according to the desires of the adults involved. Thus, the law of states such as Massachusetts reinforces a culture that devalues fathers and mothers as people with distinct duties toward their children.
Ultimately, the goal of the “marriage equality movement” is to destroy the family. When you take away the one man and one woman stipulation from marriage, you turn marriage into a mere legality signifying the preferences of two adults, and you demean children into “options.” We will never stop defending marriage as the union between one man and woman, because we believe that men and women are both uniquely different and essential, and children are not “mere options,” but the embodiment of hope for the future.
For the full article, please visit The Public Discourse.