Australian Bill Muehlenberg of the Family Council of Victoria, responds to a column by radio personality Derryn Hinch in which he apologizes for once having opposed gay marriage and criticizes the Prime Minister for supporting laws defining marriage as one man and one woman:
Heterosexual marriage is society's bedrock
SADLY Derryn Hinch manages to mangle just about everything in the marriage debate (The Australian, July 16).
He totally misses the purposes of marriage for example. Marriage is a universal and historical institution which serves tremendous social purposes.
It regulates human sexuality, and it procures the wellbeing of any offspring from the sexual union. Thus it is not a mere private matter, but a vitally important social institution.
Governments have an overwhelming interest in heterosexual marriage. They have no reason to confer special rights and privileges on other types of sexual relationships. People are free to engage in those relationships, but they cannot expect to see their relationships elevated to that of heterosexual marriage.
Indeed, talk of inequality and discrimination is off base here. Those arguing for same-sex marriage are mixing apples with oranges. Everyone is entitled to the benefits of marriage as long as they meet the conditions and requirements of it.
Homosexual relationships simply do not meet the criteria, the most basic being to have one man and one woman. Governments have no obligation whatsoever to treat unequal things equally, or to grant the benefits of marriage to those who refuse to meet its minimum requirements. . .
Procreation and the raising of children is an overwhelmingly important social good, and the mother-father unit cemented by marriage is an overwhelmingly superior way of ensuring the best outcomes for children. Therefore societies everywhere extend favours and benefits to married couples that they do not extend to other types of relationships. . .
The studies make it clear that every child should have the basic human right of being raised by his or her own mother and father. And a recent Galaxy poll found that a full 86 per cent of Australians believe children should be raised by their biological parents.
This of course is stolen from them in same-sex households. Heterosexual marriage is society's most profound and valuable institution. It has been the bedrock of nations from time immemorial. To radically alter the nature of marriage and family is a recipe for trouble.
Bill Muehlenberg is secretary of the Family Council of Victoria, and co-author of Why vs Why: Gay Marriage (Pantera Press, 2010)