... said no sick person, ever.
And yet this seems to have been the model of an implied argument from a pro-same-sex 'marriage' legislator in Indiana during an exchange that occurred earlier this week in the House Judiciary Committee's hearing on HJR3, the proposed Indiana marriage amendment.
During testimony from Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Kellie Fiedorek (and she did a wonderful job, by the way!), there occurred the following exchange (as reported by in a stilted article by The Raw Story). The emphasis is ours editorially:
“The only relationship that can naturally produce children is that between a man and a woman,” Fiedorek noted. “There are situations where they may not want to have children, maybe they cannot have children. But the union of one man and one woman still furthers the ideal that children, when that happens, will be born into homes with a mom and a dad.”
“You know, I had a mom and a dad and I wish my dad wasn’t there, the way he acted in my household,” [Democratic State Rep. Vernon Smith] pointed out.
This is unfortunately a frequent error in logic that arises in the marriage debate. When marriage advocates point out the unique contributions and value that men and women bring to the enterprise of marriage - and particularly the irreplaceable role of fathers (a fact observed by, among others, President Obama himself) - proponents of redefining marriage will often fall back on the failures of some fathers to try to call into question the ideal.
But reasoning from the failure of an ideal that the ideal is somehow less important is a flawed line of reasoning in any case:
- Do occasional bad doctors mean we should get rid of doctors?
- Does a failed inner-city charity mean we should abolish all inner-city charities?
- Does the existence of asthma mean breathing is bad?
It is important, therefore, to note that a legislator who would deprive Indiana voters of their right to vote to protect marriage and to reaffirm the crucial role fathers play in children's lives is employing such a logical fallacy as this one.
There will always be exceptions to the general rule. Some children seemingly do fine even in extremely unstable family environments with only one parent, or even no parents involved in their lives. But as a rule, the evidence is overwhelming that children thrive best when raised in a stable, intact family with a mother and a father. That is what we should encourage and promote.
And this is why Indiana voters must redouble their efforts to contact their legislators and urge them to put this issue to the test of the common sense and wisdom Indiana's ordinary citizens who know better than to abandon the only institution that binds men and women to each other for the benefit of the couple, any children born of their union, and society as a whole.
Given the opportunity to vote, we are confident that the people of Indiana will preserve marriage, not abandon it!