FAQ: Isn’t gay marriage a civil right? The color of a person’s skin never hurt anyone; but gay marriage ends a child’s right to have both a mother and a father. No child can defend these rights on his own, but relies upon marriage law to do so. A legal redefinition threatens children’s rights as well as the gender-based rights of all Americans. No one has a civil right to take away the rights of others.
FAQ: How does my gay marriage hurt you? Same gender marriage defines men and women as exchangeable units, and requires that government institutionally endorse and promote that uniformity, making gender complementarity obsolete- especially for children. This definition removes from the law a child’s right to have a father and a mother, and denies the indispensable functions that mothering and fathering provide. Removing gender requirements from marriage further threatens all gender based rights affecting alimony, presumption of paternity, custody battles, the draft during war time, even privacy in public locker rooms, restrooms and showers, all of which depend on the recognition of our unique gender needs.
Saying that changing something as fundamental as how we define marriage in the law will not affect someone else is like saying that how banks acted during the housing bubble doesn’t affect individuals: this is simply not true. The housing crisis and the following financial recession affects all of us. Similarly, marriage is a fundamental part of a social and political ecosystem that we all live in, and changing it changes the environment for everyone, especially children.
FAQ: I’m not married. Why should I care about redefining Marriage? Marriage is an institution that defines all of us, as we relate to the common goal of raising a young generation prepared to keep our nation strong. Whether married or single, each of us has a relationship to that common societal goal- and each of us is a product of a mother and father ourselves. In order to protect children’s rights to know and be known by the two adults that created their biological heritage, and the homes that nurture them, it is essential that we be able to define ideas, behaviors, and relationships that either support or threaten the family. For this reason we identify categories of relationships such as children, parents, heirs, siblings, and monogamy, as well as adultery, abuse, “home-wreckers,” and incest. Each of these identifications comes from a clear definition of marriage.
Marriage is the union of a man and a woman whose marital privileges are based upon their commitment to protect and nurture the children that may be created as a result of their union. This natural union recognizes that men and women are complementary, that reproduction depends upon their biological differences, and that the children born to them need both a father and a mother.
FAQ: Why does the government regulate marriage and family? Marriage protects those made vulnerable by the procreative act. This unique contract protects children who have no power to consent to their own creation, and require at least 18 years of nurture, and sustenance to survive. Since the first objective of any society is to survive, i.e., to perpetuate itself, the government has an interest in how children are brought into the world and raised.
There is no reason to have a government registry of relationships except that “society needs babies, children need mothers and fathers; Marriage is a word for the way we join men and women together to make the future happen.” –Maggie Gallagher.
FAQ: How can marriage be about children, when not all marriages have children? Not all couples have children, but all children have parents. In order to have a future, we must look at marriage from the child’s point of view. Adults can meet their own needs, and need no assistance from the government to achieve successful relationships. But even aged or infertile couples contribute to society by following the marital norms of sexual exclusivity and permanence, practices that prevent the creation of fatherless children.
FAQ: Why not leave marriage up to religions? In our nation religion does not have the power to demand child support payments, negotiate and enforce custody, or punish those who abuse spouse or offspring. Since abuse and abandonment are inherently irreligious acts, offenders have already left the jurisdiction of church discipline. In retiring marriage, government will have declared such behavior irrelevant. Thus those made vulnerable by the sexual act, children, would be abandoned and abused without legal recourse.
FAQ: Shouldn’t religion stay out of politics? Would you say that to Reverend Martin Luther King? Most movements to improve law were led by religious leaders, including the abolition of slavery, child labor laws, and the civil rights movements. Our government was also founded on moral and religious principles.
FAQ: Isn’t same gender marriage about love? Same gender couples are free to love and live as they wish. However, public marriage (and its benefits) is reserved for those relationships that are willing and able to participate in the public good of creating and raising children. Redefining marriage as a same gender union rests upon the premise that emotional intensity is the base that sets marriage apart as a legal bond. The government has not been in the business of reaffirming romantic or emotional attachments, but it is in the business of protecting children and insuring societal stability.
FAQ: Isn’t the love expressed to children in same sex unions the same as in opposite sex unions? Overwhelming empirical evidence shows that children need the fathering and mothering that natural marriage provides. Even in a gay union where love for children is the focus, children are distanced from their basic need for a mother and a father. Biology matters and the heritage that is attached to it defines and influences individuals their entire life.
“Each member of the same sex couple may be a fine parent. But two good mothers do not add up to a father.” –Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse
FAQ: What about the statistics that show children are not harmed by same sex marriage? Decades of reputable studies have shown what experience has already taught, that both fathering and mothering are distinct and separate responsibilities, essential to the success of growing children. Same sex parenting eliminates one of those influences from the life of a child. The “no difference” philosophy would require us to reject the last 50 years of research demonstrating a child’s unique need for fathering and mothering.
Although the APA once stated, “Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents,” many social scientists have rejected the scholarship behind this assertion. They have pointed out that “not one of the 59 studies referenced in the 2005 APA Brief compares a large, random, representative sample of lesbian or gay parents and their children with a large, random, representative sample of married parents and their children. The available data, which are drawn primarily from small convenience samples, are insufficient to support a strong generalizable claim either way. Such a statement would not be grounded in science. To make a generalizable claim, representative, large-sample studies are needed—many of them. ”
FAQ: Why don’t you just let people live how they want to? In all 50 states people are free “to live and to love as they choose.” They can join a religious community that blesses their union, and choose a workplace offering joint benefits. Government can treat people equally and ensure their liberty without redefining marriage. What is at issue here is whether the government will recognize such relationships as marriage and then force every citizen, religion, and business to do the same.
FAQ: If people are in love why wouldn’t you want them to get married? Participation in marriage has always been strongly restricted using several criteria. Before entering into marriage, one must be old enough to consent; couples may not be biologically related; and man and wife must be willing commit to permanent sexual exclusivity and submit to legal regulations concerning health, children, finance, and property. These qualifications and unique features of marriage help us understand that its purpose in society is to provide a stable environment for children that may be created by the conjugal union of man and woman. “To reorient marriage to the needs of same sex couples is necessarily to orient it away from its core public and civic mission of channeling sexual passion so that children do not get hurt and so that society gets the next generation it needs.” –Maggie Gallagher
FAQ: Why are you fighting this? Isn’t gay marriage inevitable? If proponents of same gender marriage were convinced that they had the momentum of public support, they would call for a public vote, rather than focusing on judges and occasionally legislators to implement their objectives upon the people. Obviously, neither side of the debate believe that gay marriage is inevitable.
In fact, we believe this is just the beginning of our understanding how important marriage is to a society. Here is what history has shown us about the issue:
*4 courts removed gender from the law. 38 states responded by reaffirming gender in the law.
*In left leaning California, citizens rejected the judge’s interpretation, and voted for Prop 8. It won with a margin of almost 6 points, a larger margin than most presidential elections.
*On the international stage, when the French legislators, intent on passing a “Marriage for All” bill, rejected a petition with 700,000 signatures, it triggered a series of rallies in Paris. The last four rallies are estimated to have exceeded one million people. (France’s entire population is around 67 million.)
The only pattern of inevitability is that the attacks on marriage strengthen our resolve to uphold the traditional family.
FAQ: How does it feel to be on the wrong side of history? “When we stand by children, we will always be standing on the right side of history.” –Jenet Erickson PhD
My FAQ for you: Won’t you make a stand for a child’s right to have both a mother and a father? This is a defining moment in history that our families, friends, and children will all look back to in order to ask, where did you stand when the family was at stake?