Marriage — for whatever reason or variety of reasons — has been the means throughout the world for insuring that fathers stick around to raise their children and support mothers while they are growing their babies — both in utero and through childhood.
Variations from this ideal of marriage with children happen but they are just that — variations. Previous revisions to the institution of marriage have led to drastic increases in the rate of divorce, illegitimacy, and cohabitation. Legal definitions, it seems, matter.
To change this definition of marriage so that there is no difference between same-sex unions and opposite-sex unions is profound. It is nothing short of naive to think that only bigotry would prevent this radical redefinition of marriage.
There is a really great G. K. Chesterton quote that applies to such radical changes to institutions.Read the whole thing, but he basically says that if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious, it is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question. And if you assume folly on the part of your forefathers, why do you think that you aren’t susceptible to the same thing?
I think many do overlook the societal implications of redefining marriage to include same-sex marriage. One of my co-contributors, Eric, mentioned yesterday:
Public policy on marriage affects every citizen both culturally and financially. Opening marriage to homosexuals will not only open the door to more and different types of litigation (divorce, annulment, etc.) into an already overwhelmed court system but begs the question: “what next?”
At some point, a line has to be drawn in order to prevent chaos. It sounds crazy to suggest that people may be able to marry an animal or that polygamy will be legal in 25 years. But so did gay marriage sound outrageous just a generation or two ago. We must also remember that, although Separation of Church and State is a sacred cow these days, the civil marriage was simply a recognition of the Church’s definition. It’s a tradition and worldview that was meant to keep civilization healthy and procreating.
And then there’s the subject of gay adoption, but that deserves a blog post of its very own.