Guest Commentary / August 1, 2022

Another Look at Same-Sex Marriage

The goal was not legal status, though they wanted that. Heck, it was never really about privacy, either.

By Larry Craig

There are concerns today that the Supreme Court will nullify the right of homosexuals to get married. The Court doesn’t think you should apply the Constitution to controversial issues that were never in the minds of those who wrote it or any of the later amendments. If people think gay marriage is a right, then Congress can make a law saying as much.

But the issue should really be called same-sex marriage and not gay marriage. Nobody cares or asks whether a person is gay before they get married. The issue is whether two people of the same sex can have a relationship that can and should be called a marriage.

This is a new thing in human history. This whole matter has raised the question of what exactly is a marriage in the first place. Is marriage just a word that we give to a relationship in which people love each other and decide to live together, and we give that a legal status so they can have visitation rights and other privileges only defined for family members?

Why is the definition of marriage even important? Who cares? What difference does it make?

A healthy society needs to reproduce at least enough people to maintain its population. When reproductive levels fall too low, societies shrink. They get older, and that places financial stress on that society, because it has to take care of the elderly with relatively fewer people to pay for it. With the advances of modern medicine, we have a vastly increasing senior population, and we have a shrinking pool of workers able to support them. Our society has been below replacement value for a long time now.

That was the main point of marriage — the creation of biological families. And, of course, marriage was encouraged prior to having any children.

A society also needs to encourage the things that make for an optimal upbringing of these new generations to become productive members of society. Unlike animals, children require an enormous amount of time and energy to make all this happen. Marriage was to ensure that the two adults involved would work together to do that.

Parents are like lifelong one-on-one tutors, mentors, role models, and caregivers but at no cost to society. So it is in society’s interest to encourage people to get married and have children.

But do people need to get married to have children? Technically, no. But having children as a single parent is a very difficult undertaking. It’s one of the leading causes of poverty, and these children are at a greater risk for all kinds of adverse outcomes. So it is in the interest of society that children grow up in a two-parent household.

We do know that same-sex couples cannot create children. Same-sex couples often want to have their own children, but in order to do that, they have to remove one of the child’s natural parents from its life. That is not good, and we shouldn’t pretend that it is. We also know that role models are important in a child’s life, but in same-sex couples, should we then try to limit them to having only same-sex children? And how would we do that?

We stretch the meaning of family today to include any number of different arrangements, but biological ties still remain the ideal. The rest are simply adjustments. Because a healthy society requires new generations of contributing members, the health of families is a proper and important concern of society.

When we legalize same-sex marriage, we are also normalizing it, and we are telling our children that same-sex marriage is just as good as regular marriage, and homosexual relationships are just as good as heterosexual ones. Our public schools are even encouraging children today, long before they have ever given any thought to whether they want to have children of their own or if sexual relationships have any meaning apart from personal pleasure, and even before they have reached puberty, to decide what gender they want to be and what sexual orientation.

Some will say that this is only a matter of self-discovery, but they are encouraging children to experiment with all the various possibilities and decide now the entire course of the rest of their lives. They are being taught that one way is not better than another. And they are teaching sex apart from loving relationships. It’s just something that gives you pleasure, and you need to decide which way you like best, and that will define whether you are gay, straight, or any number of other possibilities.

In recent times, after our country threw off its religious associations that stigmatized homosexuality, people were more open about these kinds of relationships, and certain problems developed. They were in undefined relationships with no legal status. So visitation rights were non-existent. Inheritances were non-existent. Some areas created a legal status for these relationships so they could be listed as family or next of kin.

Which is fine.

But the goal was not legal status, though they wanted that. Heck, it was never really about privacy, either. We were told that what people do alone in their homes doesn’t affect you and needn’t concern you. People should be free to love whomever they will. But that was not it.

It was about something more. It was about equality, just like “separate but equal” was deemed inherently unequal. A separate category was deemed as second-class status, and that was unacceptable.

But we have to ask what equality means.

To use a rough analogy: If we call a bicycle a vehicle, then is a Schwinn equal to a Ford Explorer since they are both vehicles? And should they have equal access to a highway? To limit Schwinns to a narrow strip on the side of some roads is discriminatory and unequal, and that becomes wrong.

Equality can mean equal status. There were civil unions that were created to provide legal status and rights to same-sex couples, but that was not enough.

What was wanted was equality in value, such as one is as good as the other. There is no preferred choice. Like chocolate and vanilla. One is not right and the other wrong. It’s all just a matter of personal preference. And they will insist this preference is built into our very natures.

Not only is it to be deemed equal, but you better well like it too. Otherwise, we will put you out of business if you don’t.

Our presumed secular society will no longer stigmatize same-sex relationships, however they are named, but equality is a term that is misleading and inaccurate, particularly when we talk to our children about this.

These kinds of relationships are best left for adults to consider, after people are fully aware of the ramifications of committing their lives to people of the same sex.

But, no, same-sex marriage is not a constitutional right. You can’t decide or determine what the Constitution or any of its amendments means in situations totally unlike anything that those who wrote them would have even thought about when they were written. This is a matter left to our legislative bodies. This is a totally new thing in history, and we need to talk about it.

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