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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Why Marriage Should Be A Man/Woman Union, In Illinois.

Typical of shady politicians and shady Illinois politicians, in particular, the Democrats along with some Republicans of the Illinois legislature are making a move to amend the Illinois Constitution as soon as January to allow for gay marriage. 

(Illinois recently legalized civil unions for same-sex couples).

While pro-marriage advocates are facing an uphill battle, I do not believe the fight stop the redefinition of marriage in Illinois is over and I am personally willing to do what I can as an Illinoisan to see that marriage remains the union of a man and a woman in my state.

However, it must be admitted that the pro-marriage crowd hasn't done the best job of making a positive case for man/woman marriage, making efforts to preserve it that much harder.

I'm going to try and put forth three secular reasons why I do not believe the legislature should amend our state constitution, redefining marriage as the union of two persons, rather than a man and woman.

My proposition is as follows:

The government has a public purpose in preserving and promoting marriage as a unique and gendered union.   

(Reason 1.) Male/female unions are the only unions that can create new life.

While not every heterosexual couple can or will have children, every person, man and woman, is the product of a male (a father) and female (a mother).

This is the wonder of human biology. 

It seems obvious that the government has public purpose in preserving and promoting the only unions that can naturally produce and replenish it's citizenry, while maintaining a stable matrix for child rearing and said pro-creative acts.

A state (or country) with a low birth rate will soon be a state (or country) in peril (the present birth crisis in Russia is attestation to this fact).  

If the gender requirement is removed from marriage, the government would no longer be able to treat marriage as a unique and life-giving union that connects mom's and dad's to their kids, for to do so would be to discriminate against same-sex married couples, who cannot have children naturally. 

This is not a case with marriage of older and/or sterile couples because that is only an exception to the rule of human biology (ie: that man/woman unions, alone, create new life)

Thus, redefining marriage would be a public ill, in this sense.

(Reason 2.) Male/female marital unions connect mothers and fathers to their biological children.

(This next argument has been advanced and defended most recently by such notables as Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse and summarized here by me. I take no credit)

Marriage serves a public purpose in this sense by providing a suitable framework for parenthood.

Who would deny that attaching moms and dads to each other and to their biological children should be promoted, as much as is possible and responsible?

By way of the presumption of paternity, natural marriage connects parents to each other and to their biological children.

The presumption of paternity simply means that a woman's husband in presumed to be the father of any children she has.

As one natural marriage advocate explains, "the presumption of paternity, combined with a social and legal norm of marital sexual exclusivity, means that marriage routinely and systematically attaches children to their biological parents" (emphasis mine).

Redefining marriage directly leads to redefining parenthood, replacing the presumption of paternity with a presumption of parentage, meaning that a child born to a couple in a same-sex union is presumed to be the child of both partners.

This directly undermines the biological basis for parenthood, getting rid of the idea that a child is entitled to a relationship with his biological parents.

We've already seen this applied broadly in Delaware to both same sex AND opposite sex partners, where a live in, cohabiting, opposite sex partner who is neither the parent by biology or adoption (ie: non-parent) of their partner's child, may be awarded parental rights, by way of the presumption of parentage.

This means that we are attaching parental rights to non-parents and the redefinition of marriage, by removing the gender requirement from marriage and then trying to keep everything equal, will be the vehicle by which this is accomplished and applied broadly.

 Dr. Morse explains:

"By redefining marriage we are undermining several principles of law and social practice that are currently widely accepted and understood."

These include...

(1.) The right and general entitlement of children to have a relationship with both of their parents.

(2.) That mothers and father are not, in general, interchangeable.

(3.) The long assumed biological basis for parenthood. 

(4.) The current relationship of the state to civil society, where instead of the state simply recording parenthood, it creates parenthood.      

Do you think that a normative function of the government should be to create parents?

This will surely be the reality if gender neutral marriage replaces gendered marriage and the presumption of paternity replaces the presumption of parentage, as our frame of reference for understanding parenthood.

This would open up parenthood (which precedes the advent of the state) to a kind of unprecedented intrusion into our lives.

 (Reason 3.) While retaining the current laws on marriage doesn't affect the protection of same sex persons under the law, removing the gender requirement from marriage may subject citizens with religious objections to same-sex "marriage" to criminal penalties under the law.   
Already we have seen Christian wedding photographers, cake decorators, and chapel owners sued for refusing to acknowledge same-sex unions.    

Others are being forced quit their jobs, as opposed to violating their faith in notarizing same-sex marriages or issuing same-sex marriage licenses.   

I could give more and more examples of this is on-going and dangerous trend which can only get worse if same-sex marriage is made the law of the land.

The government can keep the peace by recognizing and protecting same-sex civil unions under the law, with special protections for people of faith, and by keeping marriage the union of a man and a woman.
 
In conclusion, these three arguments, combined with a number of negative arguments, give us a strong basis for affirming the above proposition that the government has a public purpose in preserving and promoting marriage as a unique and gendered union.   

This is not an emotional, heart-tugging case, but a case based on logic and fact, as any good argument should be.

It is my hope that people would take hold of good arguments for preserving natural marriage and speak out boldly and frequently to their friends, neighbors, and public representatives. 

Together we can curb the tidal wave against man/woman marriage.  

9 comments:

  1. You're and idiot.

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    1. And you could at least justify your position with more than Ad Hominems, and have a mature discussion.

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  2. Awesome post Eric! I wrote a similar post over the summer: http://thoughtsfromacatholic.wordpress.com/2012/05/26/the-case-against-same-sex-marriage/

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  3. I guess I can kind of see some of your points. However, in your first point, you are saying that marriage is only for the purpose of having children, and that the only exception is for older and sterile couples. But what about a traditional couple who just simply do not want to have children? I don't want children, does that mean that I can't get married? If marriage is partially defined by the ability to have children, and I choose not to use that ability, that means I would not be able to get married. Furthermore, not all same-sex couples are wanting to have children. Does that mean the ones that don't want children can get married but those that do can't?
    I'm not completely sure I fully understand your second point. It seems a little...stretched? I guess. But I can't really say anything about that point since i'm not sure what I think of it.
    And as for same-sex marriage causing criminal penalties to Christians, for some of those that is simply their choice. I think that there are and should be more protections against refusing to provide service in private companies. But as for people in jobs that would cause them to notarize same-sex marriages or something similar, that is their choice to work that job. If they don't want to do something that goes against what the believe in, then they should work somewhere else.
    I would like to point out that I am a christian, and biblically do not believe in homosexuality. However, on secular terms I think it simply comes down to discrimination. A certain group of people, who in most cases are extremely nice and law-abiding citizens, are not being allowed to do something. And that, to me, seems like the most important thing when it comes down to looking at same-sex marriage secularly.

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    1. Thank you for the measured assessment!

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  4. As usual, a thoroughly bigoted post. You do realize you're gay yourself, don't you? You also realize you're adopted and you have no connection with your biological parents? You clearly are angry about being a gay, African American, adopted boy in an all white family. No reason to lash out at innocent bystanders over your own struggles. Live like Christ. Fight for the underprivileged, those discriminated against. Jesus did not judge them. It's unbelievable that you feel you know more than Him. Please spend your time on something useful like feeding the hungry, teaching love and tolerance, or perhaps donate some used items to a charity. You are wasting yours and everyone else's time with your pretentious ramblings.

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    1. What a tragedy if surveying evidence objectively and coming to a reasoned conclusion outside of the secular mainstream is bigoted. At any rate, you sure seem to have a handle on my life, though something makes me think that you don't really know me quite as well as you think you do. I try my best to live like Christ, but, you see, I talk about the things that many people won't talk about, but that are important for all of us. Perhaps if you took the time to know me more, you'd come to understand why I say the things I say, in context.

      Thanks for the comment!

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  5. I have a question for you. You are basically indicating that all people should be forced to follow the law of your religion. In this country exists the separation of church and state. The government has one definition of marriage and each church has its own definition of marriage. When speaking of secular law you may not intermingle religious law with it, per the Constitution, the supreme law of the land. I strongly believe that each church can make its own decision regarding same sex marriage, but that the government has no business regulating such a thing. You see, many people get married that should not get married. There are people who marry without any intention of staying faithful, or have having children, or for other purposes such as monetary gain. The church frowns upon such marriages, as do I. However, the government has no business telling an individual what to do. Likewise, the church has no business telling the government what to do.

    My question is this: how would you feel if the government imposed laws on you that were from a religion that was not your own. In other simpler words, if the government told you that you could or could not do something because Islamic law forbids, or the Book of Mormon goes against it, or the Pope has mandated it, would you be happy? My guess is not, since you seem to have a profound hatred for all three of these religions. So why impose your own religion on an entire country of people, some of which are Christian, many of which are not. This is a free country - we have freedom of religion. That means people are free to choose the religion they please, not force their own religion on others. This means that any religion is allowed, not just the one you like. Why do you impose your personal beliefs on everyone? It's very childish.

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    1. Either you didn't read what I wrote or you were so blinded by by your own biases that you completely re-interpreted it the image of a straw-man. I gave secular reasons for my belief that marriage is a man/woman union, not theological reasons. I did not bring God, religion, the Bible, or Christianity into this discussion, you did. And, in fact, the State regularly imposes the precepts of the State religion of liberal secularism on the Church. At any rate, thanks for the comment!

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