We ve Been Here Before, If That Is Any ComfortThe Mormon polygamy controversy in the United States, 1845-1895
[C]ertainly no legislation can besupposed more wholesome andnecessary in the founding of a free,self-governing commonwealth, fit totake rank as one of the co-ordinateStates of the Union, that which seeksto establish it on the basis of the ideaof the family, as consisting in andspringing from the union for life ofone man & one woman in the holyestate of matrimony; the surefoundation of all that is stable andnoble in our civilization; the bestguaranty of that reverent moralitywhich is the source of all beneficentprogress in social & politicalimprovement.Murphy v. Ramsey, 114 U.S. 15, 45 (1885)
Purpose of Marriage Amendment: To Prevent State Courtsfrom Invalidating the State Marriage Statute Based on the State Constitution. State courts in nine states have invalidated their states marriage laws based on the state constitutions, with Minnesota case possible # 10: California, Hawaii and Alaska: Voters overturned court decisions with constitutional amendments. Maryland, New York and Washington: State appellate courts overturned lower court decisions invalidating state marriage laws. Connecticut, Iowa and Massachusetts – state law invalidated by state supreme court.
Fighting for Marriage and Helping the Poor Why Marriage Matters: Twenty-One Conclusions from the Social Sciences, Institute for American Values (2002) updated second edition 2005. Marriage fights poverty - Research shows that divorce and unmarried childbearing increase the economic vulnerability of children and mothers… Marriage builds wealth – Married couples build more wealth on average than do otherwise similar singles or cohabiting couples, even after controlling for income.
Marriage helps children -Parental divorce increases children s risk of schoolfailure and reduces the likelihood that they willgraduate from college.Children who live with their own two marriedparents enjoy better physical health and less infantmortality than do children in other family forms.Marriage is associated with reduced rates of alcoholand substance abuse for both adults and teens.
Marriage reduces domestic violence, child abuse andother crime -Married woman experience less domestic violencethan women in cohabiting or dating relationships.A child not living with his or her own marriedparents is at greater risk for child abuse.Boys raised in single parent homes are about twiceas likely (and boys raised in stepfamilies are threetimes as likely) to have committed a crime that leadsto incarceration by the time they reach their earlythirties.
What is the State s Interest in Marriage?Why does the government license marriages but notfriendships? Aren t they loving relationships, too?Is a marriage license the government s confirmationthat two people really love each other?Did societies develop marriage as a deliverymechanism for government benefits?Did societies develop marriage as a way for people tosave money through pooled resources?So why do societies regulate marriage?
A consensus of world cultures from the dawn oftime, separated by centuries and continents, agreethat they must create and sustain a public institutioncalled marriage, that they uniformly define as oneman and one woman: The family – based on a union, more or less durable,but socially approved, of two individuals of theopposite sexes who establish a household and bearand raise children – appears to be a practicallyuniversal phenomenon, present in every type ofsociety.Anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, The View From Afar, pp. 40-41 (1985).
Nations from the dawn of history have regulatedmarriage. The consensus of world cultures fromtheir collective experience is that: - The interaction of men and women will inevitably produce children. Society must deal with that reality and has an interest in making sure that children, the next generation of citizens, are raised in the best way. - Children are best raised by their own father and mother, so society must develop ways to ensure that happens.
Nations from the beginning of history have regulatedmarriage. The consensus of world cultures fromtheir collective experience is that: - Societies have learned from their collective experience that if they allow everyone to do whatever they want in terms of family and sexual behavior, societies get… - irresponsible men - exploited women - neglected and undisciplined children
Same-sex couples do not implicate this interest topromote marriage because: 1. Same-sex couples cannot produce children except for some sort of planned heterosexual intervention. 2. Same-sex couples do not have a father and a mother, so it is not the optimal environment for raising children from society s standpoint. Who is not necessary to raise the child, the father or the mother?
Barack Obama made a similar point in a speech given June 15,2008, the day before California started granting same sexmarriage licenses: We are called to recognize and honor howcritical every father is to th[e] foundationof the family. They are mentors and rolemodels… But if we are honest with ourselves,we ll admit that what many fathers also areis missing – missing from too many lives andtoo many homes….We know the statistics – that children who growup without a father are 5 times more likely to live in poverty andcommit crime; 9 times more likely to drop out of schools and 20times more likely to end up in prison… We need [fathers] to realizethat responsibility does not end at conception. We need them torealize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child– it s the courage to raise one.
Same-sex couples do not implicate this interest topromote marriage because: 3. Advocates of same-sex marriage are not pro- marriage but pro-personal choice. Marriage is an option that should be open but is not a superior choice from society s standpoint. That sounds too much like the discredited anything goes – personal choice philosophy that creates immense social problems for societies.Story of Pierre who called me on a San Franciscopublic radio show in 2004.
Harm #1Redefining marriage changes its foundation from a Procreationmodel to a Self-Satisfaction/Self-Autonomy model. Adopting gay marriage would contribute significantly to changingthe public meaning of marriage from a structured social form to aprivate relationship, from an institution with defined socialpurposes to a right of personal expression.David Blankenhorn, The Future of Marriage (2007) at 205.. . . It is at moments like this that we realize that marriage itselfhas changed. . . . From being a means to bringing up children, it has become primarily a way in which two adults affirm their emotional commitment to one another.Andrew Sullivan, Introduction to Same-Sex Marriage, A Reader: Pro and Con, (1997), n. 82 at xix.
Example: Contrast Tiger Woods response to adulterywith that of same-sex marriage advocates: The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me. I brought this shame on myself. I hurt my wife, my kids, my mother… Tiger Woods - Feb. 19, 2010Openly homosexual author Andrew Sullivan has admittedthat most homosexuals understanding of the sexualcommitment in a marriage is considerably broader that whatnearly all heterosexual couples would tolerate. He addedthat homosexuals have a need for extramarital outlets.
Harm #2It will increase attempts to legalize polygamy.• Mormon polygamists in British Columbia are arguing in court that the Canadian court decisions legalizing same- sex marriage should also legalize polygamy.• If same-sex orientation becomes a legitimate grounding for same-sex marriage, it is likely that bisexual orientation could become a legitimate grounding for group marriage. David Blankenhorn, The Future of Marriage (2007) at 207.• Growing Muslim populations in Europe will agitate for legalized polygamy.
Harm #3Religious liberty and the freedom of conscience will sufferfor people or institutions that believe in marriage.• Business owners sued for discrimination• Speakers sued for hate speech• Counselors and social workers losing their professional licenses• Religious colleges losing their accreditation or sued for discrimination• Religious institutions losing their tax exemptions
Harm #4People will increasingly be converted into commoditiesby being paid to use their bodies to serve the reproductivechoices of others. Is this progress or human trafficking? In 2011, a male Spanish couple showed their twins carried by the impoverished Indian woman they paid for surrogacy services .
Typical Arguments Raised for Same-Sex Marriage1. Marriage is a fundamental right, so regular marriage laws violate the human rights of same-sex couples. The right to marry is a right to enter into a marriage consisting of a man and a woman, not a right to redefine marriage to include anyone(s). This is not marriage equality, but marriage deconstruction. No society can have a common, uniform definition of marriage – it is all radical self-autonomy based in self-fulfillment.
Typical Arguments Raised for Same-Sex Marriage2. Marriage has changed over the centuries. Women used to be their husband s chattel, and some states banned interracial marriages. This argument confuses the dynamics of marriage with the definition of marriage. Two marriages both consisting of one man and one woman, can be totally different in the social dynamics between the husband and wife – well educated husband and wife living in condo in the big city contrasted with Amish couple living on a farm.
3. Marriage laws banning same-sex marriage are morally wrong like old laws prohibiting interracial marriage – Loving v. Virginia (1967). - Race is not an inherent part of marriage – the interracial couple sought to enter into marriage as traditionally defined – one man and one woman - But sex is an inherent part of marriage – only a man and a woman together can produce a child, and they can be of any racial background. - American miscegenation laws prohibited only white people from having an interracial marriage. For example, Asians could legally marry blacks and whites could marry Indians in certain circumstances.
4. The law allows infertile couples and old couples to marry, so society should permit infertile same-sex couples to marry. - Most opposite sex marriages do produce children. - Only a man and a woman marriage can produce children. A same-sex couple cannot produce children, absent third party heterosexual help. - The infertility of many couples is temporary. - An infertile couple still can do something no same-sex couple can ever do – raise a child with a mother and a father.
Same-Sex Marriage is not Inevitable Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too difficult for me? Jeremiah 32:27 Oh give us help against the adversary, For deliverance by man is in vain. Through God we will do valiantly, And it is He who shall tread down our adversaries. Psalm 108:12-13