You often say everybody deserves to love somebody. Why do you think re-defining marriage into something it isn’t is an answer to this? Do you think the state of (many person? two person?) marriage has something to do with creating love? Or can love exist without the label ‘marriage’? I know you’d agree to this. So what is it about the state of matrimony itself which increases love? I can answer that for man-woman mating-marriage: natural kids and family of course provide the strongest ties (and most robust civilization). That doesn’t work for man-man or woman-woman: no natural kids. Sure, there’s adoption, but that only begs the question whether non-traditional couples (why couples? why not triples?) should be allowed to adopt. And anyway, most people won’t adopt. Non-traditional adoption produces a nightmare of legal and moral difficulties, the consequence being the State, in the name of “fairness”, will increasingly claim custody over children, thus removing (by force) control from natural parents. This isn’t a slippery-slope argument. Already we have seen governments which have mandated same-sex “marriage” propose or institute laws forbidding the use of the ancient words “husband”, “father”, “wife”, “mother” from official paperwork. Some governments (like Canada) go on to criminalize speech, saying people cannot talk against same-sex “marriage” or homosexual conduct because that is “discriminatory” (a circular argument if ever there was one). Other localities say a person does not have the right to withhold on religious grounds actions which further or abet same-sex “marriage.” Freedoms are being removed; rights are being taken away. Why does the so-called right to same-sex “marriage” trump other rights?
Can, say, a woman-woman pair make a vow of eternal love without the benefit of marriage? Of course they can. Nobody is stopping this or suggesting that it should be stopped. As far as I can see, nobody is denying anybody anything except one small thing. And that small thing is my cooperation. Think about this. I can’t stop, and don’t per se want to stop, Jack and Ed (and Tom and Lou and …) from shacking up and professing eternal love. This isn’t because I want Jack and Ed to do this, but because I don’t know them, they aren’t in my family or Church and if they don’t bother me, I won’t bother them. It’s true that if I met them and my opinion were asked, I’d try and talk them out of it, but on different grounds which we can discuss another time.
Do you really understand what marriage is? It is not Jack and Ed sharing the rent, or checking a box on a form created by government, it is Jack and Ed asking me to bless their union, and this I won’t do. This I cannot do, for I am convinced what they have is not marriage. Why do you insist on taking away my freedom to define marriage in the traditional way? That is exactly what you would be doing if you forced me to acknowledge their union.
Marriage is not a contract between two people, it is the natural ordering of two people and the rest of society. Marriage is not just between George and Martha, though that bond is central. It is between George, Martha, and me (and you). In a civil sense, marriage is the label I (and the rest of us) bestow upon them. This being so, my blessing cannot be invoked involuntarily. I cannot give my consent for really it isn’t mine to give after all, because I have it on loan from a Higher Authority (or, if you don’t like that, via natural law). It is true that government can dictatorially label Jack and Ed’s pairing “marriage”, and that government can even with the threat of force impel me to call the pair “married.” But this still does not make them captial-M Married.
Marriage is, as the old saw has it, an institution, rich in tradition and deeply embedded in our culture. It says something good that people, knowing the vastly overwhelming positive benefits which accrue from it, aim for it. But I don’t think they see beyond the civil ceremonies which, via paperwork alone, create couples (triples? quadruples?).
There is the story of the government (in the USA, natch) dissatisfied with the complexities of π and so by legislation attempted to dictate that it take a value commensurate with squaring the circle, a logical and mathematical impossibility, which is to say, an affront to nature and quite anti-science. (Let’s don’t think this situation absurd; consider what happened to truth in the Soviet Union.) Now these government officials failed in their attempt only because a mathematician happened to wander into the debate. But suppose he was sick that day and the government, by law, impelled people to say π = 3.2. Well, they’d have to do so when courting the bureaucracy, but that would not stop the real π from taking its true value. Same with small-m “marriage” (civil rules and procedures) and the true capital-M Marriage (husband-wife bond).
Do you really think that by asking the government to use its coercive power to impel and force behavior will change truth? It cannot. Or, in a weaker sense, that it will change minds? Well, it might: people hate to be screamed at or lose social standing or employment. You may win the day with the word “marriage”, but that cannot and will not stop those of us who know better to call true Marriage something else. I’m betting on the phrases “traditional marriage” or “real marriage.” Suppose as is likely the use of such phrases becomes widespread. Would you support efforts to have this speech suppressed, it being “hurtful” (which it will be)? If so, then you must ask yourself just what is it you’re after. It isn’t marriage. It’s control over those who believe differently than you.
Next, and finally, “orientation”, fairness and equality.
Warning Tolerance is a hallmark of those supporting same-sex marriage. Never will you find proponents employing abuse, vituperation, appeals to emotion, or angry senseless shouting. They do not label their opponents enemies, nor accuse them of being hate-filled. They instead use calm, logical, well-reasoned argument; they understand rational and sincere people may disagree on certain points. I therefore expect supporters of traditional marriage to act similarly. Comments which do not accord with ladylike or gentlemanly behavior will be ruthlessly expurgated.