Same-sex unions not equal

The left has done a phenomenal job framing the marriage debate as one about “marriage equality.” This is an appealing slogan, but it implies that same-sex unions are the same as those between a man and a woman.

By their very nature, they aren’t.

Marriage brings a man and a woman together for life. The core purpose of this union, which has been advantageous to building civilizations throughout human history, is to create and nurture children. Unfortunately, children’s needs have been largely overlooked as our country has debated whether we should dramatically redefine the institution of marriage. Redefining marriage to be between two women, two men or a “polyamorous” trio selfishly puts the desires of adults before the needs of children. Such redefinition undermines marriage’s most fundamental purpose and does a great disservice to children who benefit from having both a mother and a father.

Redefining marriage ignores the basic complementarity of men and women. A man and a woman can create children and shape their lives in different yet valuable and equally important ways. And while two men can both be good fathers, neither can be a mother.

Although not all marriages result in children, a married couple’s infertility is incidental, whereas a same-sex couple’s sterility is inherent. An infertile married couple can still comprehensively unite in a way that is procreative in nature, even if not in effect.

Same-sex unions don’t have a public purpose the way marriage does. Although marriage is a private union, its purpose – children – is very public. Children, who need mothers and fathers, are the future of our society whom the state has an interest in protecting. It’s unnecessary for the state to extend legal recognition to an inherently private relationship, such as a same-sex one, because such a relationship lacks a public purpose. Marriage is different from emotional unions that lack a procreative nature.

Additionally, it would be a disaster for those who believe in small government if aggressively liberal politicians and judges forced genderless marriage on society. Marriage does what government can’t do. Not only is marriage an economic engine that lifts people out of poverty, but it is also the best department of health care, welfare and education that children can have. When children can’t get what they need at home, government tries to pick up the slack. That means more spending and more debt.

It’s become nearly impossible to even have a civil conversation about the nature of marriage and the intrinsic differences between men and women without being personally attacked. The hysterical left and the culture of political correctness that pervades the United States declare any person who disagrees with redefining marriage a hateful bigot, regardless of the reasons he or she presents to back this position. Take a look at what happened when the president of Chick-fil-A spoke about his support of marriage as the union between one man and one woman.

Claire Chretien is a junior majoring in public relations and American studies. Her column runs biweekly on Tuesdays.


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