The Fight for Marriage, Part 2: Is There Even An Argument for Traditional Marriage?

Dr. Robert George, Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis argue the following: “What we have come to call the gay marriage debate is not directly about homosexuality, but about marriage.  It is not about whom to marry, but about what marriage is.”

The two views can be summarized as: (1) the conjugal view and (2) the revisionist view. The former is a comprehensive one including the possibility of producing children who should, as much as possible, have a right to his or her father and mother.  The possibility of procreation and the desire to foster the ideal of a father and mother for each child is the reason for the state’s compelling interest in recognizing traditional marriage.

The revisionist view “…is a vision of marriage as…a loving emotional bond, one distinguished by its intensity—a bond that needn’t point beyond the parameters, in which fidelity is ultimately subject to one’s own desires.  In marriage, so understood, partners seek emotional fulfillment, and remain as long they find it.” (pp.2-3).

There is nothing inherently homosexual about this view of marriage.  It has become the norm and the basis for “no fault divorce” and the results have been disastrous.  The state has no public interest in “intense, emotional bonds” (you don’t get a license to be a BFF), it only has an interest in relationships capable of procreation and rearing children.

The result of adopting the revisionist view? Mexico has debated adopting only temporary marriage licenses and California has debated recognizing polyamorous relationships and NAMBLA has argued for official “man-boy” relations, because once you “undefine” marriage, there is NO reason to stop at monogamy.

In the end, marriage is a “comprehensive union of persons.” In other words, it unites two people in their most basic dimensions, in their minds and bodies; second, it unites them with respect to procreation, family life, and its broad domestic sharing; and third, it unites them permanently and exclusively.”

Once this definition is tossed and intense emotional bonds are recognized as paramount, many of our basic freedoms begin to disappear. For example, in Sweden after they adopted “same-sex marriage,” Pastor Ake Green was imprisoned for preaching from Romans 1-2.

In Canada, a pastor can be fined by the national government for criticizing homosexuality. In New Jersey, the Methodist district was sued for denying access for a same-sex couple’s civil ceremony.  In New Mexico, Elaine Huguenin was sued and fined $7000 for refusing to photograph a same-sex ceremony.  Recently, bakers have been sued for refusing to provide wedding cakes for so-called same-sex weddings.

Why? Radical activists see the “undefinition” of marriage as a way to legally silence critics. For example, Matt Foreman, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force stated to a Detroit Newspaper that after beating proponents of marriage they would “go back…and affirmatively punish your!” Canadian Lawyer and homosexual activist Barbara Finley stated the fight for marriage is “a struggle of religious freedom verses sexual orientation.”  Kirk and Madsen wrote in After the Ball that their primary goal in regards to proponents of traditional marriage is to “cow and silence them.”

All that aside, the core message is still–if the government isn’t interested in promoting the ideal, it has no business in meddling in relationships at all.  But the ideal is worth pursuing!  Maggie Gallagher wrote, “sex makes babies, society needs babies, and children need mothers and fathers.” This is the ONLY reason the state has for getting into the marriage business. Brad Wilcox at the University of Virginia wrote, “The core message…is that the wealth of nations depends in no small part on the health of families.” It is important to note that the decline of traditional marriage most hurts the least well-off. For example, the much maligned but never debunked Regnerus study has demonstrated that children outside of traditional marriages are more likely to suffer depression, use drugs, commit suicide, perform poorly academically, etc.  Thus, once again, the state has an interest in promoting the ideal of marriage as one man, one woman but has no interest in recognizing any other relationships.

The argument for traditional marriage is simple:

(1) Law tends to shape beliefs.

(2) Beliefs shape behavior.

(3) Beliefs and behavior affect human interests and human well-being.

If government isn’t promoting the ideal, there is no reason for government to get involved at all.  Our government has no interest in regulating “intense emotional bonds.” In fact, when governments have regulated such relationships, they have been used by extremists to curtail liberty and there is simply no reason to go down that path.


Featured Columnist - Matt

Matt Rawlings is an attorney, pastor, former Congressional aide, past music video director and prodigal preacher’s kid. Matt resides in Portsmouth, Ohio with his wife Emily, his son Jackson and his dog Duke (named after John Wayne not the university).  Matt blogs regularly at

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