Homosexual activists fighting for same-sex marriage typically base their argument in fairness. The battle cry in the Indiana General Assembly and elsewhere is that it isn't fair that heterosexual couples have legal recognition of their union and a set of rights conferred over time, such as "default" inheritance, pension survivorship in limited cases, assumed joint ownership, and the like. There's an assumption in this argument, however, that reveals why the American people in general and Hoosiers in particular do not favor gay marriage.
The assumption is that these two relationships are roughly equal and comparable, and that there's as compelling a state interest in regulating homosexual unions as in heterosexual marriage. In brief blog fashion, let me remind us of some of the very real differences:
- Heterosexual marriages typically produce children (most of us marry, most marriages produce children). No homosexual union produces children. This is a dramatic biological distinction worthy of recognition in law.
- Marriage (one woman, one man in a life-long monogamous bond known as wedlock) is the norm across cultures and across the centuries. Homosexual marriage has no historical or cultural antecedents. It is, in the words of one scholar, "a fragile artifact of the state." This is a significant sociological distinction appropriate to reflect in law.
- The Judeo-Christian worldview at the heart of Western culture and so our legal and governmental systems (Ten Commandments, an "eye for an eye," the very concepts of mercy, justice and rehabilitation) promotes marriage and family while decrying other modes of sexuality -- homosexuality, bestiality, adultery, etc. This is an important cultutral/historical fact to reflect in our pursuit of the Good Society, or what the US Constitutions calls "a more perfect union."
Marriage isn't gay, and it never will be. Efforts to equate it with other sexual arrangement just put it in further disrepute at a time when we must build marriage up because of its essential biological, sociological and cultural contributions to a healthy society.