Citizens of three states will be voting this fall on state constitutional amendments defining marriage as that between a man and a woman. This is in response to increased pressure on governments to allow homosexual couples to get married. Some judges have also taken upon themselves legislative roles and they seek to create laws from the bench. Judges are supposed to interpret the law and act within the boundaries of the law, not change the law. To paraphrase the great South African author Alan Paton – judges are supposed to judge according to the law, even if the law is unjust. If it is unjust but the judge judges based on the law, that judge has done his or her duty. If laws are unjust, it is the duty of the people and politicians to change the law, not the judges.
Unfortunately, some of our judges take more responsibility upon themselves than they should. We have judges in California who have decided that a law passed in 2000 by 61% of the people is unconstitutional. State and Federal Supreme Court justices are able to declare laws unconstitutional but the reasoning used by the judges is ludicrous. One Arizona attorney has been providing commentary on his blog about the topic.
I believe that marriage is a basic right for humankind. All governments should defend the institution of marriage. Marriage and families are the basic unit of society. Since it is a basic right, should not all people be allowed to marry if they want to? Yes, they should. However, what we cannot have happen is have marriage redefined to mean anything other than marriage between man and woman. That is what proponents of homosexual marriage want to do – redefine marriage. Marriage is not only a legal institution but also a sacred institution. It is the foundation upon which to have children; that is the purpose of marriage – having children. Yes, marriage can be and is fulfilling for the couple but ultimately it is a relationship that will produce children, assuming physical or medical limitations do not preclude the potential to have children.
Some may argue that it is unfair to homosexuals to exclude them from marrying; they do not have control over their genes and biology. No research has clearly shown that homosexuality is completely caused by genes. There sometimes is a predisposition to homosexuality because of how certain genes are expressed; however, genetics explains relatively little of the total variance in homosexuality. In other words, there are a lot of other factors that are involved in why someone is homosexual. Is a genetic predisposition for some people enough of a reason to redefine marriage? No.
Some people might have a genetic disposition towards violence but our laws do not excuse abuse or assault or murder just because someone might have some genes that predispose them to violence. Many people with such genes (assuming they exist) find more acceptable ways to express those tendencies (e.g., boxing, or football, or the military, or rock climbing, etc.). Maybe someone else has a gene that predisposes them to lie and steal. Neither are generally acceptable behaviors and our legal system does not and should not try to redefine stealing as taking something from someone else without their permission except if the thief has the “thief gene”. A person might have the genetic predisposition for alcoholism but that doesn’t mean they will or should become alcoholic. It doesn’t excuse that behavior. All it takes for them to avoid alcoholism is abstinence. The same applies to anyone who might have genetic homosexual tendencies. Some may argue that violence and murder and lying and stealing all hurt other people but homosexual behavior doesn’t and same-sex marriage wouldn’t. Just because there might not be immediate consequences does not mean there will be no consequences. Redefining marriage is attacking the basic fiber of society.
Homosexuality also doesn’t make evolutionary sense because it stops genetic material from being passed on. Yes, it might fulfill some needs of some individuals but it takes some serious wrangling of the theory of evolution and some serious leaps in and lapses of logic to explain how homosexuality could fit in with the theory of evolution.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently published an article explaining their position on marriage. I’ll reprint a few main points from the article:
- “The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference.”
- “The Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility towards homosexual men and women. Protecting marriage between a man and a woman does not affect Church members’ Christian obligations of love, kindness and humanity toward all people.”
- “Tolerance obviously requires a non-contentious manner of relating toward one another’s differences. But tolerance does not require abandoning one’s standards or one’s opinions on political or public policy choices. Tolerance is a way of reacting to diversity, not a command to insulate it from examination.”
- “Legalizing same-sex marriage will affect a wide spectrum of government activities and policies. Once a state government declares that same-sex unions are a civil right, those governments almost certainly will enforce a wide variety of other policies intended to ensure that there is no discrimination against same-sex couples. This may well place ‘church and state on a collision course.'”
- “Marriage is fundamentally an unselfish act: legally protected because only a male and female together can create new life, and because the rearing of children requires a life-long commitment, which marriage is intended to provide. Societal recognition of same-sex marriage cannot be justified simply on the grounds that it provides self-fulfillment to its partners, for it is not the purpose of government to provide legal protection to every possible way in which individuals may pursue fulfillment.”
We are faced with a fundamental shift in our society. It has serious societal and political ramifications. I urge anyone who can to get as involved as they are able in standing up for the protection of marriage.