Standing Up for the Divine Institution of Marriage

Definitions in dictionaries reflect common usage of words. As such, definitions may change over time (which is what same-sex “marriage” advocates are trying to do with the definition of marriage; in fact, if you look up the word marriage in many online dictionaries, it’s already been changed to reflect the application of “marriage” to same-sex unions; however, online versions of dictionaries change much faster than printed versions). The Oxford English Dictionary, often viewed as the definitive source for meanings of English words (in the print edition), has this as the definition of marriage in its online version (which will have to suffice for now): “The condition of being a husband or wife.” This is further modified by “A particular instance of matrimony between a husband and wife.” As a verb: “The procedure by which two people become husband and wife.”

Now, some cultures also allow marriage between one man and multiple women (or very rarely, between one woman and multiple men). In these cases, marriage is still between people of the opposite sex. Marriage has never meant anything but that – a union between male and female (of course, I’m open to information about instances in history where this was not the case).

In the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights it states, “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State” (Ariticle 16{3}). Marriage is the way to form a family (and family implies children).

Now quoting from The Divine Institution of Marriage:

Marriage is not primarily a contract between individuals to ratify their affections and provide for mutual obligations. Rather, marriage and family are vital instruments for rearing children and teaching them to become responsible adults. While governments did not invent marriage, throughout the ages governments of all types have recognized and affirmed marriage as an essential institution in preserving social stability and perpetuating life itself. Hence, regardless of whether marriages were performed as a religious rite or a civil ceremony, married couples in almost every culture have been granted special benefits aimed primarily at sustaining their relationship and promoting the environment in which children are reared. A husband and a wife do not receive these benefits to elevate them above any other two people who may share a residence or social tie, but rather in order to preserve, protect, and defend the all-important institutions of marriage and family.

It is true that some couples who marry will not have children, either by choice or because of infertility, but the special status of marriage is nonetheless closely linked to the inherent powers and responsibilities of procreation, and to the inherent differences between the genders. Co-habitation under any guise or title is not a sufficient reason for defining new forms of marriage.

I reiterate, changing marriage to include same-sex relationships is a drastic change to the institution that is the “fundamental group unit of society.” As The Divine Institution of Marriage states: “In recent years in the United States and other countries, a movement has emerged to promote same-sex marriage as an inherent or constitutional right. This is not a small step, but a radical change: instead of society tolerating or accepting private, consensual sexual behavior between adults, advocates of same-sex marriage seek its official endorsement and recognition.”

I’m not opposed to same-sex couples receiving “[rights of]¬†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” (from The Divine Institution of Marriage). I’m just opposed to marriage being redefined to include same-sex relationships. My position is not one that attacks others, I’m just trying to defend the institution of marriage. This position is sometimes labelled as bigoted and prejudiced but it’s not. I do not condone any hatred or hostility towards homosexual women or men.

Marriage is a sacred institution. Marriage and families are the foundation of civilized societies. Again, this post isn’t about attacking others, I’m standing up for families and marriage.

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