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  • Yet Another Attack on Marriage

    Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin debate on legislation that would repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

    In 1996, Congress passed DOMA by wide margins, and President Clinton signed the bill into law. DOMA defines marriage as one man and one woman for purposes of federal law and makes clear that no state is required to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state.

    In July, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on legislation that would repeal DOMA.

    Austin Nimocks, senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, explained at the hearing that “children are the product of sexual relationships between men and women” and that “men and women each bring something important and unique to the table of parenting.” Therefore, Nimocks argued, “this government maintains a compelling interest in protecting and preserving the institution of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

    Similar arguments for marriage were articulated in a House committee hearing on marriage in April. Maggie Gallagher, president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, testified that “there is a unique public interest involved in bringing together male and female to make and raise the next generation.”

    Gallagher explained, “Marriage is the union of a husband and wife for a reason. These are the only unions that can create new lives and connect those children in love to their mother and father.”

    Written testimony submitted by former Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Chuck Donovan made a similar point. The public has a “stake,” Donovan explained, in the “time-honored” and “nearly universal” character of marriage “as an institution designed to bring men and women together and orient them toward their responsibilities in the begetting, bearing, and raising of the next generation.”

    In sum, as one source puts it, “Protecting marriage as the faithful and lifelong union of one man and one woman is critical to the common good.” DOMA, in turn, is a critical federal protection for marriage. Therefore, the public has a strong interest in public officials upholding and defending DOMA as the law of the land.

    Even people who feel ambivalent about the traditional understanding of marriage, however, have strong reasons to support marriage as one man as one woman. These reasons focus on how same-sex marriage threatens religious freedom.

    As this Heritage backgrounder explains,

    Arguments for same-sex marriage, although often couched in terms of tolerance and inclusion, are based fundamentally on the idea that preserving marriage as unions of husband and wife is a form of bigotry, irrational prejudice, and even hatred against homosexual persons who want the state to license their relationships. As increasing numbers of individuals and institutions, including public officials and governmental bodies, embrace this ideology, belief in marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman likely will come to be viewed as an unacceptable form of discrimination that should be purged from public life through legal, cultural, and economic pressure.

    As documented in Heritage publications available here and here, changes in law based on the ideology that support for marriage as one man and one woman is bigotry would threaten the religious liberties of individuals and institutions that interact with the government or become subject to nondiscrimination laws.

    In addition, once this ideology seeps into the culture more generally, individuals and institutions that support marriage as the union of husband and wife risk paying a price for that belief in many legal, social, economic, and cultural contexts.

    In California, for example, support for Proposition 8—the marriage amendment passed by voters in 2008—generated a range of hostilities and harms including “harassment, intimidation, vandalism, racial scapegoating, blacklisting, loss of employment, economic hardships, angry protests, violence, at least one death threat, and gross expressions of anti-religious bigotry.”

    For more stories of people who have faced significant burdens for supporting marriage as the union of husband and wife, see the Web site of the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance, a new initiative that defends people who defend marriage.

    The best policy is to defend marriage as the union of husband and wife. This policy promotes the public interest in strong families and avoids the kinds of religious freedom and cultural clashes that can undermine social peace in an increasingly pluralistic society.


    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to Yet Another Attack on Marriage

    1. bricks96 says:

      This article strongly suggests that only a man and woman capable of producing offspring should be granted marriage licenses and recognized by this government. Should the government recognize marriages of an elderly couple? Or how about if one member of the couple is infertile? Or is it ok to let those cases "fall through the crack," since it would be too daunting on the government to regulate marriages based on who can actually bare and raise children?

      • West Texan says:

        Heterosexual marriages of husband and wife are simply more stabilizing to society than are husband and husband, or wife and wife relationships. This said, homosexual couples should be recognized as lawful family units much like with children and their parents. It just wouldn't qualify as being a marriage.

        • evermyrtle says:

          GOD promotes one man one woman marriage. HE created the universe and everything contained therein. HE is the first and the last, who has a right to decide. However, many demoralizing and unGODLY things have to take place before HIS SON returns to claim those who are true Christians. Because of HIS destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, because of this very act many time over, this thing has to come to full bloom before he JESUS returns. The time is very near.

      • ECV says:

        The form of marriage has always been one man, one woman. So why not recognize all such relationships as marriage as long as they are formalized. Your next question suggest that somehow the government should keep track of the fertility of individual couples and forcibly separate those who appear to be or are infertile. This is a ludicrous and untenable extension of government into people's lives. I'm surprised you haven't already figured that out. BTW, some people may appear to be infertile and then after many years, a pregnancy occurs without intervention. In any case, infertile couples still are in the form of marriage and may adopt children, given those children both a mother and a father. There is a fully rational distinction with a difference between opposite sex couple and same-sex couples…therefore it cannot be considered discrimination to oppose same-sex marriage. Bigotry is irrational, FTI.

    2. Ron Swaren says:

      We know this is going to be a 10-8 partisan split. I don't want to pester Republicans who are already against it, and I know the democrats are going to be implacable. I could send a communication to each Republican Senator encouraging them to remain firm. Is there anything else that a citizen can do at this juncture? Many of us can send word out on email lists, but what is really possible for us to do at this point. I think my ultimate hope is that it would not get through the US House of Representatives.

    3. Equal rights says:

      The ridiculousness of this logic is incredible. This argument cannot hold up in the court of law. In fact, one of the most conservative attorneys is fighting DOMA via Prop 8 reversal. Over hundreds of years marriage has evolved into a social contract, with legal benfits that have nothing to do with pro-creation. If gay are denied the same social contract, then their equal rights are being denied. Simple. Get over it people.

      • evermyrtle says:

        Equal????…..There is no way to get over GOD'S WORD! It is here to stay and says nothing about equal rights while doing evil. There is a penalty, no matter who we may be, who either commits the evil or promotes the evil. I really think it is time you get over the fact that GOD'S LAWS will prevail.

      • jturning says:

        Not only is homosexuality against nature, God said its an abomination. A man and woman come together in marriage and become one flesh to procreate and produce children. It has always been this way and trying to twist marriage into something else will never work. Homosexuality is cultural, i.e. prison. If society allows homosexuals to redefine marriage, it will only lead to tragedy for those that think its acceptable. There was a study to show children raised by homosexual parents would be no more likely to be homosexual themselves, but contrary to that they were starting to show the children were 4 to 20 more likely to be homosexual. I've watched homosexuals closely as I've known and worked with some, and they lead miserable existences with many dying young. God has explained the truth of homosexuality in Romans 1 so man is without excuse Observe the homosexuals and their lifestyle objectively and you'll see the truth of God's words. The wages of sin is death.

    4. Roger Baxter says:

      This has more to do with decoupling the importance of marriage than it does with homosexual relationships. If the importance of marriage (man & woman) can be deminished, the family is destroyed. More single Moms. How well has that worked out, with the government being the defacto parent?

    5. Bobbie says:

      I'd like to put in a couple of sense here. To be specific, only a man and a woman can naturally procreate. To be more specific, if it was natural to be "gay" humanity wouldn't exist! And ahh, we're penalized for being married so not sure what people who have sexual pleasures with their own kind wants that they feel they have a right to? Why this desperate demand to make a federal case over the unacceptance of the definition of a word is so beneath America. To want such attention to sexual preference and screams to be something you don't fit into, is a bit exhibiting isn't it? Stop America! "gays" don't fit into the definition of marriage!! Hold your horsies!!!!

    6. gary47290 says:

      Nimocks and the ADF are completely illogical. The fact that only male-female couples can produce children is irrelevant. The ban on marriage for same-sex couples harms children because children are being cared for and raised by same-sex couples. And will always continue to be, unless you can solve the problem of irresponsible heterosexuals spawning and abandoning children, and wish to ban adoption, divorce, and assisted fertility technologies.

      • Bobbie says:

        How wrong you are. the balance of 1 of each gender as parents broadens the mind of the life brought into the world. Love from each is twice more fulfilling. Gays only adopt children to use them for their excuse to the right of marriage, after gays accepted to realize the fact that the focus on "marriage" of man and woman creates family. Nobody's perfect and how wrong of people who are gay to judge people under a definition people who are gay aren't defined.

        C. Candide makes a good point. wasting time on personal issues shouldn't be the role of government. Private matters should be kept to ones own. Opening the definition of marriage to anything other than between a man and woman opens many whole cans of worms. Acceptance of a word would help matters.

    7. C. Candide says:

      Wasn't President Obama just yesterday mocking the House for debating non-economy-related bills? Will he tear into the Senate for this? If House Republicans should only be debating the Obama "jobs" bill, shouldn't Senate Democrats be rebuked for spending time to do little else than appease a small group of homosexual activists?

    8. JohnK says:

      What is "illogical" are those of you that try to use your "self" centered logic on "God's" plan. So NO it's obvious you won't understand the sanctity of marriage defined as between 1 man and 1 women. And that is because it "messes" with your humanist agenda. The type of agenda that has this country spiraling out of control because of your arrogant attitudes/behaviors!! You can mock God but there are consequences and this country is seeing many of those!! Sad. But when you think "you are it" then it's to be expected.

    9. It is the law you say, but who's law, it's man's law. Man has passed a law to murder it's babies, 50 million and counting, do you know how big 50 million is ? Every man, woman, child in California, Oregon, Washington, all of the west coast, but it is man's law. Man can pass a law and make same sex marriage legal but it will never be made right. When God says it is wrong it is wrong and man can not change it. Man can not change the Law's of God. Now what part of that do you not understand?

    10. Jason M says:

      This issue raises the question that can marriage be between two individuals and not just a man and woman. I believe that marriage should be
      between a man and woman. It falls in line with the conservative principle of custom and continuity, and that there is an enduring moral order.
      The institution of marriage keeps order and produces the environment which is natural to mankind. I think the article brings up a great point
      when it reads "Donovan explained, in the “time-honored” and “nearly universal” character of marriage “as an institution designed to bring men and
      women together and orient them toward their responsibilities in the begetting, bearing, and raising of the next generation.” Because of the
      faith the founders had, and the principles in the Bible used by the founders, institutions like marriage have to be definitely between a man and
      a woman because of the emphasis on morals and values that need to be carried out by the family and passed on to the future in order to keep
      society from falling.

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