For the past ten years,[i] both state legislatures and the courts have heard the concerns of a steady stream of activists agitating for an "expansion" in the definition of traditional marriage. The ACLU, GLAAD, and other pro-homosexual activists argue for an overturning of the status quo on the grounds of individual rights, and through the assertion that legalized homosexual unions pose no threat to the institution of traditional marriage.
However, to approach this from the perspective of individual rights misses the point; the family unit shapes the individual; the family unit is the building block of society. The legalization and promotion of homosexual marriage threatens the integrity of the family by compromising the institution of marriage.
One might well begin by asking, why is family so important? Family is founded upon the institution of marriage; marriage was ordained by God. According to Genesis 2:24, "...a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."[ii]
Within the loving confines of the family, children are provided with both physical safety and financial security. As John Buethe of Men Against Discrimination notes,
"Two parents working together as a family also provided an economic unit that could build wealth. The family concept working together raising children and building wealth is the building block of community and civilization."[iii]
Additionally, studies by the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy demonstrate that the family unit is instrumental in the emotional and psychological health of children. Their findings indicate that marriage "increases the likelihood that children enjoy close relationships with their parents."[iv] Children who are raised in homes with a married mother and father are more likely to be emotionally well-adjusted, less likely to commit crimes, are less likely to engage in substance abuse, and tend to be more physically healthy.
The research center Child Trends agrees: "Research confirms that children develop best in families formed by both biological parents in a low-conflict marriage."[v]
God ordained that it should be so, for it is traditionally
through the family unit that children are taught about God. As Proverbs 22:6 states,
"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn
The viability of the family unit is dependent upon the
strength of the institution of marriage. Unfortunately, the rise of the
homosexual movement threatens to erode the bedrock of traditional marriage by
sweeping away the definition of a "one man, one woman" union and replacing it
with something rather more fluid.
Mary Ann Glendon points out that, at its core, expanding the definition of marriage to include homosexual relationships changes the focus of marriage. The family unit exists to protect, nurture, and raise children; homosexual marriage is a thing contrived "primarily for the benefit of adults."[vii]
David Blankenhorn demonstrates that there is a correlation between the rise in same-sex marriage and the weakening of traditional marriage by going straight to the source--he cites the advocates of homosexual marriage. As Blankenhorn puts it, "the deep logic of same-sex marriage is clearly consistent with what scholars call deinstitutionalization--the overturning or weakening of all of the customary forms of marriage, and the dramatic shrinking of marriage's public meaning and institutional authority. Does deinstitutionalization necessarily require gay marriage? Apparently not. For decades heterosexuals have been doing a fine job on that front all by themselves. But gay marriage clearly presupposes and reinforces deinstitutionalization."[viii]
While many take comfort in the knowledge that most Americans
oppose same-sex marriage and forty-one states currently have enacted Defense of
Marriage acts, the danger to the status quo is greater than it appears. A
The Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution requires that rights granted to the citizens of one state must be recognized by law in other states. In effect, as long as homosexual marriage is legal in one state, it has the potential to threaten traditional marriage in the other forty-nine states.
If the institution of homosexual marriage extends to other
states, the next step will be to "educate" children on the "normal, healthy"
nature of homosexual relationships. In fact, in some parts of the country the
re-education process has already begun. The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education
Network is a nationwide organization that aims to push a positive view of
homosexuality on pre-teen and teenage students. In 2000, A Boston affiliate
chapter of GLSEN held a conference at
Despite the efforts of homosexual activists, the family unit
continues to function as