I’ve written pretty thoroughly on the subject of protecting marriage. Here’s the basic list again:
- Defining Marriage and Making Cream Sauce (I co-authored with Richard Wilkins)
- Devaluing Marriage and Family--Part I, Part II, Part III
So today, I’m just commenting on some of what we’re seeing in the Supreme Court’s hearing of oral arguments, Tuesday on the Prop 8 California case, and Wednesday on the federal DOMA law.
Some of the difficulty is the media wording of the issues, so I think I’ll do a little translation.
Banning is the wrong word. To ban something, the something must exist first. No one is “banning” same-sex “marriage”; they are defending the definition marriage has always had—since before the state existed to codify it in law. Technically, California claims same-sex “marriage” existed there and was then “banned,” but that’s disingenuous. The people of the state of California voted to keep the definition, and the legislature decided to ignore them, so, before the legislation went into effect, the people of the state put forth a proposition to change the constitution to retain the original definition of marriage and won by majority vote. And then judges flouted the decision, granting marriage licenses to people who didn’t qualify for said licenses, leading to the court cases at issue now. So, every time you hear the word ban, know that it is the result of media manipulating public opinion.
“Same-sex marriage” is an oxymoron. Marriage, real marriage, concerns the legal and societal concern with what happens because of a specific sexual act, and only that act. To be blunt, a marriage is only consummated once the couple engages in the male sexual organ penetrating the female sexual organ, making possible egg fertilization. If a married couple engages in any other type of mutually voluntary sexual behavior, the state is simply uninterested. The reason is that this particular sex act is what leads to procreation, which is of vital interest to society, including the vulnerability caused by procreation, especially to children but also to mothers.
Oral arguments Tuesday touched on the procreation issue, but only awkwardly. What about couples who are infertile? What about couples marrying too late in life to procreate? (Justice Kagan asked about marriage after age 55, for example, apparently unaware that history offers many examples of people 55 or older becoming parents.) Those questions are not for the court to be concerned with; those are medical questions. Those couples can still marry, because they can still engage in the sex act. And they can establish permanent families going forward. Couples that fail to consummate the marriage can have the contract annulled, meaning that because they do not include the behavior of concern, their relationship does not qualify as marriage.
I don’t know why the simple question isn’t posed to same-sex couples: “Do you intend to engage in male/female sexual intercourse required for marriage? And how do you intend to do that without the appropriate body parts?” Their issue isn’t infertility. Mostly they are fertile. They are simply not engaging in the act with an appropriate partner to qualify for marriage.
There is not now, and has not been, any law “banning” homosexuals from marrying—when marrying means engaging in the singular male/female sex act that can lead to procreation, God willing. Homosexuals raising children have all either engaged in that act, or they have adopted a child produced through the coming together of someone else’s male and female seed. Even in the growing business of female homosexuals using in vitro fertilization, they can’t combine their egg with the egg of their partner; they have to have the semen from a male donor. There is no physiological way for this couple to produce offspring together. This basic fact of life ought to be obvious.
The supposed gotcha question of those seeking to redefine marriage is, “How does a same-sex ‘marriage’ harm your heterosexual marriage?” And the assumption is that there is no harm, so there is no answer. But that is incorrect. There’s enough to say on that to wait for another post.