Point of View

John Long: The case for the marriage amendment

March 23, 2012 

— There has been an obvious concerted effort across our country to extend marriage to homosexuals. The idea is that homosexuals are just like other people. They just love people of their own gender. They have the same capability to have lengthy, committed relationships as heterosexuals. Why not allow them to marry, with the same rights currently afforded men and women in traditional marriages?

For those who either recently arrived on a spaceship or have simply forgotten, I will lay out the very straightforward reasons.

For most of my lifetime, gay marriage was never a consideration. Neither was it a consideration for all but the last few decades of human history. Even during the sexual revolution of the 1960s and ’70s, homosexuality never seriously entered into the equation. Those who are currently creating the synthetic demand for homosexual marriage forget the fact that, only a few decades ago, homosexuality itself was never mentioned in polite company.

That is because the very definition of marriage has always been “one man, one woman and their children,” with emphasis on the children. The reason for marriage has always been children. It is a covenant between a man and a woman to remain together in order to raise their children, with the realization that a loving, stable and lengthy relationship between a man and a woman is the best platform upon which to raise healthy, well-adjusted children.

Couples who remain childless are nevertheless included in this institution because of the possibility of adoption or helping to raise the children of others.

Thus, marriage equals one man, one woman and their children. Note that this is very different from marriage equals two people of the same gender who are unable to create mutual offspring. In other words, heterosexual couples with the probability of having children are not the same as homosexual couples with no possibility of having children of their own. The only reason this is even considered a possibility is because of the steady, repetitious attempts to redefine the term “marriage.”

Redefining a term that is inherently tied to reproduction so that it excludes the possibility of reproduction is like saying a fish needs a bicycle. Thus, marriage should not be extended to homosexuals simply because marriage does not include the concept of homosexuality.

That leads to the second reason for prohibiting same-sex marriage. Whether you believe in the wisdom of a Creator God or the wisdom of evolution, mankind consists of two genders. Those genders exist for a reason: to reproduce. Either the wisdom of God or the wisdom of evolutionary progression left us with a state where we cannot reproduce without the participation of a man and a woman. Same-sex marriage simply tries to ignore that fact.

Third, regardless of whether you accept the homosexual lifestyle, same-sex couples simply do not provide the right foundation for raising children. Studies have shown that children do best when both a (female) mother and (male) father are present. The different genders both provide equally important aspects of parenting. If one parent is missing, it is suboptimal, but workable. But it is much worse if there is an overemphasis on one gender, as would be the case in a same-sex marriage. All of the weaknesses of a single gender are multiplied in a same-sex marriage.

Finally, same-sex marriage would not strengthen marriage but weaken it. Increased rates of infidelity and divorce have weakened marriage in the last half of the 20th century, and the prospects aren’t looking very rosy. Yet studies have shown that same-sex unions in Europe: 1) exhibit more infidelity than traditional marriages and 2) do not last as long as heterosexual marriages. Extending marriage to same-sex couples would only increase and accelerate the weakening trend in marriage today.

It is important to note that, should traditional marriage be upheld in North Carolina, no one’s rights will be curtailed. The law in North Carolina has always been between a man and a woman. Same-sex couples cannot legally marry now. The Marriage Amendment will only uphold what has already been in effect. No one’s rights will be lost.

We are faced with voting for the N.C. Marriage Amendment, which favors a traditional definition of marriage, or abandoning sociological science, the basic need for the different genders and thousands of years of established definition of marriage to vote for a cultural experiment. Clear-thinking North Carolinians will vote May 8 to protect and uphold the traditional definition of marriage that we have always known.

John Long is a software engineer and author who lives in Raleigh.

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