Peter Sprigg: Marriage protection

April 18, 2012 

Marriage protection

David Blankenhorn and Elizabeth Marquardt are distinguished family scholars, but their April 11 Point of View article opposing North Carolina's proposed marriage amendment is illogical. If, as they say, “marriage is a uniquely important institution that unites mothers and fathers to their children,” then it is worth not only a unique name, but a unique set of benefits. This hardly leaves homosexual couples and their children “outside of the protection of our laws.”

Homosexuals who have biological or adopted children have the same rights as any other parent. Inheritance issues can be addressed through a will. Medical decision-making can be addressed through a health care proxy, and North Carolina recently passed a law addressing concerns about hospital visitation. The state’s proposed marriage amendment explicitly permits such private contractual arrangements.

Society gives benefits to marriage because marriage benefits society. Since same-sex relationships can never give to society the two key social benefits of heterosexual marriage (natural procreation, and both a mother and father for the resulting children), there is no reason to give same-sex couples legal benefits simply based on their sexual union. North Carolina’s marriage amendment does exactly what is needed to protect marriage – the institution and the word.

Peter Sprigg

Senior Fellow for Policy Studies

Family Research Council

Washington

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