Ten Non-Religious Reasons to Keep Marriage Traditional

The American Thinker 13 Jan 2013
For the purposes of this article, a revisionist seeks to redefine or revise marriage. A traditionalist would like to keep it as one man and one woman.

1. To reproduce, nature favors heterosexuality, not homosexuality.
Recognizing the way of nature, a wise society fosters the one relationship that optimally helps society to thrive and live to see another generation: a man and woman who are able to consummate their relationship with their unique sex act and produce a child. A functioning society is under no obligation to recognize other nonconformist relationships by conferring a special status on them. However, society should protect them from harassment, just as it does for other groups.

2. Nature teaches us to build the family unit and honor gender differences.
Nature is merciless, but she can be wise too. She made humans male and female, so our body parts have a natural coordination that reproduces children. The offspring of this sexual union are also male and female.

3. The essence of marriage is intelligible — it makes the most sense.

Succinctly stated, the essence of marriage is the permanent and exclusive covenant and union of one male and one female who consummate their monogamous commitment by their unique sex act, which is capable (or potentially capable) of producing a child. Nature has made two opposite sexes. Therefore, two parents, one of each sex, raising their own biological son or daughter, are optimal for a healthy society. But, revisionists ask, “Isn’t committed love the essence of marriage?” In reply, love is strong, powerful, and beautiful, particularly when it’s expressed in a commitment. However, this is not enough, either. Two best friends who have been roommates for many years can have a deep (nonphysical) committed love. So can two or more siblings — maybe they enjoy a deeper (nonphysical) committed love than a married couple does. But they’re not marriages.

4. Childless heterosexual married couples reinforce marriage, not redefine it.
These heterosexual childless married couples don’t redefine marriage beyond recognizable parameters. Their heterosexuality — based on male and female anatomy and attraction — is the link to the essence of marriage and reinforces it, not overturns it. They can still consummate it by the unique sex act.

5. Traditional marriage is strong, as is.
But hypothetically, even if marriage were broken, say, at an 80% divorce rate, then marriage still needs to be protected with a special status. This brokenness would not be a reason to redefine it, but to fix it. And if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it by adding other “marriages.”

6. Some certainties should not be rejected or fundamentally transformed.

7. History and democracy matter.
Given this muddled state of affairs, the political elites should no longer determine this issue. I’m willing to trust the people to make the right decision in referenda; I’ll live with the results.

8. Preserving traditional marriage is a virtue, not “homophobia” or bigotry.
Discrimination is harmful, in most cases. However, it’s not widely acknowledged that sometimes discrimination benefits or at least doesn’t harm society. To cite only three examples, the Constitution says a foreign-born person who later becomes an American citizen cannot become president: immigrant “discrimination.” The Constitution says only a person who’s thirty-five or older can become president: “ageism.” In the Olympics, men and women compete separately: “sexism.”

9. Upholding standards against other redefinitions is necessary.
Just a short time ago, homosexuals, who make up about 3.5% to 4.4% of the population, wanted just to be accepted. Fair enough. But now they’re demanding marriage. Then they’re going further. Some gays say that while they have their primary partnership, they allow hook ups with others. “It’s a redefinition of marriage,” says one. Polygamists, who are less than 1% of the U.S. population, are also pushing for marriage. If polygamists win their lawsuit, will polyamorists, who also make up less than 1% of the population, be far behind? So, if you redefine marriage to include homosexual relationships, how can you logically exclude other nonconformists? You can’t.

10. Unmarried civil union is a fair and reasonable compromise.
“I have gay friends and family, and denying them marriage hurts their feelings,” we’re told. Then let’s compromise. After the give-and-take, no one is a hundred percent happy, but no reasonable person is a hundred percent unhappy, either. An unmarried civil union for gays and lesbians is a good compromise. They can have the legal benefits that heterosexual married couples have, like inheriting and hospital visits.

Written by