Heterosexual marriage is affirmed by nature and the natural law of procreation.  Virtually every culture has affirmed the role of heterosexual marriage.  There is a reason.  It works.  Males and females function together in a particular role that sustains and provides health to the human race.  Men and women are uniquely designed to complement each other physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Marriage is the means for melding the two sexes into a stronger and more complete whole.  Marriage is also the way societies both protect women from predatory males and socialize men.  People can call anything they want marriage, but they can’t change the structure of reality. One of the centralities about marriage, that it is grounded in heterosexual intercourse, is something that gay people cannot have.  Destroying marriage and family will lead to the destruction of our society as we know it.  “Marriage as a universal social institution is grounded in certain universal features of human nature. When men and women have sex, they make babies. Reproduction may be optional for individuals, but it is not optional for societies. Societies that fail to have ‘enough’ babies fail to survive. And babies are most likely to grow to functioning adulthood when they have the care and attention of both their mother and their father.”  Maggie Gallager, St Thomas Univ. Law Journal 2004

Families confer enormous benefits on society.  History, nature, social science, anthropology, religion, and theology all coalesce in vigorous support of marriage as it has always been understood: a life-long union of male and female for the purpose of creating stable families.  Research over the past 50 years consistently shows that married couples benefit from substantially elevated levels of personal well-being, including increased physical and mental health, greater success in recovering from illness, higher levels of overall happiness, greater success and productivity in the workplace, higher levels of earnings and savings, greater sexual satisfaction, avoidance of serious disease as well as addictive and destructive behaviors, greater educational attainment and college attendance. Similarly, children of stable, intact marriages have better outcomes than their counterparts from unmarried families. Married adults and their children are also less likely to have trouble with the law and are less likely to suffer from domestic violence, including physical and sexual abuse.  Of course, these facts have direct and substantial public policy implications. Marriage decreases the serious and nearly insupportable case loads of our over-burdened heath-care, criminal justice, education, welfare systems, as well as decreasing substance abuse, domestic violence and sexual abuse rates and the costs for treating them.  Clearly, marriage is not just a private affair.  Every marriage is a public virtue in that it responsibly regulates human sexuality, brings the two parts of humanity together in a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship and it delivers mothers and fathers to children. Society benefits from the well-being of marriage; nearly every dollar spent by our government on social welfare is in reaction to a marriage breaking down or failing to form. Good things happen when we honor what marriage is.  Bad things happen when we try to change it.  The mountain of social science research tells us marriage is a serious and valuable community treasure. Ultimately and inevitably, the future and the health of humanity rests upon the health and future of marriage.  Hillary Clinton wrote in her book It Takes a Village, “Every society requires a critical mass of families that fit the traditional ideal, both to meet the needs of most children and to serve as a model for other adults who are raising children in difficult settings.  We are at risk of losing that critical mass in America today.”  President Bush has commented, “The union of a man and woman in marriage is the most enduring and important human institution. For ages, in every culture, human beings have understood that marriage is critical to the well-being of families. And because families pass along values and shape character, marriage is also critical to the health of society. Our policies should aim to strengthen families, not undermine them. And changing the definition of marriage would undermine the family structure.”

Heterosexual marriage is affirmed by religion.  The five major world religions, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism recognize and uphold the traditional understanding of marriage and clearly teach that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for our happiness.  By contrast, these religions teach that homosexual behavior is sinful or wrong.  While sexual orientation is not addressed by the Bible, sexual actions outside the bonds of marriage are clearly prohibited.  Additionally, in Christian doctrine, marriage typifies Christ’s (the Bridegroom’s) relationship with his church (the Bride).  Doctrinally, adherents to these faiths cannot ignore this issue.

The law is a guide, instructing us about what is right and what is wrong.  Same-sex marriage proponents understand that the real power of the law is to ultimately change the culture.  Legalizing homosexual marriage will send the wrong message to society and to the next generation.  Law exists to ensure justice, but it also exists to ensure social well-being. To this end, law must encourage certain behaviors among others because certain behaviors contribute to higher levels of social well-being.  As noted earlier, marriage does this.  Thus the law has historically favored one group of people over others by encouraging one set of behaviors over others.  Consider the following behaviors that are favored and encouraged by public policy: home ownership, retirement investment, charitable giving, college attendance via Pell Grants, and job training.  It is not that people who participate in these institutions and activities are ‘better’ than others. It is simply that the government has a compelling interest in encouraging such behavior and therefore it offers incentives to encourage their practice.  Conversely, public policy discourages other behaviors via heavy taxation: alcohol use, tobacco use, and gasoline consumption.  People who use such products are not ‘bad.’ Society simply benefits when such behaviors are kept to a minimum.  Such ‘inequities’ in the law are not the result of ‘discrimination’ but exist in the service of individual and societal well-being.

Legalizing same-sex marriage will lead to a loss of religious liberties and freedom of speech.  In Canada and Sweden, courts are now ruling that the Bible is hate speech.  This is also already being pursued in the United states (see the article about the man who is suing the Zondervan publishing company, arguing that the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality constitutes hate speech.) Also, only months after legalizing same-sex ‘marriage’ in Canada, activists there successfully passed C-250, a bill criminalizing public statements against homosexuality, punishable by up to two years in prison.  At some point, religious leaders will likely lose their right to speak out on this issue, be forced to perform homosexual weddings, or face fines or imprisonment for non-compliance.  Churches and pastors who refuse to conduct same-sex marriages would be in danger of losing their tax-exempt status (on 10/7/07, the Ocean Grove Camp Ground, New Jersey, owned by Methodists, lost its tax-exempt status for refusing to host a same-sex ‘wedding’ in its marriage pavilion—proof that such a scenario is equally likely in California should same-sex marriage become the law); also, churches and pastors would be compelled to hire homosexual pastors and staff or face penalties for violations of anti-discriminatory laws.  A ‘Joint Advisory’ was recently sent out by nine gay & lesbian organizations cautioning their members not to launch lawsuits now; not yet at least. They are instructing their members to lay low and not stir up trouble.  They do not want to risk pressing the issue and possibly steering the undecided towards support of the amendment.

Social experiments are costly and devastating to the health of humans and societies.  It is a superficial kind of individualism that does not recognize the power of emerging social trends that often start with only a few individuals bucking conventional patterns of behavior. Negative social trends start with only a few aberrations. Gradually, however, social sanctions weaken and individual aberrations become a torrent.  Think back to the 1960s, when illegitimacy and cohabitation were relatively rare. At that time many asked how one young woman having a baby out of wedlock or living with an unmarried man could hurt their neighbors. Now we know the negative social effects these two living arrangements have spawned: lower marriage rates, more instability in the marriages that are enacted, more fatherless children, increased rates of domestic violence and poverty, and a vast expansion of welfare state expenses.  The sexual revolution, abortion, no-fault divorce, etc. are testaments to that fact, all having led to a surge in unwed pregnancies, single parent homes, and welfare-dependence.  There will certainly be unintended and unforeseen consequences to such a radical overhaul of marriage.  “Forty years ago everybody thought [no-fault] divorce was the solution to everyone's problems, and it was not going to be harmful to adults and children. It was going to be beneficial to them.  We have 40 years of data on the fallout of the divorce culture and social scientists all across the political spectrum, religious and atheist, are pretty much agreed that divorce is not a minor blimp on the developmental landscape.  I think we're going to find that the fallout of this in terms of people's development is probably not entirely what we expected.”  (Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, “Civil Unions: Would Marriage By Any Other Name Be The Same?" Christianity Today, 3/01/2004.)  Maggie Gallagher incisively wrote, “Marriage is not an option, it is a precondition to survival.”

If we redefine marriage now, it will be even more drastically redefined in the near future.  There would be no reason to stop with same-sex marriage.  Several Utah cases have recently tried to argue that polygamy should fit in the definition of marriage (citing the 2003 case Lawrence v. Texas, which ruled that sodomy is constitutionally protected thus legalizing sodomy for the first time in our country’s history).  With the passage of same-sex marriage, all of that will only be more likely.  And why not incestual marriage, group marriage, or marriage with an animal?  As far-fetched as that may sound, there would be no basis for stopping any reformulation of marriage.  The Weekly Standard writer Stanley Kurtz has reported on the coming popularity of something called polyamory, or ‘group marriage’. Already polyamory is on the cutting edge in family law, and is promoted by professors at some of our nation’s leading universities.  Kurtz explains that this group marriage movement is marching down the same trail blazed by the same-sex proponents.  “Marriage will be transformed into a variety of relationship contracts, linking two, three or more individuals (however weakly or temporarily) in every conceivable combination of male and female...the bottom of this slope is visible from where we now stand.”  Law Professor Martha Ertman of the University of Utah, for example, wants to render the distinction between traditional marriage and polyamory ‘morally neutral.’ She argues that greater openness to gay partnerships will help us establish this moral neutrality (Her main article on this topic, in the Winter 2001 Harvard Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law Review, is not available online, but she made a similar case in the Spring/Summer 2001 Duke Journal Of Gender Law & Policy).  University of Michigan law professor David Chambers wrote in a widely cited 1996 Michigan Law Review piece that he expects gay marriage will lead government to be “more receptive to [marital] units of three or more” (1996 Michigan Law Review).  Once same-sex marriage is legalized, it will be constitutionally impossible to prevent this ‘Mr. Potato Head’ manipulation of marriage where individual preferences govern its makeup.

Government and industry would be forced to provide health and legal benefits for any grouping of people who declare themselves to be ‘married’ under these laws, or more likely, court decisions. Most businesses would not be able to afford such health-care benefits, particularly in the case of ‘group’ marriages.  In fact, in this brave new world, what would keep two heterosexual single moms—or even six of them—from “marrying” simply so they can receive family health, tax and social security benefits together? The increased cost to business and government would be crippling.

Legalizing gay marriage will destroy the institution of marriage altogether.  There cannot be two kinds of marriage.  Redefining marriage as any union of any sort between any couple or group will snuff out its uniqueness, and marriage will become what homosexual activists want it to become, meaningless.  Instead of a legal organization that, by its nature, confers societal benefits, it will become simply a piece of paper, a contractual arrangement.  Moreover, homosexual relationships are rarely monogamous.  As the first gay couple married in Massachusetts explained to the press, “...it’s possible to have more than one person and have more than one partner...In our case, we have an open marriage” thus openly rejecting the foundational concept of marriage as a commitment to one person for life.  "Among gay male relationships, the openness of the contract makes it more likely to survive than many heterosexual bonds,” Andrew Sullivan, the most eloquent proponent of gay marriage, wrote in his 1996 book, Virtually Normal. "There is more likely to be a greater understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman. … Something of the gay relationship's necessary honesty, its flexibility, and its equality could undoubtedly help strengthen and inform many heterosexual bonds.”  The former moderator of the Metropolitan Community Church, a largely homosexual denomination, made the same point. "Monogamy is not a word the gay community uses,”  Troy Perry told The Dallas Morning News. "We talk about fidelity. That means you live in a loving, caring, honest relationship with your partner. Because we can't marry, we have people with widely varying opinions as to what that means. Some would say that committed couples could have multiple sexual partners as long as there's no deception.”  A recent study from the Netherlands, where gay marriage is legal, suggests that the moderator is correct. Researchers found that even among stable homosexual partnerships, men have an average of eight partners per year outside their ‘monogamous’ relationship.  In a recent US study of over 100 male homosexual couples that had been together for more than five years, none of them had been sexually monogamous or exclusive.  The authors of this report, themselves a gay couple, argued that for male couples, sexual monogamy is a passing stage of ‘internalized homophobia,’ and that many homosexual males distinguish between emotional fidelity and sexual exclusivity.  Apparently, emotional and not physical faithfulness matters (Jones & Yarhouse, 110).  In other words, they are free to have other sexual partners as long as they are not emotionally attached to them.  Clearly, gay marriage will abolish marriage as we know it.

Children will be significantly disadvantaged.  Most gay couples raising children are women. However, we know from a myriad of intercultural and cross-cultural research that the most egalitarian societies and families are the ones where fathers are involved in hands-on nurtured childcare.  Several researchers note that over 10,000 studies show that children do better with fathers.  Children raised without fathers suffer from much higher levels of physical and mental illness, educational failure, poverty, substance abuse, criminal behavior, loneliness, as well as physical and sexual abuse.  Children living apart from both biological parents are eight times more likely to die of maltreatment than children living with their mother.  Risk of maltreatment death was elevated for children residing with step, foster, or adoptive parents.  It is critical to note that it is impossible for a child living in a same-sex parented family to live with both biological parents. It should deeply concern us that that child will be living in one of these family forms that increases risk of death by maltreatment.  Research published in the journal Child Abuse and Neglect found that a girl is seven times more likely to be molested by a stepfather than a biological father. The study goes on to report that when biological fathers did molest their young daughters, a mother was not residing in the home who could protect the child. What is more, the nature of sexual abuse by stepfathers was more severe than by biological fathers.  Every little boy in a male same-sex home will be living with at least one non-biological father as well as with a biological father without a protective mother present. The research says this child will be in much greater danger than a boy or girl living with a married mother and father. “The ‘gender injustice’ of fatherlessness is already a problem in today's society without gay marriage . . . I don't think we should add to the possibility that there would be more of it.” (Dr. Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, Christianity Today, 3/1/2004 “Civil Unions: Would Marriage By Any Other Name Be The Same?" link above).  Research has also shown that children raised by homosexuals were more dissatisfied with their own gender, suffer a greater rate of molestation within the family, and have homosexual experiences more often.  Gay marriage will also encourage teens who are unsure of their sexuality to embrace a lifestyle that suffers high rates of suicide, depression, HIV, drug abuse, STDs, and other pathogens. This is particularly alarming because, according to a 1991 scientific survey among 12-year-old boys, more than 25 percent feel uncertain about their sexual orientations. We have already seen that lesbianism is "chic" in certain elite social sectors.  Finally, acceptance of gay marriage will strengthen the notion that marriage is primarily about adult yearnings for intimacy and is not essentially connected to raising children. Children will be hurt by those who will too easily bail out of a marriage because it is not "fulfilling" to them.  Pitirim Sorikin, founder and first chair of the Sociology Department at Harvard, proclaimed the importance of married parents some fifty years ago.  “The most essential sociocultural patterning of a newborn human organism is achieved by the family.  It is the first and most efficient sculptor of human material, shaping the physical, behavioral, mental, moral and sociocultural characteristics of practically every individual. …From remotest past, married parents have been the most effective teachers of their children.”  The Center for Law and Social Policy, a child advocacy organization, recently reported “Most researchers now agree that…studies support the notion that, on average, children do best when raised by their two married biological parents”  Child Trends reports “An extensive body of research tells us that children do best when they grow up with both biological parents.”  Much of the value mothers and fathers bring to their children is due to the fact that mothers and fathers are different.  And by cooperating together and complementing each other in their differences, they provide these good things that same-sex caregivers cannot.  Father love and mother love are qualitatively different kinds of love.  Children need mom’s softness as well as dad’s roughhousing; mother’s cuddling and father’s wrestling; her caution/security and his risk-taking; her coddling and his encouraging independence and growth;  his justice and her mercy (see an excellent article by Glenn Stanton on this issue, and another one here.

Gay marriage will change not only the development of children, it will change society's entire concept of parenthood. Because gay couples cannot produce children on their own, hopeful parents may seek to ‘rent wombs’ and deny children the right to know their biological parents. "It is going to be increasingly possible to produce, buy, and sell children, because in addition to adoption, that is the only way homosexual couples can 'have' children." (James Skillen, Christianity Today, 3/01/2004, referenced above.)