The Behavioral QuestionI've previously written on biological and medical arguments against homosexual marriage that I believe are incredibly strong and demonstrate how natural marriage is more than just a way to share a life with someone you love. Yet people argue that individuals have the right to define marriage as they see fit. They share the opinion of Chip Arndt and Reichen Lehmkuhl, the self-proclaimed "married" homosexual couple who won CBS' game show The Amazing Race. Arndt noted the Oxford dictionary definition of marriage encompasses only a man and a woman. He then commented, "What's happening today, which has always happened through any revolution of culture, is that people redefine words. And we're basically saying-
Reichen: It's time to redefine.
Chip: It's time to redefine it."1
I've said before that heterosexual marriage is necessary to survival of a culture and how the concept of marriage as we now understand it is incompatible with same sex unions. What many don't realize is many in the homosexual community who do want to redefine marriage intend to change the concept well beyond the boundaries of which sexes are involved.
Even today, looking at homosexual couples who identify themselves as monogamous or committed, one finds a modification of those concepts. In the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology, scientists studying homosexual relationships noted "Gay monogamous relationships are rarely faithful. 'Monogamous' seems to imply some primary emotional commitment, while causal sex continues on the side."2
Another study of homosexual partnerships was conducted by German "Sexologist" and homosexual Dr. Martin Dannecker. In 1991, Dannecker studied 900 homosexuals in 1991 living in what they defined as "steady relationships". However, Dannecker found that 83% of those males had numerous sexual encounters outside their partnerships over a one-year period. Dannecker then concluded that the "clear differences in the manner of sexual gratification" between single and non-single gay men were the reverse of what he expected. Of the homosexual men in steady relationships, he wrote, " the average number of homosexual contacts per person was 115 in the past year." In Contrast, single gay men had only 45 sexual contacts.3
Such a radical departure from the concept of two people entering into a lifetime commitment is both shocking and dangerous. Promiscuity is understood as a high-risk behavior carrying dire consequences, not the least of which are health related. In fact, an upscale homosexual men's magazine, Genre, surveyed 1037 readers in October of 1996. Here are some of the results: "One of the single largest groups in the gay community still experiencing an increase of HIV are supposedly monogamous couples." 52% have had sex in a public park. 45% have participated in three-way sex. 42% have had sex with more than 100 different partners and 16% claim between 40 to 100 partners.4
Of course there are those who want to do away with the concept of marriage being a union between two individuals altogether. In a Los Angeles Times article, the head of the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Paula Ettelbrick, was interviewed and asked about her views on the same-sex marriage controversy. Ettelbrick, who is also a law professor, "recommends legalizing a wide variety of marriage alternatives, including polyamory, or group wedlock. An example could include a lesbian couple living with a sperm-donor father, or a network of men and women who share sexual relations."5 The article goes on to discuss how one of her goals, in Ettelbrick's words, is to "push the parameters of sex, sexuality and family, and in the process transform the very fabric of society."6 Such changes to the concept of marriage do nothing to alleviate the high-risk behavior in which homosexuals engage and, according to Dannecker's study, may actually enflame such behaviors.
The Political QuestionUltimately, it becomes important to understand why marriage is encouraged within the laws of the United States. As I've written before, the marriage relationship is seen as so necessary that "every human societ[y] has had to promote it actively".7 This means that the welfare of the society depends on the active encouragement of monogamous heterosexual unions. When understood this way, one can make a case that the U.S. constitution requires the definition of marriage to remain as it now stands.
First, we must understand that homosexuals are not being denied equal rights to marry whomever they want. The restrictions regarding marriage are enforced equally to both the heterosexual and homosexual population. For example, neither homosexuals nor heterosexuals can marry a sibling. In the same way, no one can marry someone of the same sex - that proscription applies to all citizens equally and is therefore not discriminatory.
So, why does the government restrict marriage at all? The opening paragraph of the U.S. Constitution is known as the Preamble, and it sets forth the overarching principles of what the document is designed to accomplish. It reads "We, the People of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice and ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this constitution of the United States of America."8
Note that the writers explicitly state its purpose is to promote the general welfare for the people of the United States and their posterity. But I've demonstrated that homosexual marriage is in conflict with this. It wouldn't promote the general welfare of the society - it would hinder that process! Therefore, it does not make sense to say homosexual marriage is a constitutional freedom. How can we usurp this foundational intent of the framers that's explicitly stated in the constitution itself with something that is nowhere mentioned as a right?
Philosopher Francis Beckwith, in his article "Wedding Bell Blues; Understanding the Same-Sex Marriage Debate" sums it up thusly, "Since marriage is an intrinsic good, just as justice is an intrinsic good, a culture that does not nourish, encourage, and protect traditional marriage will do so at its own peril, just as it would imperil itself if it no longer understood justice as an intrinsic good. … Republican (small "r") government results from good citizens civilized by the institutions of family, honest work, and good religion. If, to quote Aristotle, statecraft is soulcraft, then the end of the state should be to produce good citizens and therefore provide a privileged and protected position for these institutions. The state, consequently, should treat traditional marriage as privileged and protected in contrast to other alternatives."9
Beckwith states that the purpose of government really defines its role regarding marriage. If the state is interested in making good citizens and promoting the good, then marriage must be protected as a heterosexual union. He continues "On the other hand, a state that treats all alternative lifestyles as equal does not believe that statecraft is soulcraft and is therefore not particularly interested in producing good citizens qualified to engage in republican government. Such a state denies there is any such thing as the good, the true, or the beautiful."10 The founding fathers have demonstrated that the government of the United States was formed for a higher purpose, that qualities such as establishing justice, promoting the welfare of the people and ensuring that their posterity also enjoyed those assurances. Since homosexual marriage endangers society in real ways and is antithetical to those ends it cannot be considered constitutionally protected. It does, in fact, undermine the intent of the constitution itself.
2. Connell, RW. Crawford, J., Dowsett, GW., Kippax, S., Sinnott, V., Rodden, P., Berg, R., Baxter, D., Waston, L., "Danger and context: unsafe anal sexual practice among homosexual and bisexual men in the AIDS crisis" Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology (1990 ) 26: pp.187-208.
3. Wittmeier, Carmen. "Now They Know The Other Half." Alberta Report 7 June 1999: 27. Print.
4. "Sex Survey Results," Genre (October 1996), quoted in "Survey Finds 40 percent of Gay Men Have Had More Than 40 Sex Partners," Lambda Report, January 1998, 20. Print.
5. Rivenburg, Roy "Divided over Gay Marriage" Los Angeles Times 12 March 2004. E1. Print.
7. Young, Katherine K. and Paul Nathanson "Marriage a la mode: Answering the Advocates of Gay Marriage"
http://www.marriageinstitute.ca/images/mmmode.pdf Sept. 29, 2003
8. The United States Constitution
9. Beckwith, Francis J. "Wedding Bell Blues: Understanding the Same-Sex Marriage Debate - Christian Research Institute." Equip.org. Christian Research Institute, 22 Apr. 2009. Web. 09 Jan. 2015. http://www.equip.org/article/wedding-bell-blues-understanding-the-same-sex-marriage-debate/.