Regarding Redefining Marriage

 

Below is a recycled, yet relevant essay, originally penned in 2009:

I’ve noticed a number of stories recently about . . . “the latest state to legalize gay marriage.” They seem to be lining up. Personally, I do not have a problem with gay people getting married to one another. It seems obvious to me that marriage only strengthens the bond between loving, gay couples who want to devote their lives to one another. However, one must distinguish between personal preference and public policy. The issue of whether or not to legally recognize gay marriage is essentially political and should be determined via open and public debate, in the marketplace of ideas, by society at large.

However we get there, it may be only a matter of time before gay marriage is legal in all of the United States. And would that really be so bad – two people who love each other getting married, sharing a life together, and perhaps raising a family? What about three people who love each other? Four? More? After all, polygamy has been around for centuries, in cultures that have survived longer than the United States of America. Is polygamy any more or less objectionable than gay marriage?

An argument long advanced is that a percentage of the population is biologically predisposed to being gay, that it is not a choice, and that denying this reality forces some members of society to live counter to what the laws of nature have determined for them. This is the foundation for gay marriage advocates exiting the political square and seeking the purview of the courts.

So long as we’re on the subject of biological predisposition, here’s a news flash, though it shouldn’t be. A sizeable portion of the entire population is, in fact, biologically predisposed to desire multiple sex partners; finding numerous women (or men, as the case may be) attractive as potential mates is not a matter of choice; and denying this reality in pursuit of monogamous lifestyles requires some people to live counter to what nature has determined for them. This, of course, circles back to polygamy and to personal preferences vis-a-vis the importance of quality child-rearing and the interests of society at large.

Our society needs honest, open discussion and sound, collective judgment regarding an institution so fundamental to its existence as marriage. And however the decision-making process occurs – private reflection, prayer, public debate, ballot box – it doesn’t have to happen overnight. Taking our time and exercising well-reasoned limits is simply prudent. Otherwise, we may find ourselves upon a slippery, increasingly secularist slope, as the institution of marriage grows ever less significant, and may eventually become meaningless. By then, we could well be mistaken for communists.

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