If enacted, the deceptively titled Equality Act would punish dissenters, giving no quarter to Americans who continue to believe that marriage and sexual relations are reserved to the union of one man and one woman.
Although economic factors certainly play a role in the growing gap in marriage rates between higher income, college-educated Americans and those with lower levels of education and income, the impact of changing cultural mores should not be underestimated.
As skeptics in Ireland feared and the naïve in the United States are now realizing, “marriage equality” inevitably leads to the push for “family equality” through third-party reproduction.
Proponents of same-sex marriage often liken opposition to the bigotry that defended anti-miscegenation laws, preventing interracial couples from marrying. The analogy is specious, for the two movements differ entirely in motivation. One seeks to defend an intelligible understanding of marriage; the other sought to achieve racial purity.
It is important to hold up the truth about marriage for everyone to see. The first step of explaining, defending, and teaching marriage is defining it.
The future of marriage in the United States may look grim, but so did the pro-life cause look forty years ago. Embattled social conservatives should find hope in the demographic shifts that trailed the legalization of abortion.
The Supreme Court’s ruling is a significant setback for all Americans who believe in the Constitution, the rule of law, democratic self-government, and marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Will the right of Americans to speak and act in accord with the truth of marriage be tolerated?
Do proponents of marriage equality want marriage equality or not? The rhetoric of marriage equality does not match the reality. Only if marriage is the union of a man and a woman does it make any sense to have paternity presumed without consent, incest and polygamy prohibited, and custody bestowed upon biological or presumed parents except for cause.
Whether or not Locke would approve of it, there is a fundamental marriage right. It is ancient, not recent, and it secures the integrity of the natural family. In fact, nothing is more fundamental to our legal edifice than the ancient liberty of the natural family.
Infertility does not invalidate our marriage, but we constantly experience infertility as an inability to fulfill a basic aspect of marriage. It is a loss for us in a way that it can never be for a same-sex couple. Our relationship is ordered toward having children, even though it is frustrated and kept from this fulfillment.
Citing tenuous social science that should not (and probably does not) change anyone’s mind merely obscures what people are actually divided over—namely, the purpose of marriage as a social institution.
Mothers and fathers are not interchangeable—they both add distinct benefits to the development of children. Courts and legislatures can change legal definitions, but they cannot alter biology or psychology.
Although there were many good arguments and questions at the Supreme Court last week, there were also some significant errors.
In our culture, there is a chasm between two irreconcilable conceptions of the meaning and purpose of human sexuality and equality. For children most of all, the wrong kind of sexuality and equality has devastating effects.
For the Court to strike down laws defining marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife would be to abolish the idea that men and women matter—equally—in the lives of the children they create. And it would be both a judicial usurpation of legislative authority and a federal intrusion into a matter left by the Constitution in the hands of the states.
Rather than rush to a fifty-state “solution” on marriage policy for the entire country, the Supreme Court should allow the laboratories of democracy the time and space to see how redefining marriage will impact society as a whole.
Finding a right to same-sex marriage in the Fourteenth Amendment would threaten the religious liberty of citizens and organizations who support marriage and silence or chill the speech of dissenters.
According to a recent amicus brief by scholars of liberty, same-sex marriage is not only counter to the Supreme Court’s long line of personal liberty cases, it may even be prohibited by them.
Americans need to understand that the endgame of the LGBT rights movement involves centralized state power—and the end of First Amendment freedoms.
Those suing to overturn state marriage laws are not merely asking the Court to recognize a new right. They are asking the Court to declare that the Constitution removes this issue from democratic deliberation.
Redefining marriage undermines the ties between marriage and procreation. This will contribute to already declining fertility rates in the United States as marriage rates drop and marriage becomes even more adult-centric in meaning and function. The consequences to the economy and society will be harmful and multifaceted.
Fewer than 9 percent of the countries belonging to the United Nations have redefined marriage to include same-sex relationships—and only one of those did so via its judiciary. A judicial redefinition of marriage would make the United States an extreme outlier on the global stage.
A group of distinguished conservative public servants, policy makers, and political operatives has signed an amicus brief saying the US Constitution requires the states to redefine marriage. They argue that this is the truly conservative position—but it takes quite a bit of logical contortion to accept their argument.
The metamorphosis of marriage from a gendered to a genderless institution would send the message that society no longer needs men to bond to women to form well-functioning families or to raise happy, well-adjusted children. That would be bad news for children of heterosexuals on the margins: the poor, the relatively uneducated, the irreligious, and others who are susceptible to cultural messages promoting casual or uncommitted sex.
Same-sex parenting is not unique in the alternative family landscape. What is unique is encouraging an alternative parenting structure guaranteed to deny a child’s right to a biological parent.
The right of self-government depends upon the ability of voters to give their informed consent in choosing elected officials. If candidates lie, self-government becomes impossible.
It is morally indefensible for Catholic institutions to recognize and incentivize same-sex marriages by extending marriage benefits to employees who declare themselves legally married to a person of the same sex.
The structure and logic of the legal arguments made for nationwide judicial imposition of same-sex marriage are remarkably similar to the arguments made by those who argued for the judicial imposition of slavery nationwide. Will the Republican Party produce another Lincoln to stand against them?
Black children have suffered the most as a result of the decline of marriage in the black community. And today marriage faces new threats. Those who promote what they call marriage equality have unjustly appropriated the language and the mantle of the civil rights movement. But there can be no equivalence between blacks’ experience of slavery and oppression and the circumstances of homosexuals. Adapted from an address delivered at the Vatican during the Humanum Colloquium.
A model developed by developmental psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner, paired with the example of the pro-life movement, may demonstrate a new way forward in rehabilitating marriage.
Patrick Lee and Robert P. George’s new book clearly establishes that the case for conjugal marriage is not based on irrational prejudice or sentimental appeal to tradition. It is based on a series of sophisticated arguments that deserve to be answered.
Contemporary sex education prepares young men and women not for the fullness of friendship, intimacy and love, but for casual relationships and recreational sex.
Notre Dame’s acceptance of the same-sex marriage movement’s rhetorical paradigm has made our nation’s flagship Catholic institution impotent. Yet there is an opportunity for the Notre Dame community to model ways to promote the good amid the crumbling ruins of institutional integrity.
The Supreme Court closely scrutinizes policies involving racial, sexual, and other “suspect” classifications. But unlike almost every other classification imaginable, marriage laws use a criterion necessarily linked to an inherently good social purpose that we didn’t just invent. This criterion isn’t truly suspect and shouldn’t get heightened scrutiny.
Amid reports of “earthquakes” and “seismic” shifts, we ought to remember the Catholic Church’s moral teachings in their wholeness, which have not shifted.
The equality that demands same-sex marriage demands that all social recognition of the distinction between mothers and fathers—of the paternal and the maternal, the masculine and the feminine, and of the sexual identity of everyone as male or female—must be systematically expunged, to be replaced by the lies and seductions of “gender identities” on the ever more blurry rainbow spectrum.
Monday’s action from the Supreme Court is a setback for sound constitutional self-government and for a healthy marriage culture. So where do we go from here?
In a brave new book, Anthony Esolen describes the very real consequences of redefining marriage.
Segregation was based on irrational, peculiar prejudice. By contrast, protecting marriage between one man and one woman is based on universal truths about our human nature.
The commitment to be faithful to one’s spouse—for better, for worse, in sickness and in health—is not a pledge to keep the same feelings. It is a pledge to do certain things, to voluntary conduct.
The push to present a positive image of same-sex families has hidden the devastation on which many are built. We must stand for marriage—and for the precious lives that marriage creates.
Churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage are more likely to think pornography, cohabitation, hook-ups, adultery, polyamory, and abortion are acceptable. And it’s reasonable to expect continued change in more permissive directions.
Although we disagree with each other about the nature of marriage, we are united in the conviction that it is an issue on which reasonable people of good will can and do reach divergent conclusions.
Part four of a continuing exchange between Doig and George on the meaning and purpose of marriage.
Part three of a continuing exchange between Doig and George on the meaning and purpose of marriage.
George replies to Doig’s criticisms of George’s arguments regarding marriage. The second in a week-long exchange.
What’s wrong with a long-term committed child-rearing same-sex relationship? Nothing, says Jameson W. Doig. The first in a week-long exchange with Robert P. George.
Proponents of same-sex marriage haven’t won in the arena of ideas—they have won through manipulation and intimidation. Those who oppose them must speak up.
If healthy marriage is the basis of a strong society, it is worth every effort to strengthen it. Marriage education should supplement other efforts to address social problems.
The University of Notre Dame is unwilling to bear an “uncompromising witness,” as Pope Francis challenged it to do, to the moral truths of marriage and sexuality. This is a subtle but certain pastoral failure on the university’s part.