I always hesitate to post a gay-marriage article, because of the fact that so much of this debate is driven by prejudice, and so little by actual fact. What has disturbed me, of late, is the number of Conservatives who, presumebly, base their opinions more on information than emotion, have been mouthing pro-gay marriage sentiments. George Will, here, points out that little is known about the consequences of gay marriage…and those Conservatives should think hard about that:
When a federal judge asked the lawyer defending California’s ban what harm same-sex marriage would do to the state’s interests in “the procreation purpose” of heterosexual marriage, the lawyer said, “I don’t know.” This was mistakenly portrayed as a damaging admission. Both sides should acknowledge that, so far, no one can know.
A brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the California case by conservative professors Leon Kass and Harvey Mansfield and the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy warns that “the social and behavioral sciences have a long history of being shaped and driven by politics and ideology.” And research about, for example, the stability of same-sex marriages or child-rearing by same-sex couples is “radically inconclusive” because these are recent phenomena and they provide a small sample from which to conclude that these innovations will be benign.
Unlike the physical sciences, the social sciences can rarely settle questions using “controlled and replicable experiments.” Today “there neither are nor could possibly be any scientifically valid studies from which to predict the effects of a family structure that is so new and so rare.” Hence there can be no “scientific basis for constitutionalizing same-sex marriage.”
The brief does not argue against same-sex marriage as social policy, other than by counseling caution about altering foundational social institutions when guidance from social science is as yet impossible. The brief is a preemptive refutation of inappropriate
I have never argued against gay marriage, per se, just that we are affecting the most significant relationships in any human society, the relationship between children and their parents. We don’t KNOW the consequences of that interference, and that should give us pause. Marriage is not about love; it never has been. It is about living and raising a family. Redefining marriage means redefining the family…and we should look long and hard at ourselves if we want to do that.
Civil Unions are quite adequate to handle the needs of committed couples, both hetersosexual and homosexual, who wish to live together and be recognized as a couple, without the legal and financial obligations of marriage. We really should leave marriage alone. It has worked for us up until now…we don’t need to change it.
Here are some links indicating possible implications about changing the marriage laws: