Maggie Gallagher is the President of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, and President of the National Organization for Marriage. Her most recent book, co-authored with University of Chicago Professor Linda Waite, is The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially. Today, Gallagher published an outstanding essay on the importance of marriage being defined as a male-female union.
Marriage between a man and a woman is rooted in our nature–”in biology, not bigotry”–sex between men and women makes babies, society needs babies, and babies need a father as well as a mother. But the proponents of same-sex marriage want the government to declare in law that there is no difference between same-sex and opposite-sex unions, and anyone who thinks otherwise is promoting bigotry. This will have major ramifications for those who believe in marriage in the traditional sense–especially religious citizens and organizations.
This matter is on the ballot this Tuesday, November 4 in California, Arizona, and Florida. The thrust of Gallaher’s argument:
Marriage as a universal human idea has deep roots in three enduring truths about human beings everywhere: Sex between men and women makes babies, society needs babies, and babies need a father as well as a mother.
Put it this way: When a baby is born, there is bound to be a mother somewhere close by. If we want fathers to be there both for their children and the mothers of their children, biology alone will not take us very far. Clearly we need a cultural mechanism for connecting fathers to the mother-child bond, and for communicating to the next generation of young people in the throes of erotic and romantic dramas that they have a serious obligation to act in ways that will protect the children their bodies make together.
Elsewhere she notes, “Marriage is civilization’s great effort to connect sex, love, money, babies, men and women, mothers and fathers.” She also explains the implications for religious liberties, and why the notion of a homosexual “right” to marriage is not comparable to the civil rights movement. The best way to articulate the latter is to look at interracial marriage bans:
Bans on interracial marriage, in other words, were about keeping two races separate so that one race could oppress the other–and that was bad. But marriage is about bringing together the two great halves of humanity–male and female–in part so that children can know and be known by, love and be loved by, their own mother and fathers–and that is a great and important good.
Read the whole thing.