Rod Dreher quotes a young adult who supports gay marriage:
Your conception of marriage, the traditional one, is that a man and a woman get married for the purpose of procreation. Marriage isn’t really about romantic love in this conception, but rather a framework for the rearing of children. If we take for granted that this is what marriage is, then I don’t think it’s bigoted at all to not have gay marriage, so long as the coupling is respected.
The problem for people my age is this: your definition of marriage was displaced prior to our lifetime. I have no memory of when that definition was true. Virtually everyone under the age of 30 has lived their entire lives under a culture that believes marriage is an expression of romantic love between two people.
This traditional concept of marriage is a bit of a caricature. For example, while the Puritans saw procreation and protection from sin as legitimate and appropriate outcomes for marriage, they saw deep and abiding companionship as the chief end. Richard Baxter wrote, “It is a mercy to have a faithful friend that loveth you entirely, … to whom you may open your mind and communicate your affairs … And it is a mercy to have so near a friend to be a helper to your soul and … to stir up in you the grace of God.” But for the Puritans, as for most people in most of human history, this companionship was necessarily permanent.
Young adults today, by contrast, have long been acclimated to a distorted view on marriage, one that elevates personal autonomy and therefore does not require permanence. People must be free to “follow their heart”–either into or out of a marriage. If marriage is about feeling a strong connection to someone, and should be easily severed when that connection seems marred, why deny marriage to any two people who feel such a connection? To many young adults, that’s the inescapable logic traditionalists seem to be opposing. And it looks like pure discrimination.
For Christians, the answer is to raise children and especially teens to understand what God intended marriage to be.
HT: Denny Burk