July 13, 2004,
I. Why Does Marriage Matter?When their mothers and fathers don't get and stay married, bad things happen to more kids more often: more poverty, welfare dependence, child abuse, sexual abuse, substance abuse, physical illness, infant mortality, accidental death, homicide, premature and promiscuous sexuality, early unwed pregnancy, suicide, juvenile delinquency, educational failure, conduct disorders and adult criminality. Children suffer and whole communities pay the cost in crime, social disorder and high taxes as government steps in to deal with the needs created when families fall apart. Family structure matters and the family form that does the best job for kids is the child's own married mother and father.
Marriage is not created by government. It is older than the Constitution, older than America, older even than the church. It exists in every known human society and it always has something to do with bringing men and women together so that society has the next generation it needs and children have both mothers and fathers, as they need.
II. Top Five Reasons to Oppose Same-Sex Marriage:1. Marriage is about affirming the ideal. And when it comes to children, science and common sense both say: Mothers and fathers both matter to children.
2. Same-Sex Marriage sends a terrible message to the next generation: alternative family forms are just as good as traditional families, children don't need a mother and a father, and marriage is about adult desires for affirmation or benefits, not about the well-being of children.
3. It's just wrong for the law to pretend that two men being intimate are the same as a husband and wife, especially when it comes to raising children.
4. Marriage belongs in the hands of the people. Four judges in Massachusetts have no business rewriting the moral rules our kids are going to live by.
5. Marriage isn't a special interest, it's a common good. Every American benefits from a healthy marriage culture. All Americans pay the price in increased taxes, social disorder, and human suffering when mothers and fathers fail to get and stay married.
III. Frequently Asked QuestionsDon't homosexual people need the benefits of marriage?
If medical proxies aren't working, let's fix that problem. If people need health care, let's get them health care. Don't rewrite marriage laws in order to satisfy a small fraction of adults who have personal needs and problems.
Are you saying gays can't be good parents?
Aren't laws prohibiting same-sex marriage the same as laws prohibiting interracial marriage? Aren't they discriminatory?
Why do you want to interfere with love?
What about older or infertile couples? If they can marry why not same-sex couples?
Why are you blaming gays and lesbians for the problems of heterosexuals?
Maggie Gallagher is president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.