Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Definition of Marriage and Protection of the Traditional Family

I support the traditional definition of marriage and the protection of the traditional family. I believe marriage exists to promote responsible procreation and superior child rearing. Therefore, according to this definition, a legal marriage can and should only occur between one man and one woman.

Marriage is a 3-way contract between the marriage couple and the community. (If the couple is religious, then marriage becomes a 4-way contract). The community in recognition of a marriage union bestows upon that union specific rights and privileges. Individuals in support of same-sex marriage argue that same-sex couples should have similar rights as married couples. I am in support of granting rights to same-sex couples with regard to checking accounts, medical-legal issues, tax laws, and inheritance laws, etc. I believe that granting these and other similar rights do NOT threaten the traditional definition of marriage and therefore should be supported

On the other hand, the right to rear children should be strictly reserved to traditional marriages alone. This right differentiates a legal marriage from a civil union. I believe it is a God-given and civil right of all children to be reared by both a mother and a father. Any laws that encourage children to be reared in non-traditional homes, without a mother and father, are in violation of the civil rights of children.

Single mothers and nontraditional families cannot rear children as well as traditional families. Traditional, two-parent households provide children with an educated mother who stays home to nurture the children as well as a father who provides for the temporal needs of the family. The argument that a single mother, who loves her children, can do a better job than a traditional family who abuses their children is a logical fallacy. The argument that there are more children needing adoption than traditional families willing to rear them is also a logical fallacy.

Supporting the traditional definition of marriage has an impact on same-sex couples or single women who are having children via sperm donors, in-vitro fertilization, and other advanced reproductive medical techniques. According to an NPR special on sperm-donor children, proponents argue that 1. having a child is a natural, good, ethical, God-given, self-evident right. 2. sperm-donor children are just as well adjusted as children born into traditional homes. 3. Family diversity makes our society stronger according to the laws of natural selection. 4. The traditional family is ideal but society and men have failed women. These women would be married if they could but men these days do not want to have children. 5. There are more unwanted children that need adoption than traditional families who are willing to adopt these children.

In rebuttal, the right to rear a child cannot violate the right of a child to be reared by a traditional family. Children have the right to be reared by a father and a mother who can serve as role models and instill in them the character and values of maleness and femaleness. There are many individual and societal consequences to children born to single-mothers and same-sex couples. Many children of sperm donors are angry, not knowing who they are, where they come from, and what genetic inheritance has been passed to them. The argument about Darwin and natural selection is outrageous. The disintegration of the traditional family is making our society less fit for survival, not more.

This issue demonstrates the current political trend to protect minority rights at the expense of our founding principles. This nation and the constitution were designed to protect both the ideals of society as well as minority rights. I recognize that the ideal is not attainable for everyone in every situation. The opposition argues that because the ideal is not attainable for all, laws that protect our ideals, engender bigotry and prejudice, and should therefore be tossed aside. This too is a logical fallacy. Laws should punish bigotry and prejudice while still protecting our founding principles. Concerning our founding principles, it has been said that our ideals are like the stars, although unattainable, can still serve to guide us individually and as a nation.
Again, I urge all citizens to support the protection of the traditional family, i.e. that a legal marriage is between one man and one woman. Children are a disenfranchised, vulnerable minority group. Children have no voice and few advocates in government. Protecting the traditional definition of the family protects the civil rights of children in America as well as the foundation principles on which our nation was built.

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