* On the day of the vote, citizens stood at at least one major intersection holding signs calling for motorists to honk if they favored traditional marriage. Heard on television, the constant blare of horns gave clear response.
* A month later, on the day same-sex “marriages” were first officially performed, an estimated 10,000 protesters marched in New York City to show support for traditional marriage. There were marches also in Buffalo, Albany, Rochester and Syracuse.
Although this legislative action in one of the largest states could make it appear that American society is swinging toward the full acceptance of homosexual “marriage” there is, in fact, broad rejection.
In the 31 States where the people have voted yes or no on gay “marriage” it has been roundly defeated. According to the Alliance Defense Fund a recent poll shows that 62 percent of Americans believe marriage should continue to be reserved for one man and one woman.
Same-sex “marriage” is legal in only six states. In five of these states, the state legislators, not the populace, initiated the law. In Iowa it was imposed by judges, several of whom were later removed by recall votes.
It is time for those of us who support traditional marriage to deepen our understanding of why traditional marriage has been the virtual standard for all of human history. It is only in recent times that a small but determined minority has committed itself to extend the definition.
Traditional marriage is an objective relationship between one man and one woman, suited physically by nature itself. Marriage in this way is unique within the human race. It is a relationship both consummated and nurtured by conjugal intimacy. To try to graft onto this term a same-sex relationship is to create confusion. The two relationships are so fundamentally different that they cannot realistically take the same name.
Some argue that the exclusion of the one from the other is a denial of human rights. But don’t all laws exclude? “Only swimmers wearing life jackets may enter this pool.”
Can’t humans create common bonds legally in a variety of ways? These possibilities are open to same-sex couples who wish to live in a socially recognized relationship. And matters such as insurance and hospital visitation rights can be worked out in keeping with this alternate arrangement. But there should be different names for such relationships because the relationships are fundamentally different from traditional marriage.
The covenanted union of traditional marriage is a benefit in two major ways: the intimacy of heterosexual love is mutually enriching to the two, and the blessing of likely procreation perpetuates and blesses the race. Same-sex connections cannot produce offspring in a biological way and this distinction is vital.
Some say that traditional marriage is a construct of religion. It is true that it is largely embraced by all major religions. But that is because heterosexual marriage is inherent to humanity and the major religions recognize this. This is also made clear by divine revelation as recorded in Scripture. In that sense, religion may factor in.
Jews and Christians, for example, find in their Scriptures a comprehensive ground to support the traditional view. Positive and negative implications of marriage are worked out thoroughly in their pages. But consider this as a simple outline:
(1) The story of Adam and Eve is at the headwaters of the Scriptures (Genesis 2:23,24). It belongs with the story of creation. There, marriage is instituted by God for the well-being of mankind.
(2) Then, in the Gospels, when Jesus is asked a leading question about marriage, he refers his critics to that very story of Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:3-12).
(3) Later when the Apostle Paul addressed the Ephesian church about the nature of marriage, he too supports his instructions by citing the account of Adam and Eve (Ephesians 5: 21-6:4).
This debate is crucial to western culture. As it goes forward, which side will have the deeper understanding of the issues and the stronger will to prevail? Will it be those who stand for marriage in its traditional sense or those who want marriage expanded to include same-sex relationships?
There is good reason to be involved in the issue for who can fathom how much may hang on the answer to this question?