The Case for Marriage

There are so many legal and logical flaws in the ruling of San Francisco federal Judge Vaughn Walker in overturning the will of the California voters with his decision in the Prop 8 case that it’s hard to pick out just one thing to critique. But of all that Walker writes in his 136 page decision, perhaps the most amazing is his finding that there is no rational basis to uphold traditional marriage as being in the common good. None.

Since our country’s founding, America (and virtually every civilized society before us) has defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman because it’s in society’s common interest to promote relationships that have the potential to create children and to ensure that these children have the best opportunity to be raised by their mothers and fathers.

Judge Walker ruled that it doesn’t matter whether children have a mother and a father—any two will adults do. Amazingly, despite common sense and the experience of history to the contrary, his ruling decrees that men and women are identical in how they engage in parental relationships—there’s no difference whatsoever in how men and women relate to children, or to each other.

It’s as if the best-selling book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus was never written.
I can’t imagine that many people in America share Walker’s opinion (which he states as judicially-determined “fact”) that men and women interact with children in the same way. Walker finds this, of course, to get around the common-sense notion that as a general policy, our laws ought to encourage children to have both a mother and a father in their lives. If, by judicial fiat, Walker can dismiss with that notion, then he can (and does) find that any interests children have in being raised in a stable parental marriage can be satisfied whether their “parents” are two women or two men.

Walker says that same-sex relationships and opposite-sex relationships are the same. But they are not. Only relationships between men and women have the natural potential of creating children. And protecting the interests of children is why society regulates marriage in the first instance.

Child-centered laws are common place in America. Protecting the interest of children is at the core of our laws on divorce and child support. Yet the same government that spends untold millions of dollars maintaining family court systems designed to watch out for the interests of children in divorce, is now, via this gay federal judge, supposed to accept the premise that children don’t actually have any interests when it comes to marriage.

It’s preposterous.

Men and women are equal, but they are not the same. Same-sex and opposite-sex relationships might have some common traits but they are still different. It is perfectly rational to treat different things differently. Marriage is the unique relationship between men and women that society, quite rationally, promotes.

What isn’t rational is an opinion by a gay federal judge in San Francisco that stands common sense and the history of civilization on its head. And it won’t be rational if the Supreme Court allows this absurdity to stand.