I’ve often come across the following question asked by several of my more liberal friends and addressed to no one in particular but the social conservative crowd at large: “How, exactly, will allowing gays to marry effect your marriage?”
But this is the wrong question. The question that should be being asked is:
“What is marriage and WHY is it recognized by the state”?
Traditional marriage is characterized by, among other qualities, two important traits:
1) A couple united in an indissoluble bond centered around the action of love. The greatest act of love being “to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Whether literally or figuratively, THIS most certainly means sacrifice or suffering – but thankfully, not in vain.
2) Through the unifying act of conjugal love has the potential of creating new life. Age and infirmaments are natural hinderances to the reproductive cycle, but they DO NOT impair the reproductive act from happening. Just as during certain times of a woman’s cycle she is not fertile, there are certain times in a woman’s life, and under certain conditions and diseases, where she is infertile. But the times of infertility vs. fertility are at the same time both natural and inconsequential. Infertility (whether it be due to advanced age or disease or conditions) is seperate from the act itself where the potential is inherent in the fact that 1 male and 1 female is required for biological human reproduction.
There are, of course other types of relationships, many of which can embody the “other qualities” that a marriage also contains such as happiness, spending time together, “romantical feelings,” taking care of each other, and honesty. And there are some relationships that, in fact, exhibit one of the above traits. However, ONLY Traditional Marriage incorporates BOTH of these traits.
Why are BOTH of these traits important? Well, that’s irrelevent. Nobody, not even same-sex marriage advocates, is arguing that either of these traits are unimportant or bad, rather they are both seperately and together, good. Same-sex marriage advocates may argue that they’re unnecessary. However, necessity is NOT the point. The point is that because marriage, that is traditional marriage, encompasses BOTH of these traits, and it is the ONLY relationship that encompasses both, that makes the relationship inherently unique – different from ALL other relationships.
It is that uniqueness that is, rightfully, encouraged and consequently rewarded by the “State”. It promotes, with a healthy love/fear of nature, those relationships that simlutaneously, naturally have the potential to create offspring AND create the stability (through that indissoluble bond centered around the action of love) needed to raise those offspring to become healthy, productive tax-payers of society.
But to answer the initial question, “How, exactly, does allowing gays to marry effect my marriage?” Allowing same-sex marriage ignores, or worse, denies the uniqueness that is inherent in… well… my marriage, and other traditional marriages. It becomes a false attempt to equalize every relationship. If every relationship is equal and classified as “marriage”, then there is no marriage.
Of course, you can’t equalize that which is intrinsic.
In other words, it doesn’t matter the gender, age, quantity or relationality of the people seeking “State-recognized” marriages, the uniqueness that resides in every traditional marriage will always exist.
Even without the header of Married-Filing Jointly.