TownHall.com – Frank Turek – 3/1/2013
The government has only three options in addressing human behavior. It can prohibit a behavior, it can permit a behavior or it can promote a behavior—the three P’s.
Our laws prohibit sexual relationships such as polygamy, incest and pedophilia. They permit homosexual relationships and non-marital heterosexual relationships. And due to the immense benefits the committed union of a man and a woman brings society, our laws promote marriage between a man and woman. (Notice any two people in our society are already permitted to commit themselves to one another until death do them part. Since they don’t need the government to do that, this debate is not about tolerance. Same-sex relationships are already tolerated.)
Here’s why promoting natural marriage exclusively does not deny anyone equal rights.
First, everyone has the same equal right to marry a qualified person of the opposite sex. That law treats every man and woman equally, but not every behavior they may desire equally. Same sex marriage and natural marriage are different behaviors with different outcomes, so the law rightfully treats them differently. One behavior perpetuates and stabilizes society, and the other doesn’t. Promoting one behavior does not deny rights to people who don’t engage in that behavior.
Second, the law addresses behaviors, not persons. In other words, good laws treat all persons equally, but not necessarily what persons do equally. Laws deal with actions, not attractions—with what people do, not what they feel like doing. That’s why the parallels to the civil rights struggles regarding race are fallacious. Skin color is not a behavior, but same sex relations and same-sex marriage are behaviors.
Third, everyone puts limits on marriage—if marriage had no definition it wouldn’t be anything. . . . Defining marriage in accordance with the facts of nature is not bigotry—it’s biology.
Marriage should be more about what children need than what adults want. If marriage isn’t about the needs of children, then what institution is about children and the next generation? So homosexuality really isn’t the issue here—making marriage genderless and childless is.
Question 1: What would be the benefits to society if everyone lived faithfully in natural marriage? IT WOULD BENEFIT EVERYONE IN SOCIETY BECAUSE IT WOULD RESULT IN A MASSIVE REDUCTION IN POVERTY, CRIME, CHILD ABUSE, WELFARE, AND GOVERNMENT SPENDING.
Question 2: What would be the benefits to society if everyone lived faithfully in same-sex marriage? IT WOULD BE THE END OF SOCIETY ITSELF.
Finally, as jurisdictions with same-sex marriage show us, people lose their freedoms of speech, association, religion and even parenting due to the imposition of same-sex marriage.
To sum up, the government already permits homosexual relationships, but promoting them by equating them with married heterosexual relationships ignores the facts of nature, the needs of children and the health of society. While people with different sexual attractions are equal, not all behaviors are equally beneficial. True equality treats equal behaviors equally. It doesn’t demand that different behaviors be treated the same.
Good political laws don’t ignore objective natural laws. We can’t change the facts of nature by passing laws. Good laws attempt to conform our desired behavior to reality; they do not attempt to conform reality to our desired behavior.
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