Legalized same-sex marriage is making progress around the globe. Since the New Year, New Zealand, France, and Uruguay have legalized gay marriage. Great Britain is currently working on a law that would legalize gay marriage, and marriage is on trial in the Supreme Court of the United States.
The nations in the world that have legalized gay marriage are as follows:
The Netherlands 2001
South Africa 2005
New Zealand 2013
1/5th of states in the US as of April 2013
And one state and Mexico City in Mexico
Just one year ago, only six states in the US had legalized same sex marriage and none of those states had voted to legalize it. Now there are 10 states. Washington, Maryland, and Maine made history last fall by obtaining a majority vote of the people to legalize gay marriage in their states. Rhode Island became the 10th state this April as the State Governor signed a law that easily passed the state legislature. The tide has turned from a year ago. The tide began turning more than 50 years ago.
From a purely secular standpoint, traditional marriage is hard to defend against the moving tide. The main secular argument in favor of traditional marriage is: marriage is a conjugal union between two biologically compatible people that would produce offspring and raise the next generation responsibly. Governments had an interest in this union because it produced a healthy new generation. People got married to form a new family—to produce children.
The rise of birth control use and the sexual revolution in the Western world began changing the connection between sex and children, and ultimately between marriage and families. No longer does the general population get married to form a new family; the general population gets married to legalize an emotional attachment. Commitment is still involved, but not all couples consider that commitment permanent.
The original argument in favor of birth control was very convincing. If married women could reduce the number of unwanted births, poverty would end.
And then what happened? Pregnancy was removed from the sexual act. Having sex with no consequences became the new powerful idea. Single people wanted on board too. Free love, free sex, and no consequences became the talk of the day in the 1960’s.
When pregnancy no longer had to be a consequence of sex, the idea of getting married to have sex disconnected in the minds of the people. Men and women quit feeling the need to get married to have children. Births to single mother’s sky rocketed. Abortion became legal. Couples began co-habitating and forming families without bonds. With so many people engaging in sex before marriage, it seemed unreasonable to ask them to give up the idea of free sex after marriage. Divorce rates sky rocketed. Marriage broke.
It is hard to fight for something already broken. Most couples who get married, do so with the idea that if in a couple of years they do not like this arrangement, they can move on. While many couples want children, most marriages are based on emotional attachment.
Isn’t it discrimination to limit committed emotional attachments to couples of the opposite gender? Those who believe marriage is just an emotional attachment do.
How can supporters of traditional marriage argue against gay marriage? Gay marriage is currently a social experiment. There isn’t much data on the effects of gay marriage on child rearing and society in general. However, there is a lot of data on problems fatherlessness causes children. Fortunately, most women have not abandoned their children and there isn’t much data on problems motherlessness causes children. If the problems caused by fathers abandoning children can be used as an indicator for what motherlessness will do to children, we should start building more jails now.
Gay marriage doesn’t just break marriage in the way free heterosexual practices broke marriage. Gay marriage changes the laws. In the countries and states where gay marriage has been legal for some time, laws have changed from the support of religious and conscientious freedom to the support of sexual freedom. Gay marriage laws punish free speech and conscientious religious objections.
If the western world wants to maintain the conscience, religious and speech freedoms that have allowed them to prosper for hundreds of years, individuals need to change. Adults need to remember that marriage is really about forming a new biological family and that remaining faithful in your marriage is important to health, happiness, and freedom. Parents need to teach those values to their children. Things can still turn around in favor of man and woman marriage if men and women break away from the ideas brought by the sexual revolution and once more encourage abstinence before marriage and complete fidelity afterwards.