What is the Purpose of Marriage? Does “Gay Marriage” Qualify?
Can gays actually “marry?” What does “marry” mean? What is the purpose of marriage? Read on to find out.
Marriage has existed throughout human history before governments were formed. Marriage has always meant the union of one man to one woman for life. Marriage represents the “one-flesh communion of persons” and is consummated sexually. The husband and wife become a single procreative unit, the foundation of society’s most basic institution, the family.1
As Bryan Fischer writes in his column2, there are three purposes for marriage: companionship, sex and children:
- Purpose of marriage is companionship
- Purpose of marriage is to have sex
- Purpose of marriage is to have children
Purpose of marriage is companionship
According to Fischer, the Heritage Foundation shows that “study after study verifies that heterosexual married couples are happier and healthier, more prosperous, and enjoy longer and more stable lives than their cohabiting or homosexual counterparts.” In contrast, same-sex partnerships “are notoriously unstable, short-lived and risky. Even monogamous same-sex couples report that they have in an average of eight outside sexual partners per year.” He cites Charles Cook, writing at National Review Online, who reports that same-sex marriages in Norway are greater than 50% more likely to end in divorce than heterosexual marriages. In addition, same-sex marriages are 2 to 4 times more likely to result in domestic abuse than heterosexual marriages.3
As Alan Shlemon points out4, just because you love somebody does not give you the right to marry them. There are many loving relationships, which are committed, long-term and meaningful. These relationships include the love between siblings or the love between parents and a child. However, the state does not permit marriages between siblings or parents and children. Society does not permit us to marry anybody we love. There are restrictions.
Purpose of marriage is to have sex
Fischer observes that we all unconsciously understand what is legitimate sexual expression. Why is it that newspapers do not report a celebrity when he is sleeping with his wife and do report his having an “affair” with a woman who is not his wife? Society understands that legitimate sexual expression belongs within the marriage of a man and woman. “Sexual activity outside of marriage is not condoned whether it be adultery, sexual immorality, polygamy, incest, homosexuality, bestiality or pedophilia.”5
Homosexuals are anatomically incapable of having sex with each other. The kind of sex homosexual couples engage in is dangerous and contrary to nature. It’s obvious that the male and female human anatomy fit together. Therefore, the use to which homosexuals put the human body is unnatural. In addition, homosexual sex spreads many sexually transmitted diseases as well as AIDS.
Purpose of marriage is to have children
Only a man and a woman can conceive a child. This is impossible for homosexual couples. Without children civilization would cease to exist. As Michael Youssef reports6, “children from stable two parent homes are significantly less prone to depression, addiction, and suicide than children from nontraditional families.” A father and mother are not interchangeable parts. Each provides something unique. “Mothers are generally protective and nurturing while fathers tend to challenge children to confront risks and embrace opportunities. Children need both influences. Two ‘mothers’ can’t teach boys to become men; two ‘fathers’ can’t teach girls to become women.”
Chuck Colson argues that out-of-wedlock births, and the pathologies they engender, skyrocket when the traditional family is redefined. As a case in point, Norway used to have a low out-of-wedlock birthrate. However, once same-sex marriage was legalized in 1993, “Norway’s out of wedlock birthrate shot up as a link between marriage and childbearing was broken and cohabitation became the norm.”7
To conclude, Alan Shlemon writes, “There is one kind of couple that, throughout all human history, is known to produce children: heterosexuals… They create families that become the building blocks of civilization. These families are the most stable and advantageous environment for raising children…. They make society possible.”8
The issue of “gay marriage” is really not about the right to marry. It is about respect. Homosexuals demand public approval for their lifestyle and relationships. However, “gay marriage” is not possible because the word “marriage” cannot be changed for political convenience. Words have meaning. For centuries the word “marry” meant the union between a man and a woman. That meaning must remain. A segment of the population cannot change “dog” to mean “cat” just for political expedience.
- Chuck Colson, The Marital Matrix (Breakpoint, June, 19, 2002) Available at: http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/breakpoint-commentaries-archive/entry/13/11121(May 25, 2012)
- Bryan Fischer, Purposes of Marriage: Companionshipl, Sex, and Children – Gay Marriage Strikes Out(Rightly Concerned, May 16, 2012) Available at: http://www.afa.net/Blogs/BlogPost.aspx?id=2147521551 (May 25, 2012)
- Alan Shlemon, Should Homosexuals Be Allowed to Marry Whom They Love? (Stand to Reason, May 17, 2012) Available at: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2012/05/should-homosexuals-be-allowed-to-marry-whom-they-love.html (May 25, 2012)
- Bryan Fischer, Purposes of Marriage: Companionshipl, Sex, and Children – Gay Marriage Strikes Out (Rightly Concerned, May 16, 2012)
- Michael Youssef, Every Issue is a Moral Issue (One News Now, June 29, 2011) Available at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/Perspectives/Default.aspx?id=1380950 (May 25, 2012)
- Chuck Colson, Societal Suicide(Christianity Today, June 1, 2004)Available at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/june/8.72.html (May 25, 2012)
- Alan Shlemon, Should Homosexuals Be Allowed to Marry Whom They Love? (Stand to Reason, May 17, 2012)