Leaders in the Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration made a decision last month to uphold the Louisiana State Constitution with regard to same-sex married couples. I applaud them for this. The Louisiana Constitution does not recognize same-sex marriage; therefore the Louisiana National Guard said it will not process requests from same-sex couples seeking benefits, despite a Pentagon directive to do so.
Advocates for same-sex marriage claim this is a civil rights issue, saying that to deny benefits to same-sex couples is discrimination. But before we conclude that not recognizing same-sex marriage is discrimination, we must define what marriage is.
The Louisiana Constitution defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. I believe Louisiana should stand by this definition.
I am against same-sex marriage, not because I hate the LGBT community — I don’t. Everyone deserves to be treated with equal respect and kindness, regardless of their sexual orientation. I am against same-sex marriage because same-sex relationships do not adhere to the definition of marriage, and there is no logical reason to redefine it.
Proponents of same-sex marriage appeal to the courts that people should be allowed to call things whatever they want to, regardless of reality.
“Law that is just must begin by properly recognizing and distinguishing identities and differences in reality in order to be able to give each its legal due,” James Skillen explains in an article published by the Center of Public Justice.
The definition of marriage as it has been understood for thousands of years is that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, not only of mind and will but also of body. This includes sexual intercourse – the type that can, but does not always, lead to the
woman’s pregnancy. Both fertile and infertile heterosexual couples can bodily unite in this way, whether or not the act produces children.
With regard to this definition, which is also known as the conjugal view of marriage, the difference between the homosexual couple’s and the heterosexual couple’s relationships is related to the nature of marriage itself. These are two different types of relationships. To include homosexual unions in marriage would be to defy the definition of marriage.
The most common argument I hear is that everyone deserves to be happy with the one they love, and government should not deny anyone that right. But opponents of same-sex marriage are not proposing that same-sex couples be banned by law from choosing to have a relationship, but rather that such a union cannot be defined as marriage, because the nature of the union contradicts that of marriage.
The main reason we regulate marriage in the first place, as opposed to other types of relationships, is due to the social value of marriage. Robert George, professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University, points out that ideals of traditional marriage law include fidelity, monogamy, and healthy child-bearing/rearing.
According to George, the best sociological evidence shows that “children fare best on virtually every indicator of well-being when reared by their wedded biological parents.” Contrastingly, there is little to no evidence to support the idea that revisionist marriage is a good thing for a child.
Those who wish to redefine marriage want to throw out any connection to children and say that marriage is a union between two people who love each other and care for each other. By this definition, also called the revisionist view, both heterosexual couples and homosexual couples are eligible to marry.
But when the connection between that of marriage and that of sexuality, childbearing and parenting is dropped, the remaining distinctions of marriage become arbitrary.
By the revisionist definition, there is no logical reason why marriage must be exclusively between two people. If same-sex couples are allowed to marry, why not grant polyamorous relationships access to marriage?
As the definition of marriage broadens to mean different things and accepts different kinds of relationships, it loses its distinct identity and meaning. In this case, there is no point in recognizing marriage at all.
I am not against homosexuals having rights, but granting same-sex couples the right to marry is erroneous. Redefining marriage will deconstruct its original value. Louisiana should continue to defend the institution of marriage as outlined in the state constitution.
Christine Guttery is a 20-year-old English junior from Baton Rouge.