- Written by Stephen Stacey, The Huffington Post UK, January 31, 2013
On the 5th February the British government wants to redefine marriage. All analysis shows that this will lead to poorer outcomes for children and for society.
Though same-sex activists would like the debate about the redefining of marriage to be about equal rights for adults, it is not. There are three different parties to the discussion, not just two.
The core of the discussion about redefining marriage is primarily about whether society needs a social space where the child's natural right and desire to be raised by its two, biological parents is upheld.
Any sensible debate has to admit that children have rights too. They are naturally born wanting to be loved by the two opposite-sex people who gave them life. Also, children, on average, have the best start in life when raised by their two, biological parents. No amount of social engineering can change this.
And the space where society honours the child's natural right and desire to receive the love of their two, biological parents is the social institution we call marriage.
Since same-sex couples cannot give birth to their own biological children, they cannot uphold the child's natural right and desire to be hugged every day by the two, opposite-sex people who gave the child life. In this sense, they cannot be married.
Society absolutely needs a place where the right and desire of the helpless, needy child takes precedence - and that social space is called heterosexual marriage. Why is this?
If one doesn't create a space where the child's right takes precedent over adult's rights, then society will consistently go down a path where children's rights come second place to adults' rights. This leads to a series of ever poorer outcomes for ever greater numbers of children.
There seem to be five major problems occurring.
1) In countries where marriage has already been redefined to be all about an adult's right to marry whoever they want - then we see pressure growing in the system for marriage to be redefined again to allow for polyamorous marriages of three or more people. Historically, the freedom to create polyamorous relationships has often led to controlling men pushing two or more vulnerable women into such relationships - leading to very poor outcomes for women and children. But if politicians deny bisexuals the right to marry, they will be called bigoted. They don't want this label - so redefinition will happen again. Ever greater numbers of children will be pushed into being raised in family constellations that do them harm.
2) In all countries where marriage has already been redefined, rates of heterosexual marriage have declined rapidly (E.g.; Holland - the fastest decline in Europe). Analysis shows that redefinition will also cause heterosexuals to divorce more easily. There several ways this happens. For example, if some married partners come to believe - as the state says - that marriage is only about feelings of attraction (and not about being there for one's biological children), then they might be more willing to divorce during the natural difficult moments in the marital life-cycle - at moments when feelings of attraction have temporarily disappeared. We can therefore expect marital norms to decline in the UK after marriage is redefined. When fewer kids are raised by their two, married, biological parents more will suffer poorer outcomes - and so will society too.
3) Even greater abuse of marriage laws will become common place when marriage is redefined. For example, immigration marriages between two same-sex friends, or two elderly widows living together in a non-sexual relationship marry in order to gain each other's pension rights. In a marriage redefined world there may be 20 forms of marriage, only one of which is to do with the raising of biological children, and only one or two of them desiring to keep the pledge of fidelity. When marriage means 20 different forms of relationship, or it looses its social barrier to infidelity, it becomes meaningless, so heterosexuals marry less and children are left to be raised in more fragile cohabiting family systems - and suffer poorer outcomes
4) In a marriage redefined world schools will graphically teach young children who are just forming their sexual natures about same-sex sex positions and touching methods. Also, in a marriage redefined world Hollywood will want to push the idea that heterosexual same-sex friends can enjoy sex with each other with no negative consequences. We already see this happening. In other words, sexuality will increasingly become a part of same-sex heterosexual friendships. All analysis of such a sexualised world shows outcomes to be very negative, with large numbers of children being harmed in one way or another.
5) Lastly, in a marriage redefined country, there is on-going persecution of those people who still are trying to make society aware of the above four negative outcomes. People will be fined or kicked out of their work for saying what is true. Religions will also go into decline as they will still be called bigoted - when all the church is trying to do is stop the social decline that is inherent in redefining marriage.
Put simply, we see only the very real possibility of marital norms weakening after redefinition. There is nothing that strengthens marriage as a social institution here.
I think we can all agree that governments are voted into power in order to bring about improved social outcomes. But if a law causes marriage rates and religions to decline, then social outcomes can only be negative. This is not what politicians are paid to do.
Because of the above we can say that redefining marriage mandates social decline into law. This will lead everyone paying more taxes, people having to retire later, to poorer outcomes for children and to ever more broken community life.
Just be clear here, these negative outcomes have very little to do with same-sex couples per se, These consequences are just a natural outcome of trying force three different types of sexuality into the same social space. It just leads to confusion, and in the confusion marriage as a meaningful goal for heterosexuals to aspire to becomes lost, and children suffer the most.
Sadly, redefining marriage will also create pressure to redefine marriage in other countries too - countries where there is no social benefit system to protect the child who is caught up in a society where marital norms are declining.
It really isn't fair or just that politicians redefine marriage and then walk away and let everyone else suffer the very real negative consequences. It is fair to let the citizens of the UK have a referendum on the issue. The word marriage belongs to them, not to a small group of politicians with their own social agendas to pursue.
Same-sex civil partners already have all the legal rights of married couples. It is therefore unnecessary to redefine marriage and thus bring about these poorer outcomes for children and society.
Lastly, as we look into a future where we see social decline happening and parents becoming ever more frustrated and angry with how their heterosexual child is increasingly being put under pressure to engage in same-sex sex... then quite sane, rational people are willing to join any group that promises to protect their children from an overpowering state. Typically such groups are some form of radical religion. And when that happens, one can forget having a tolerant society. All analysis shows that gays and lesbians will suffer very poor outcomes. Put simply if politicians can't allow for two separate social spaces for the two different forms of sexuality - if they want to push all types of sexuality into one space - then that space will eventually be ruled by the majority through force. No-one wants this to happen, but this is the future that MPs are creating in their ignorance.
If MPs vote against the proposed law change, they are not bigots. They are just acknowledging that children have rights and desires - and since children are helpless - adults have to stand up and protect them. They are born wanting to be raised and loved by their two, biological parents - and the social space where this right of the child is upheld is called marriage.
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