by Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg
There has been an incredible push in recent years to propagate “gay marriage” as a civil right. Arguments severed from nature and reason have multiplied as what is really a moral problem has been reduced to a political problem. Furthermore, the softened heads and hardened hearts in our American culture have acquiesced to the agenda, for the energy required to take a stand against this aspect of the sexual revolution is increasingly debilitating. However, as Dr. Susan Berry informs us at Breitbart, despite the tremendous momentum behind the same-sex marriage movement, “according to a report in the Economist, the number of gay marriages has been far smaller than ever predicted.”
In fact, the number of gays marrying is incommensurate to the numbers of countries legalizing it. “In the United States, only one in ten gays and lesbians have entered into a same-sex marriage, and in the U.K., less than 6,000 such weddings took place when at least 9,000 were expected.” Interestingly, lesbian “weddings” are more likely than a “wedding” between men, and in turn are more likely to divorce.
There does not seem to be a reliable way to gather all the marriage data because it is not tracked federally. However, “in 2016, the New York Times reported that, by linking the 2014 tax returns of same-sex couples with Social Security records, researchers were able to observe that, in that year, “there were 183,280 same-sex marriages in America, roughly a third of one percent of all marriages.” This data is not conclusive, but it at least demonstrates there is less interest to marry in the gay community than initially forecasted.
So why is this the case? A Pew Research survey may provide some clues. When asked about their reasons for choosing marriage, LGBT and traditional couples tended to prioritize different things. Traditional couples, according to the survey, value love, companionship, making a lifelong commitment, having children and having a relationship recognized in a religious ceremony more than LGBT couples. The gap was most pronounced for the latter two factors: having children and having a relationship recognized religiously. On the other hand, the results show clearly that gay couples are far more interested in legal benefits and financial stability.
However, legal benefits and financial stability are not really root elements of natural marriage, even if they are fruits of marriage in civil society. Meanwhile, love, companionship, life-long exclusivity, religious sanction and children are all constituent parts of natural marriage. Complementary couples are truly more interested in these natural elements not only because they lead to a natural fulfillment, but also because they are edifying to the common good.
Monogamy and exclusivity are natural elements of marriage as well. There is a tendency in the “gay marriage” movement to extend the redefinition of marriage beyond monogamy and exclusivity and towards what are called open relationships. This aspect alone disqualifies it as proper marriage. Infidelity in relationships is destructive for partners and children alike. There is no possibility of a proper definition of marriage that excludes monogamous fidelity.
The plain and simple truth is this: marriage is not man-made, but a natural institution. The definition and nature of marriage flow out of the self-evident truths of human nature and the two sexes, and its natural fulfillment is procreation, communion and community. The complementarity of a man and a woman who may come together and become one to procreate children is the renewing source of families in our nations.
“Gay marriages,” however, cannot be fruitful because they go against nature. The LGBT agenda asserts a false right to marriage not because they really want to be married — as the data now corroborates — but because this movement is part of a political struggle for new rights and legal benefits. The fact that the number of “gay marriages” lags far behind normal marriages demonstrates that this entire debate is not about marriage at all but about the structure of society.
There is no reason LGBT persons should be treated as second-class citizens and certainly they must have equal rights to all other citizens because all human persons are endowed with inalienable rights by the natural law. But to change the definition of marriage for political ends, such as legal rights and benefits, not only does not secure the political ends but also ruins the nature of marriage as well. The new definition of marriage is unnatural, and even the LGBT community now demonstrates it by their lack of interest in this newly defined “right.”
Photo credit: Jeff Belmonte, CC BY 2.0