Same-sex marriage debate has nothing to do with love, equality

Joe Puchner

Immediately after five unelected judges imposed a new definition of marriage on all 50 states, many Americans hailed Obergefell v. Hodges as a victory for love. Additionally, many are convinced that eliminating gender distinctions in marriage is a step toward full legal equality. A quick look at this claim though reveals that this fight was neither about love nor equality.

Of course we should have marriage equality – that is, all marriages should be treated equally under the law. But the two sides of this issue fundamentally disagree about what marriage is. One side understands marriage to be the exclusive union of one man and one woman, unique because of its ability to procreate.

The other side understands marriage to be a union based on adult love and feelings. This understanding has nothing to do with sexual complementarity and the reality that children have a right to be raised by their mother and father.

Last week, the Supreme Court did not finally make all love equal, which many are convinced of in a delusional way. Rather, the Supreme Court simply redefined marriage to include one more type of union, still excluding many other unions that can be just as “loving.” The majority opinion was still discriminatory against trios, quartets and other polyamorous arrangements that are not treated equally under law. When it comes to marriage, America is no less “discriminatory” nor more “equal” this week than it was last week. We went from recognizing one type of “love” as marriage to two types of “love,” while still excluding various other forms of love from marriage. Thus, this debate had nothing to do with love or equality.

Disingenuously framing the effort to redefine marriage as a crusade for love and equality did serve a very calculated purpose. This rhetoric of the LGBTQ lobby replaced reason with vapid sentimentality. It centered the discussion about the nature of marriage on adult passion, distracting public opinion from any legitimate consequence that redefining marriage could have on society.

We will see these consequences play out over the next few years when “mother” and “father” are changed to “parent 1” and “parent 2” on birth certificates (which, of course, makes no biological sense), when churches and religious charities lose their non-profit statuses over their refusal to participate in same-sex ceremonies, and when children lose the basic human right to a mom and dad as gay couples literally buy them to fulfill their desires. These are just a few of the very real and very public consequences of redefining marriage, and it is neither 
discriminatory nor hateful to start a public discussion about 
these consequences.

The Supreme Court’s decision has established a new norm that holds that moms and dads are now interchangeable and optional, and that a child has no right to grow up with or even know his or her biological parents. It’s no surprise that our society, which has for the past few decades dramatically weakened marriage through its embrace of contraception and no-fault divorce and errantly views sex as something fluid rather than a biological reality, has come to accept this deficient view of 
the family.

Joe Puchner is junior majoring in mathematics and Spanish. His 
column runs biweekly.