Friday, October 19, 2012

Why Homosexual Unions are not Marriages

Why should society sanction marriage at all?  Isn’t it the couple’s business and nobody else’s?

In fact, it is in society’s interest to recognize marriage, and that is why societies all over the world, throughout history, have done so.  The reason why is obvious:  In order to survive and prosper, societies need new members.

They constantly lose members – whether through illness, accident,  crime or simply old age.  One way or another, at some point, every single member of a society will die, and if these deaths are not offset by births, then the society will die.

Marriage, by its very nature, is the institution that brings new human beings into the world and raises them to be productive members of society.  If a society wants to survive and prosper, then, it is in its interest to recognize and help marriage in a special way.

Where marriage and families are threatened, society is threatened, and where marriage and families are strong, society is strong.

Society should not treat homosexual unions as marriages because they are not marriages.  Such unions are incapable, by their very nature, of producing children.  The parties do not complement each other the way that a man and a woman do.  A homosexual union is a fundamentally different thing than a marriage.  It isn’t a question of whether society should allow homosexual marriage.  It can’t.  No one can.


Since before recorded history, men and women have united to care for each other and to bring up children.  That happens in every culture, no matter where in the world.  In fact, a culture would die without those unions of men and women.  Marriage is thus a human universal, an institution that is built into human nature and that manifests itself in all societies.

But procreation is not the only issue.  Men and women are different in ways that go beyond reproduction.  Both physically and psychologically, they complement and complete each other in a manner that two people of the same sex do not.  These differences play an important role in raising children.  By setting examples of true fatherhood and motherhood, a husband and wife provide the kind of environment that helps children grow and develop properly.

You see, society is not denying marriage to homosexuals.  Instead, homosexual activists are asking society to redefine marriage so that the term applies to things that are not, in fact, marriages.

Even apart from procreation and raising children – as in the case of marriages which do not result in children due to infertility – the physical and psychological differences between men and women enable them to unite and thrive in a way two people of the same sex cannot.


When a country bases its policies on false premises, society suffers.  It does not matter what the policy is.  If its army misjudges the enemy’s position, it may suffer a crushing defeat.  If its economic policy is out of touch with reality, hard times will result.  And if a state becomes delusional about the nature of men and women, disaster is bound to follow.

This would be a further blow to marriage – beyond those it has already suffered from easy divorce, out-of-wedlock births, abortion, and contraception.

Any children being brought up by homosexual “parents” would also be harmed.  Whether the children were acquired by adoption, surrogacy, or

through a previous, heterosexual union, they would be raised with a false view of human sexuality and a defective set of moral values, as well as being denied the example of proper fatherhood and motherhood.

Redefining marriage to include same-sex couples would lead to even further distortions of marriage.  If two people of the same sex can be married then there is no logical reason why other unions are not possible as well.  Polygamous unions with multiple spouses, of any combination of sexes, could follow.  Adult-child unions would be up for discussion.

There is the related question of nonsexual unions:  elderly friends, college roommates, etc.  If two people of the same sex can marry to obtain the legal benefits of marriage, then on what grounds would these people be denied them?

Applying the term “marriage” to unions other than those of a man and a woman ends up robbing marriage of meaning.  The logical end point of marriage redefinition would have to be recognizing unions of infinitely variable combinations of persons as marriages – otherwise you would be discriminating against some combinations.  When that happens, marriage – having become whatever you want it to be – has lost all meaning.


Taken from the booklet: 
Catholic Answers, Why Homosexual Unions Are Not Marriages, 27 pp., 2012

[Which can be bought for a dollar at]

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