A pair of males who identify themselves as homosexual have sued Louisiana to be given the privilege of entering into marriage. They utterly have no case, but it is instructive to understand why because arguments in favor of this almost always are based upon purely emotional considerations without any intellectual underpinnings.
That much is evident by the language of the suit, which states, “By failing to articulate a legitimate, compelling and secular interest for the restriction on marriage, the state has necessarily established a wholly religious civil institution.” The authors of the suit clearly have not been paying attention: let them now be enlightened.
First, we must understand what is going on here. It is a federal challenge to a state constitutional statute that defines the right to marry in Louisiana exists only between one man and one woman. Further, the U.S. Constitution explicitly defines that only the states have the power to regulate in these kinds of matters. What the plaintiffs try to do to avoid this is instead to connect the Louisiana Constitution’s treatment here back to the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment and the interpretation that government shall neither advance nor inhibit religion, and that this part of the state’s constitution would appear to advance religion because they feel the only reason to have it worded as it is would be because some kind of religious belief undergirds then notion of marriage limited to a single man and single woman.
But that isn’t the reason why the state can regulate the practice, for there is a compelling reason that is purely scientific. As a result of the state of marriage, defined constitutionally but the details of which the state regulates by law, these restrictions are justified because the state has an interest in facilitating marriage because it produces a salutary outcome: children. Without propagation, society’s very existence is put at risk so the state would support institutions that would encourage increased natality. The institution of marriage does precisely this and in fact policy long has considered it the ideal situation in which to produce children.
As such, government conveys multiple benefits to those married, such as income tax deductions, legal ease in financial and health care decisions, and many others. These are manners of subsidizing the practice so there is more of it and it creates arrangements more able to produce and subsequently raise children. And even a single man and single woman who do not wish children or who medically are unable to do so are allowed to enter into this state not only because there is no absolute biological certainty that they cannot and to disallow would be discriminatory, but that it also provides examples and reminders to others that the main purpose of marriage is to encourage a biological act that can produce children.
Here lies the great fact that supporters of same-sex marriage simply cannot refute: that kind of union will not and cannot produce children. Therefore, there is no compelling reason for the state to sanction and therefore subsidize it in any way since it cannot convey the kind of benefits to society that marriage between a single man and single woman can (although this does not mean that a state could accept a watered-down version of “marriage” and sanction it between people of the same sex – or among three or more, or between a human and an animal, etc. – but the same compelling benefits would not be there). Nor can an argument be made that same-sex couples defined as married can assist the state in the raising of children, because that already is permitted to single individuals, and there is no conceptual difference between a single individual raising children and two or more single individuals raising children; government provides separate benefits for these activities anyway, such as child tax credits, that are unrelated to marriage.
Why this challenge will fail is that the reason behind the state’s definition is not religious, it’s biological and scientific. That’s a fact supporters of this same-sex notion never want to admit, which is why they will try to turn the argument away from that and prattle on about how it’s about “individual rights” which betrays no understanding of the issue. But thinking individuals who elevate reason over emotion do understand this, and enough of them populate the judiciary to make suit, as one opponent of it declared, in the end nothing more than a nuisance.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 09:00