Marriage Redefined: What does the case mean for marriage and families?
I didn’t understand why same sex marriage becoming legalized was such a big deal. After reading about the Obergefell vs. Hodges court case, my heart and mind finally became invested in the cause to promote and protect the family. I began to ask important questions like what does this change mean for society and for our democracy?
The majority opinion acknowledged that marriage has been an important and central part of society since the beginning of history and all around the world. They were right. John Locke, a man whose beliefs and ideas helped shape the constitution, said, “The first society was between man and wife, which gave beginning to that between parents and child.” From the very beginning we have relied on marriage and families. Families proved a ‘moral cradle’ for people to learn how to become good members of society. Society would not function without the family and the family will not succeed without marriage. Can we redefine marriage, without any consequences? The majority opinion does not believe that by redefining marriage society will be affected at all. I believe they are wrong.
The reason that the government has even gotten involved in marriage throughout history, was to promote having children in homes where they can be taught how to become good citizens. In a same sex relationship, a male homosexual couple cannot provide children in and of themselves. They can adopt or obtain a child through a surrogate mother, but they cannot contribute their own children to society. I am not saying that they can’t be good parents. However, same-sex couples want the benefits of marriage even though they can’t provide the reason behind the benefits given in the first place.
Justice Thomas, one of the dissenters in the Obergefell case, said “Liberty has been understood as freedom from government action, not entitlement to government benefits.” The LGBT community has a sense of entitlement to benefits given as an incentive for people to procreate and raise citizens. Redefining marriage effects society because it changes the whole purpose of why the government is involved in marriage in the first place. Cathy Ruse a lawyer, stated at the Salt Lake City 2015 World Congress of Family:
The law has never been interested in love; what you feel is not the government’s business—it has never been the government’s business. The law is concerned with less loftier things, like, “what are you two going to do with the child you’ve made? Are you going to leave her on the steps of city hall, or are you going to clothe her and feed her, and raise her to be a citizen of our society?” That’s what the law cares about. Love has never been the government’s business; who you love is not the government’s business, until now. Now, who you love is the government’s business. Now, a public marriage license is a government’s stamp of approval for your personal feelings. Now, a government official waits at a desk for people to approach and declare their love, and we, the government, approve your love: Go forth and enjoy the dignity we have just conferred on your personal feelings. That is where we are today. This is not progress.
The Obergefell vs. Hodges case gave more power to the government to make decisions for America. With this case America allowed nine judges who were not elected by the people to make their decisions for them, changing a social policy and institution, that has existed throughout all of known history. This should have been the people’s decision. And when given this decision to the people, in 2013 most states and people decided that marriage was to be between a man and woman. The verdict of Obergefell vs. Hodges is not the decision of the people, but it is the decision of five unelected judges. I cannot help but think that the founding fathers would be horrified, if they knew how we had twisted the democratic process and given the freedom to govern ourselves to the very branch of government assigned to protecting that freedom.
What do we do? How do we fight for the family and without becoming a true bigot? I believe this means not being afraid to stand up with logical reasons for how redefining marriage impacts our society. It means not being rude, but kind to others who don’t share our beliefs. How will you stand up? Many people are not aware of the social implications of the redefinition of marriage. Be informed, then share what you know with others, because like it or not, same-sex marriage affects our society, democracy, and you!