The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that Same Sex Marriage must be legalized in all 50 states across America, thus bringing to a close the country’s debate on the legality of Same Sex Marriage in America.
While many celebrated the ruling, others were less celebratory. Several Christian leaders came forth to declare that they will engage in civil disobedience if necessary. Mike Huckabee went so far as to say that he doesn’t see Christian leaders having much of a choice if they are going to be obedient to God.
While it would be easy to turn this into a religious forum, or tug at heart strings, which is typically what happens (if anyone would like to see this in action one need only read this statement from Justice Kennedy:
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
Awwww. Pass the kleenex here, I’ve sprung a leak.
Ok, so I’m being sarcastic. But there is a reason for my sarcasm. It is essentially rooted in the nature of public policy and the welfare of the public versus the desires of the few. And while this may sound particularly callous, it’s not coming from a place of callousness, but rather a deep concern for the future of our country.
Let me start with a few things about my own personal opinion. I do not agree that homosexuality is congruent with a biblical worldview. And while I say that openly and candidly, I also say that knowing that so are many other behaviors that people engage in frequently, such as adultery, bribery, theft, murder, slander, gossip, etc. and etc. Since I don’t hold a special measure of condemnation for those people who engage in those behaviors, neither do I hold a special measure of condemnation for people who engage in homosexuality. Instead I love them just like I would anyone else. So this isn’t coming from a position of condemnation (If anyone is curious, I DO hold a special measure of condemnation in my heart for University of South Carolina fans, and it’s very real. I don’t believe they actually have souls. Kidding. Mostly.)
That being said, I don’t believe there should even be a measure of religious view necessary in evaluating the Same Sex Marriage debate, because ultimately, we live in an environment that fosters the separation of church and state. So while I have my own views as to why homosexuality is wrong, for the intents and purposes of the Same Sex Marriage debate, I don’t even want to lay them out as argument. However, I do believe that the equality of Same Sex Marriage is a dangerous step towards destabilizing our country, and while I do believe those engaging in homosexuality should have access to certain marital benefits, I believe that extending all of the same rights to homosexual couples is simply a bad choice. Here’s why.
Public policy is not meant to be rooted in our emotions. It’s meant to be what’s rooted in the best for society. For example, we have policies against drug use and the sale of drugs precisely because it’s not rooted in what’s best for society. We have policies against drunk driving because it’s dangerous to society. That being said, when we make decisions, especially unilaterally comprised decisions that eliminate the people’s right to autonomously decide, we trust our Supreme Court to make those decisions with what’s best in mind for society. If it can reasonably be proven that Same Sex Marriage is best for society, then so be it. I’m fine with it. And while we have been given studies previously that would seem to support this concept, it’s been sufficiently called into question such that in my opinion, it is academically dishonest to claim that there are no substantive differences between homosexual and heterosexual couples for the purposes of child-rearing. In fact, quite the opposite has been shown, that there are very substantive differences between the two. It would be ridiculous to re-state what has already been stated, but here is the study for anyone interested that casts doubt on these aspersions of “no differences” .
Ultimately the problem lies in the fact that, in declaring Same Sex Marriage as valid as Heterosexual Marriage, we have necessarily said that they can be equally successful in all facets of married life, including child-rearing. As such, there is now no legitimate reason to exclude gay couples from the adoption process even though studies have shown a large and verifiable body of work that says that Same Sex couple situations do, in fact produce drastically inferior outcomes in parenting. The very fact that children in lesbian couples were 11 TIMES more likely to experience sexual abuse should have given pause to our otherwise inexorable march towards same sex legalization. The fact that both gay and lesbian couples produced children who were more likely to be involved in crime should have been enough to give us pause. If those weren’t enough, surely the finding that the children of lesbian couples were 4 times more likely to have been forced to be involved in sex against their will should be a giant red light. I’m ultimately not going to quote every statistic from the study because it’s pretty sobering and rather bludgeoning in its findings, but continuously, children of gay and lesbian children showed that they fared worse in society and in terms of being productive parts of society than children of their biological parents.
I do understand the same feelings that Justice Kennedy referred to in his speech. But while those words tug suffocatingly at the heart strings, they do precious little to insure that the best outcome of society was on the minds of the five justices who desired to approve of Same Sex Marriage. Rather, they reflect a disturbing trend in society where public policy is fueled by a public opinion that is far too concerned with our own narcissistic desires for life to be “our” way rather than how we integrate into society. In this maelstrom of public policy fueled by “feelings,” we are slowly watching as the desires of the few now significantly outweigh the well-being of the many. And while I do agree that homosexuals have every right to legitimize their relationship in a way that offers some relational benefits (the ability to share insurance, the ability to have access to health information, etc and etc) legalizing and normalizing Same Sex Marriage was a step in the wrong direction that now allows for the very real possibility that we are going to create a generation of adults who will never experience life in the fullest as it comes with being raised by a mother and a father.