Non-Religious Reasons to Support Man/Woman Marriage


Reading Andrew Sullivan this morning, I came across a reference to an organization calling itself the Ruth Institute, which offers a pamphlet offering “77 incontrovertible statements in support of Natural Marriage, all of which defend the premise without delving into ‘religious’ themes.”

I guess the entire organization confuses me. The Ruth Institute’s motto is “One Man for One Woman for Life”,” which suggests that the the leaders of the organization may want to read the Book of Ruth one more time. When I teach it each year in AP Literature (gasp!), I’m pretty sure that Ruth marries two men during her life, Mahlon and Boaz. This isn’t a just a pedanticsampleLrg point—the fact that men and women often remarry after the death of a spouse invalidates many of the “non-religious” claims against gay marriage the site offers.

What’s most stunning about these arguments is not even their vapidity, which this sample ably illustrates. An underlying disregard for reality best characterizes the claims. In a world without divorce, abuse, death, sterility, autonomy, free thought, same sex orientation or logic, some of these claims might have merit, but outside of that world, there’s little defending a document that argues “Same sex marriage routinely places biological parents on the same legal footing with adults who have no genetic relationship to the child.” Damn adoption!

Reading through this site, I was reminded of the Montana Supreme Court’s decision in 2009 which guaranteed parental rights for gay parents. Justice Nelson wrote in his concurrence:

Regrettably, this sort of discrimination is both socially acceptable and politically popular. Sadly, this case represents yet another instance in which fellow Montanans, who happen to be lesbian or gay, are forced to battle for their fundamental rights to love who they want, to form intimate associations, to form family relationships, and to have and raise children – all elemental, natural rights that are accorded, presumptively and without thought or hesitation, to heterosexuals.”

That those opposed to equal marriage rights are increasingly moving to hide their bigotry under the guise of “rational” arguments “about the children” rather than overt hostility demonstrates the continued movement forward in this country and even this state towards true equal protection under the law and ironically, just how irrational and harmful to children these policies are.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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