To the Log Cabin Republicans: Natural Marriage Policy is Best

Note: Ms. Thieme's initial column on Log Cabin Republicans and Abraham Lincoln can be seen here. Gregory T. Angelo of the Log Cabin Republicans responded with a column that can be read here.

The Log Cabin Republicans did not address the central point I made, which is how same sex marriage changes the status between parents and their children. The claims for "marriage equality" pale in comparison to the vast transfer of authority from natural families to the state. It's a case of the good being the enemy of the best.

Biological Parenthood Limits State Power

Mr. Angelo criticizes my preference for biological parenthood. He doesn't offer an alternative, but the only alternative is unacceptable: to have the state assign parenthood in all cases. That's what "parent 1 and parent 2" means--the biological reality of mother and father is disregarded in favor of subjective definitions.

Same Sex Marriage Does Not Replenish Itself

This headline caught my eye a few days ago:

"Gay Couple Set to Sue Church of England Over Refusal to Offer Same-Sex Nuptials."

Besides the selfishness on display from a rich man saying, "I'm still not getting what I want," this story matters for another reason. This couple was the first couple in the U.K. to have "parent 1 and parent 2" on their kids' birth certificates. Redefining marriage redefines parenthood, and redefining parenthood leads to redefining marriage. The two concepts are inexorably linked. Same sex marriage and parenting are artificial constructions:

● they cannot replenish themselves the same way natural marriage can, contrary to Mr. Angelo's claim
● because they can't replenish themselves, they require a host of legal support structures to prop them up so that they look equal to natural families

What's Under the Hood in Same Sex Marriage Policy?

If same sex marriage and natural marriage are like cars, let's look under the hoods and see if they really are the same.

Natural marriage only needs two parties: a man and a woman, who can then replenish themselves by bearing children. They don't need anything from the state, except the societal recognition of their marital vows and recognition that they are the parents of any children they bear. (I addressed adoption in the first installment of this series.)

Same sex marriage cannot replenish itself, because requires more than two parties:

● someone to donate an egg or sperm
● someone to join the sperm and egg, since they won't be joined by a conjugal sex act
● someone to carry the child (in some cases)
● someone to handle the legal support structures for all of the preceding parties
● plus the state, who is the most important party. It regulates the parties who donated the gamete and carry the child to stay as far or near the child as same sex parents   choose

There are far more "moving parts" than for natural marriage. It could not happen without the state disregarding and redefining the natural rights of all biologically related people. Even if some same sex couples don't use artificial reproductive technology, same sex marriage policy:

● codifies the idea that children do not have a right to their own mother and father
● codifies the idea that the biological bond between children and their parents can be violated without reason or recourse
● redefines mother and father for everybody. Natural marriage policy forces the state to accept biological parenthood in all cases, with the ability to make exceptions in extraordinary circumstances. Gay marriage policy forces the state to disregard biological parenthood for the entire population. Without the principle of biology, we are left with the principle of assignment... assignment by the state.

In their quest for the "good" of marriage equality, Log Cabin Republicans trample the "best" by:

● disregarding children's natural rights
● supporting a host of legal structures that suppress the natural rights biologically related parties
● supporting the transfer of authority from natural families to the state

Imagine being a baby in a society where the state refuses to defend your biological bond to your parents, at the behest of politically powerful people. I wouldn't feel safe there. How about you?

Jennifer Thieme Johnson is the associate director at the Ruth Institute.

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