October 14, 2003
By Rebecca Hagelin
I have to admit, I'm not that happy about the project the good
people at Concerned Women for
America are working on this week.
They're one of the groups supporting President Bush's "Marriage
Protection Week," which runs through Saturday. Although I love and
applaud the theme: "Marriage: One man, one woman." I just hate that
we've reached the point where such a week is necessary. Thankfully,
we have a president who has drawn the proverbial line in the sand
with his bold declaration that he will do all he can to protect the
Marriage is the legal union of one man and one woman. It's
simple, yet powerful. It's so basic to who we are, so absolutely
mandated by the laws of nature, which its critical place in society
would seem beyond explanation. From time immemorial, the family -
starting with marriage between one man and woman - has been the
foundation of every single civil society.
To alter that unit now would be the single greatest social
experiment mankind has ever embarked upon. If the composition of
marriage were changed, in just one or two generations the landscape
of America would be irrevocably altered, affecting not just the
family, but every other institution as well. If you weaken the
foundation upon which a society is built, the result is a weaker
society that will eventually crumble.
Homosexual activists claim that they want to certify their
fidelity to one another - for a few of them, perhaps that's true.
But the reality is the vast majority of homosexuals don't stay in a
committed relationship - they float from one partner to the next,
with many of the males having hundreds of partners over a
The real goal of the movement to allow homosexuals to marry each
other isn't to enjoy "marriage" - it's to redefine and destroy the
institution that God designed. "Unions" between a man and a man, or
a woman and a woman, or two men and one woman - or any other
combination you can imagine - are not the equivalent of marriage,
and they should never be treated as such. It's as Robert Knight,
director of the Culture and Family Institute, says in
his essay on the subject: Grape juice and wine are both made
from grapes. But you can't make grape juice and call it wine. Why?
Because it's not wine.
Raving feminists have for years equated marriage to slavery,
claiming that wives are second-class citizens and that the
institution of marriage should be abolished. The feminist and
homosexual activists are closely aligned - many of the most vocal
feminists are lesbians - and anyone who has studied their
organizations and leadership knows that one of their shared goals
has always been to destroy the traditional family. Redefining
marriage is the first step.
It's clear that protecting marriage is no longer enough: We need
to encourage it, to strengthen it.
According to the latest issue of Business Week magazine, married
couples soon will become a minority, overtaken by singles and those
in alternative living arrangements. Already, we hear of "wars"
breaking out within companies because married employees are paid
more and receive more in benefits. Fortunately, we have
family-friendly groups such as CWA and Focus on the Family working hard to
dismantle this time bomb. When, for example, Andrew Sullivan wrote
an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on Oct. 8 asking why
conservatives oppose homosexual "marriage," the
Family Research Council wasted no time responding.
Elected officials can help, too. Back in 2000, Frank Keating,
then the governor of Oklahoma, spoke at
the Heritage Foundation. He talked about how he had ordered the
state chamber of commerce and the economics departments of his two
flagship state universities to find out what held back the state
economically. They came back with several reasons, such as the fact
that taxes were too high.
But then the economic experts said something surprising:
"We have too much divorce among families with children. We have too
many out-of-wedlock births. We have too much violence and drug
abuse." Keating couldn't very well change his state's divorce laws,
so he got the legislature to lower the price of marriage licenses
if couples would agree to attend a marriage course beforehand. He
also got Oklahoma's churches, synagogues and mosques to agree to
require their members to attend such courses before marriage. In
the process, he lowered divorce rates, poverty rates and
The federal government spends $200 billion per year on welfare
aid for families with children, 75 percent of which goes to
single-parent families. It spends about half that much dealing with
the social consequences of the decline of marriage. Why? Because
children who aren't in intact two-parent families learn less, earn
less, get in trouble more, abuse drugs and alcohol more - and have
more trouble with their own marriages.
Would removing some of the tax and welfare-aid consequences of
tying the knot - and throwing in some ideas about what it means to
get, be and stay married - make all that spending go away? No. But
it would help a lot, according to a Heritage
Foundation study on the effectiveness of marriage-education
This week, although I proudly join with Concerned Women for
America, Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council and
dozens of other fine organizations in voicing my support for
marriage, my heart is heavy that we must do so. While I'm standing
firm for marriage, I'll also be on my knees praying for God's
protection on this great land, and thanking him for President
Bush's uncompromising leadership in strengthening traditional
marriage and our families. I hope you'll join me.
Hagelin is a vice president of the Heritage
Reprinted with permission of World Net Daily
It's clear that protecting marriage is no longer enough: We need to encourage it, to strengthen it.
Senior Communications Fellow
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