The government is planning to introduce legislation which would allow two men, or two women, to enter into a union that would be legally identical to the authentic marriage of one man and one woman. The position taken by SPUC is that this would undermine the traditional understanding of marriage which in turn would put unborn children at even greater risk of abortion.
The basic building block of society is the family. All human communities, whether they be small villages or large cities, simple tribes or industrialised nations, are made up of interconnected families. The family is our first community and we belong to this community before we belong to any other. The family therefore precedes all political structures and identities. The source and foundation of the family is the bond of marriage. We can define marriage as the lifelong exclusive union of one man and one woman, ordered towards the bringing forth of children and the mutual love and support of the spouses. These are usually referred to as the ‘procreative’ and the ‘unitive’ ends of marriage and are closely connected.
The marriage bond is thus ideally formed to provide children with the love and security they need to grow and flourish. A family founded on marriage is by far the safest place for children to be conceived and brought up. In the United Kingdom infants conceived outside of marriage are four to five times more likely be aborted than those conceived within marriage. It is clear therefore that anything that undermines the traditional understanding of marriage may put unborn children at risk.
Why does so-called ‘same-sex marriage’ undermine authentic marriage?
The bond of marriage is founded on the complementarity of the sexes. This complementarity between men and women is emotional, social and intellectual, as well as physical and sexual. The marriage bond is formed when one man and one woman freely commit themselves to a lifelong and exclusive sexual union, which is ordered towards procreation, even if children do not always result. While it is honoured and exalted by most religions, it is in the first place a natural union, fundamental to human existence and recognised in all times and in all places. Until recently this traditional understanding of marriage was an unquestioned part of human life. It is only recently, due to the influence and exertions of a small but powerful group of committed ideologues, that doubts have been planted in the minds of ordinary men and women.
The marriage bond as described above cannot be entered into by two men or two women because they do not possess the necessary complementarity. By their very nature, sexual acts between members of the same sex cannot bring forth new life, and, indeed, are not acts of sexual intercourse properly so-called. Neither is there the necessary emotional, social or intellectual complementarity. The term ‘marriage’ therefore simply cannot be applied to a relationship so different to that which it is has traditionally defined. The misuse of the word marriage will inevitably lead to further confusion about the nature and purpose of marriage, resulting in a decrease in the number of stable married relationships and an increase in the number of abortions.
The state exists to further the common good of all under its authority, and can and should exercise its authority within its legitimate bounds. However it does not possess the power to create its own reality or alter unchanging truths. Marriage and the family pre-exist all political structures and thus cannot be redefined at will by any government no matter how many laws they pass or how many votes they win. It is in no way ‘discriminatory’ or ‘homophobic’ to state the simple and honest truth that marriage remains, and will always remain, the exclusive lifelong union of one man and one woman. It is in fact essential that we, the next generation of the pro-life movement, are prepared to see the interconnection between attacks on marriage and the family and attacks on nascent human life. By defending the traditional understanding of marriage, we help to defend many generations of unborn children yet to be conceived.