Isn't Banning Gay Marriage Just Like Banning Interracial Marriage?



“Isn’t banning gay marriage just like banning interracial marriage?”


“They are nothing alike.  Bans on interracial marriage were designed to keep races apart, and that was and is wrong.  The historic definition of marriage is rooted in bringing the genders together, which is good.  Race is not a fundamental quality or aspect of marriage.  But gender is.

     Therefore, allowing interracial marriage did not call for a redefinition but rather an affirmation of marriage.  It says males should be able to marry females, regardless of race.  Same-sex marriage is something very different—a redefinition of marriage.

     It’s a very different thing for a child to say,  “I have a Caucasian mother and an Asian father” than “I have two dads and no mother.”  There is no research saying biracial parents are developmentally harmful to children.  But there are thousands of definitive studies showing motherless and fatherless families limit every important measure of children’s physical, psychological, emotional and intellectual development.  Not only do the social sciences show that fatherless and motherless families are harmful to children (which every same-sex home suffers from), but they also show that stepfamilies where a child’s mother or father is replaced by a stepmother or stepfather (which constitute many---if not most—same-sex homes) are some of the most troubling family forms for children.  In important ways this is even more troubling than even single parent homes.

     Being of a particular race is nothing like having homosexual desire.  Again, no academic institution in the world nor any U.S. court has ever established that homosexuality is given at birth and is a permanent feature of an individual like race, nationality and gender are.  There are no former Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, or Asian folks.  But there are hundreds of people documented who have happ8ily and successfully left homosexuality.  Homosexuality and race are clearly two different things and therefore should not be treated as similar.”


“But surely homosexuals have the same right to marry as heterosexuals, don’t they?


    “Let’s be very clear.  Homosexuals do have the constitutional right to marry.  But no one has the right to redefine marriage for themselves or for a whole society.  No one has the right to say male and female, mothers and fathers, don’t matter for society and the family.  But this is exactly what giving social and legal sanction to same-sex marriage would do.

     Many homosexuals have indeed married members of the opposite sex. There are some very basic legal parameters as to who any of us can marry, and they apply equally to all of us.  This satisfies the “equal protection” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  Traditionally, when any of us seeks a marriage license, we can’t already be married, must be an adult and must marry an adult, can’t marry a close family member, must marry someone of the opposite sex.

     Now if two people meeting all these criteria go to city hall to get a marriage license, and the clerk asks whether either are homosexual and denies them a marriage license based on an affirmative answer, that would be discriminatory.  Our current marriage laws treat everyone equally. 

     This debate isn’t about equality or access to marriage; it’s about REDEFINING marriage, making it something it has never been before.


Excerpted from:

Marriage on Trial by Glen Stanton and Dr. Bill Maier Intervarsity Press 2004.