Re: Leonard Pitts Jr.’s column (TNT, 3-23).
The question of same-sex marriage is usually approached as though the state awarded couples the benefits of marriage by right of their mutual affection – and shouldn’t all affections be included as a matter of justice?
But it is not the purpose of state-sponsored marriage to promote every manner of fond feeling. Same-sex romantic partnerships (or same-sex platonic friendships) are by their nature unrelated to the production and raising of children, and are thereby not the kind of friendships suitable for marriage.
Sexual love between a man and a woman, in contrast, is fundamentally ordered to the procreation of children. Children are the expected natural outcome of the relationship, which forms, not coincidentally, the ideal arrangement for their care and raising.
The statistics are beyond dispute at this point: Children do best socially, emotionally, academically and materially if they are raised and nurtured by their own parents in a single household. Marriage between a man and a woman is the best incubator of future citizens; hence governments since time immemorial have tried to promote and fortify the institution.
Others may “pinch-hit” in the raising of children when the natural family structure has collapsed, but an intact natural family is statistically preferable, and society recognizes this fact through the rights and benefits conferred by state marriage.