by William B May, MercatorNet
It is important to use terms that convey the truth about marriage, says an author who has been active in the marriage debate.
We have all, or nearly all, done it — talked about "gay marriage" or "same-sex marriage". But according to William B. May, who has been in the thick of the marriage debate in the United States, that's a mistake. MercatorNet asked him to explain.
MercatorNet: People trying to defend marriage know that “same-sex marriage” is a contradiction in terms, nonsense in fact, but isn’t it just shorthand for referring to an issue? What’s the harm?
William B May: The only reason there is a debate about the legal definition of marriage is because of confusion about its true meaning and purpose. Without truth about marriage, people take positions based on emotion and sentimentality. To restore the truth about marriage we must witness it in a way people can understand.
The first thing to consider is that no one is really proposing to put something called “same-sex marriage” in the law. They take “a man and a woman” and replace it with “two people.” That has consequences that people are not considering. So be careful not to oppose something that is not there.
When they eliminate “a man and a woman” from marriage laws it eliminates the only civil institution that is specifically geared to unite children with their moms and dads – the sole reason for marriage being a privileged institution in the first place. That exposes the hidden agenda and the truth about what is at stake.
Opponents argue that they don’t want to change marriage, and men and woman can still get married, so what is the big deal. The problem is that men and women are not getting married, and this has created a crisis with increasing fatherlessness and associated consequences, and an increasing number of children living in poverty. Removing this child-centric institution from the law removes authority to actively promote the unique value of men and women marrying before having children. It makes it illegal for public institutions to do so and makes it legally discriminatory for anyone else.