This whole gay marriage thing has me flummoxed. Thoughts and streams of logic keep running through my mind. But in any argument against gay marriage, if you bring up religion they say separation of church and state. If you say tradition they bring up the tradition of slavery which was obviously evil and rightly done away with. All valid logical rejoinders.
But I think I’m clear on at least one point. Forget about rights. Forget about all the arguments. It’s a question of semantics. It comes down to the word “marriage.”
Here’s the question: Are men and women different? Or are they interchangeable? If they are different then the union of a man and woman should be labeled one thing and the union of two same-sex partners another thing. It’s really that simple. Does the lifelong joining together of a man and a woman intent on producing children and raising them, merit its own word?
If homosexuals and a number of judges from some blue states want the word “marriage” to apply to the joining together of homosexuals, then what new word should the union of heterosexuals be given?
Isn’t the difference between the two things substantial enough to merit a different word?
Now, you can argue that love binds both homosexuals and heterosexual unions together but if we agree that the sexes are different then the union between members of opposite sexes should have one word while a union between two people of the same sex should have another. It’s simple clarity of language.
Now obviously, to another point, marriage was an institution geared towards the reproduction of the species. Here’s a shocking fact, the only reason the human species still exists is because two people of the opposite sex often get together to create and raise a child. I think that fact alone makes the institution of marriage merit its own word. That word, of course, has been and should remain “marriage.” Homosexual unions do not have this reproductive capability.
Now, opponents of this logic would argue that reproduction alone can’t be exclusionary because some marriages don’t create children. So they argue that any conjoining of two (soon to be “or more”) people in love constitutes a marriage. But that is besides the point. Yes all marriages don’t create children but only the joining together of two people of the opposite sex can create children.
Thirdly, the word “marriage,” by definition, is the joining together of two disparate entities. Boy/girl are different. Boy/boy is the same. Now, of course, you can argue that each boy is different, but in language we must have generalities or else we won’t be able to communicate. But there is certainly a difference between the two unions.
So no matter how you slice it, the joining together of a man and a woman is different than two people of the same sex joining together.
If homosexuals have co-opted the word “marriage” which had been used for thousands of years to denote one thing, I ask what will be the new word we heterosexuals get to describe our very different union?