The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

David Blankenhorn: “Marriage is society’s most pro-child institution.”

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Maybe you saw it already, but today was the first time I had the chance to read last week’s opinion piece in the L.A. Times by self-professed “liberal Democrat” David Blankenhorn.

For those of you who feel ambivalent towards marriage, wanting to protect what we have always known marriage to be, while at the same time accommodating the homosexual lifestyle in some way, please give some thought to Blankenhorn’s logic.

Here are a few snippets to whet your appetite:

I’m a liberal Democrat. And I do not favor same-sex marriage. Do those positions sound contradictory? To me, they fit together. Many seem to believe that marriage is simply a private love relationship between two people. They accept this view, in part, because Americans have increasingly emphasized and come to value the intimate, emotional side of marriage, and in part because almost all opinion leaders today, from journalists to judges, strongly embrace this position. That’s certainly the idea that underpinned the California Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage.

But I spent a year studying the history and anthropology of marriage, and I’ve come to a different conclusion. Marriage as a human institution is constantly evolving, and many of its features vary across groups and cultures. But there is one constant. In all societies, marriage shapes the rights and obligations of parenthood. Among us humans, the scholars report, marriage is not primarily a license to have sex. Nor is it primarily a license to receive benefits or social recognition. It is primarily a license to have children.

. . .

All our scholarly instruments seem to agree: For healthy development, what a child needs more than anything else is the mother and father who together made the child, who love the child and love each other.

And my personal favorite line:

Moreover, losing [the right for children to know and to be cared for by the two parents who brought them into this world] will not be a consequence of something that at least most of us view as tragic, such as a marriage that didn’t last, or an unexpected pregnancy where the father-to-be has no intention of sticking around.

Marriage was the first institution to hold dead-beat parents (Dads, in this case) accountable.

And, to those in the egalitarian camp I mentioned above:

Reducing homophobia is good. Protecting the birthright of the child is good. How should we reason together as a society when these two good things conflict? Here is my reasoning. I reject homophobia and believe in the equal dignity of gay and lesbian love. Because I also believe with all my heart in the right of the child to the mother and father who made her, I believe that we as a society should seek to maintain and to strengthen the only human institution — marriage — that is specifically intended to safeguard that right and make it real for our children.

Ok, so we will agree to disagree, perhaps on some finer points, but on the whole, Blankenhorn has some astute points. When we endorse same-sex “marriage,” we set as public policy a law that would knowingly deprive children of a mom and a dad. We cannot allow that to happen.

Click here to read the rest of this excellent piece.

To support the efforts in CA, AZ, and FL, see our blog entry immediately below.

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Written by Jeremy Dys

September 23, 2008 at 6:39 pm

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