Please forward this error screen to 209. The father is not involved in the upbringing of the child is based on the truth that men and women are complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the reality that children need a mother and a father. Marriage is society’s least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children.
Government can treat people equally and respect their liberty without redefining marriage. Redefining marriage would further distance marriage from the needs of children and deny the importance of mothers and fathers. At the heart of the current debates about same-sex marriage are three crucial questions: What is marriage, why does marriage matter for public policy, and what would be the consequences of redefining marriage to exclude sexual complementarity? Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces.
It is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are different and complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children need both a mother and a father. It is the fundamental building block of all human civilization. Government recognizes marriage because it is an institution that benefits society in a way that no other relationship does. State recognition of marriage protects children by encouraging men and women to commit to each other and take responsibility for their children. Promoting marriage does not ban any type of relationship: Adults are free to make choices about their relationships, and they do not need government sanction or license to do so. All Americans have the freedom to live as they choose, but no one has a right to redefine marriage for everyone else. In recent decades, marriage has been weakened by a revisionist view that is more about adults’ desires than children’s needs.
This reduces marriage to a system to approve emotional bonds or distribute legal privileges. Redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships is the culmination of this revisionism, and it would leave emotional intensity as the only thing that sets marriage apart from other bonds. Redefining marriage would further distance marriage from the needs of children and would deny, as a matter of policy, the ideal that a child needs both a mom and a dad. Redefining marriage does not simply expand the existing understanding of marriage.