In California, the debate about legalizing same-sex marriage is coming to a head with a vote in the November election. An argument to keep marriage between one man and one woman is made in David Blankenhorn’s Op-Ed in the LA Times:
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.
In this sense, marriage is a gift that society bestows on its next generation. Marriage (and only marriage) unites the three core dimensions of parenthood — biological, social and legal — into one pro-child form: the married couple. Marriage says to a child: The man and the woman whose sexual union made you will also be there to love and raise you. Marriage says to society as a whole: For every child born, there is a recognized mother and a father, accountable to the child and to each other.
There is lots to say about this, but Blankenhorn’s piece is refreshingly cogent for such an emotionally charged issue.