December 1, 2023

The Case For Heterosexual Marriage

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Since Proposition 8 passed in California, once again marriage is to be defined there as between a man and a woman.  This has lead to outrage to those that deem this unfair and discriminatory, and has caused more anger to boil.

Why should marriage be limited to one man and one woman?

Arguing From Creation

First and foremost, the reason that marriage has been, by definition, and institution between a man and a woman has roots in what the Creator of the World has proclaimed—way back in the book of Genesis.  In Genesis 2, God noticed that man was alone in the Garden.  To remedy this situation God created a being out of Adam’s side—a woman, Eve.  And Adam states in Genesis 2:24 that a man would leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and that two would become one.

From the very beginning, God stated that the pattern was one man and one woman—and this arrangement is duplicated throughout scripture (most notably in the giving of the Mosaic law in Exodus).

This exactly effects America because of the Declaration of Independence.  When our country was founded and we left the British Empire we justified doing so because all men were given by God rights that were unalienable—that did not derive from government, but from God.  The basis of American freedom rests in the idea that our rights to life, liberty and property (later changed to the pursuit of happiness) are not defined by a government, but defined by the Creator.

Therefore, by the very fact of that foundation, this line of argument is relevant to the discussion.

Arguing From History

Never, in the history of the world, has marriage been defined as anything but a union between a man and a woman.  Now, it is true that marriage has been defined as a union between a man and multiple women (we see that all throughout history from the early records all the way to prior to the homosexual marriage debate), but never as a same sex couple.

Up until the latter half of the twentieth century, homosexuality was considered to be a mental illness.  It was something for which a person was hospitalized.  It was only relatively recently that homosexuality was seen to be something that we could consider natural and something that wasn’t to be treated.  Indeed, there are still some that are treated today, and some that claim to come out of homosexuality.

This is not meant to be a judgment on homosexuality, per se, but instead an argument for heterosexual marriage.  Indeed, there is more support historically for polygamous unions than there are for same-sex unions.  However, it has been, and still is against the law to have multiple wives, but in multiple states in the nation same-sex marriage or civil unions are available, and polygamous unions are kept in secret, done only ceremoniously.

The historical argument also verifies the argument from Creation.  Since the Founders would not allow Utah to become a state in the Union without outlawing polygamy, it stands to reason that they would also oppose same-sex marriage on the same grounds.

Therefore, it stands to reason that there is no historical grounds for same-sex marriage—only for monogamous heterosexual unions.

Argument from Nature

Some arguments that have been made along this line are unfruitful and miss the whole point of this argument.  Let me dispatch them in a quick fashion.

Arguing over whether animals exhibit this behavior.  Who cares?  Most agree that animals do not possess the minds that men do.  It’s easy to try to find a case that violates the premise in either case.

Arguing over whether there is a “gay gene.”  If there isn’t so what?  If there is, that still isn’t a problem for the argument.

The point of the argument from nature also doesn’t care whether you believe in Evolution or Creation, it’s just as strong either way.  I look at this argument in two ways:

1. There is no natural benefit from the union of two same-sex couples toward the race.  Population control isn’t a benefit to the race, since the race need population to survive—so throw that one out immediately.  The natural benefit of a heterosexual union is the production and raising of offspring and the effect that the monogamous relationship has on those in it.  While it may be possible for the effect to be achieved in another kind of relationship, same-sex relationships do not, naturally, produce children.

2. Inclinations and desires are not always right.  From the day that a child is born, it seeks to exalt self.  It cries when it doesn’t get its own way.  It fights with its siblings.  It wants all the attention.  Through child training and instruction, parents combat these natural inclinations and train the child to do things that are right.  So, stating that “I was born this way” is a foolish argument and against natural training.  It would be the equivalent of an adult throwing a fit in a store demanding that they get something because they saw it first, and when told that they were wrong, saying that they shouldn’t have to give it back because they were born that way.

We’d laugh if a thief tried this argument, or a murderer, but when it comes to something that culture is trying to tell us is right, we attempt to justify it with this same lame argument.

There is no natural reason to favor same-sex marriage.  There is no indication that it is a positive thing for the race as a whole, or the people in particular.

Argument from “The Majority”

So, say you disregard the previous arguments, and you skip right to the societal argument—the foolish notion that we live in a democracy and that the majority (or minority) on any opinion makes something right.

Some would suggest that the right way to get same-sex marriage into law is by using the courts.  Some would suggest by influencing the electorate and waiting for the people to use democracy.  In either case you’re putting something up to a vote that I don’t believe can be voted on—the morality of an issue.  It’s just a matter of how big or small the sample is for the vote.

But suppose we put that aside for the moment and actually look at the societal argument.  Majorities can be wrong.  A majority of the Southern States before the Civil war believed that slavery was good.  A majority of the U.S. government believed it to be right to invade Iraq.  Majorities don’t always make the right decisions.

However, where does the argument from society cease?

I am left handed. The world is designed for the comfort and convenience of right handed people. Thus is has always been and thus it will always be. Perhaps the cruelest part of this fate is that were I to define myself as a member of an oppressed group, I would receive nothing but condescending smiles. The fact that left handed people at all ages of life die in larger number than right handed people is greeted with a bland shrug. I am pushing to get the Social Security entitlement age lowered for left handed people in sensitivity of our earlier deaths. This fair minded proposal has met with predictable ridicule from righty bigots and self loathing lefties. Our only hope is that a fair minded jurist takes up our cause.William

The point is that there will always be people that feel that they have a right against the majority.  Currently, the overwhelming majority of this country is heterosexual, and seeking out a heterosexual marriage.  Since that is the reality, it does not seem logical to enact something that goes against the majority of the people, that would effect the majority of the people and set up problems with the majority’s rights.

Argument from Society

Lastly, the argument from society.  One of the biggest complaints from those that seek legal same-sex marriage is that their union does not have the advantages of the heterosexual union.  Missing from their argument is why they deserve such rights.

We’ve already listed multiple reasons why a society should seek to encourage heterosexual unions:

  • The Creator endorsed and established such unions.
  • Historically such unions have been standard issue.
  • Naturally, such unions are required to naturally further the race.
  • Heterosexual unions, and those that would enter into these unions, vastly outnumber those that would benefit from the creation of other unions.

And to that we can add studies regarding the raising of children in homes of same-sex parents vs. opposite-sex parents, etc.

Where’s the reasoning behind why the state should sanction other unions besides the belief that “we deserve it”?  Arguing that “it’s not fair” is amusing.  As I was reminded multiple times by my mom when I was younger, “Life is not fair.”

And if that’s the main logic, which seems to be in the foreground of all the litigation regarding the equal opportunity clauses in the U.S. and State Constitutions, then we have a logical dilemma.  Once you agree to the validity of this argument, what is to stop others that have other types of unions from attempting to exercise this right.

Why wouldn’t the polygamist demand multiple marriages?  Why not allow marriages to animals and plants?  Why not allow marriages to dead beings, etc.?  Why not allow marriages to self?

I’m not attempting to use the slippery slope argument in a moral sense, but in a practical sense.  If the state has a vested interest in encouraging a union between heterosexual couples to promote the general welfare:

  • Couples in a marriage live longer.
  • They’re more stable.
  • They produce children that build the country.

Then if that incentive is removed because either every union is rewarded—or no union is rewarded—how has that benefited society?  In fact, it will have actually have harmed it by further removing the incentive to get married—something that it already started with rewarding cohabitating couple to get many of the marriage benefits and punishing one sex should a marriage end in disarray.


Heterosexual marriage in the United States has its problems, to be sure.  There is much to be done to repair the broken system.  However, there is no good argument for another system, and no good argument for why this country, or any state for that matter, should seek to accept any addition to traditional marriage.

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10 thoughts on “The Case For Heterosexual Marriage

  1. I am an agreement with Rachel. It is a shame that most gay people would just roll their eyes and consider you or anyone else that disagrees with their choice of lifestyle as a homophobe.

    There is just no way to dispute it.

    Leticias last blog post..AND SO…IT BEGINS

  2. I think your arguments are wrong, and I’ll tell you why:

    You are denying two law-abiding adults the opportunity for happiness – a happiness that you yourself can enjoy, but you want to deny it to others simply because you can. What’s it to you? You’ll let older heterosexuals marry, even if they’re beyond childbearing age – they provide no “benefit for the race,” by your definition. Why deny that opportunity to homosexuals? As for the argument from history: Fifty years ago, the definition of marriage in many states did not cover blacks and whites marrying. Was it wrong to “redefine marriage” to allow people of different races to marry?

    What it comes down to is basic human decency. I think Keith Olbermann said it best, just a couple of days ago:

    Finally tonight as promised, a Special Comment on the passage, last week, of Proposition Eight in California, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry, and tilted the balance on this issue, from coast to coast.

    Some parameters, as preface. This isn’t about yelling, and this isn’t about politics, and this isn’t really just about Prop-8. And I don’t have a personal investment in this: I’m not gay, I had to strain to think of one member of even my very extended family who is, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives.

    And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn’t about yelling, and this isn’t about politics.

    This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.

    If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don’t want to deny you yours. They don’t want to take anything away from you. They want what you want — a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

    Only now you are saying to them — no. You can’t have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don’t cause too much trouble. You’ll even give them all the same legal rights — even as you’re taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can’t marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn’t marry?

    I keep hearing this term “re-defining” marriage.
    If this country hadn’t re-defined marriage, black people still couldn’t marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal… in 1967. 1967.

    The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn’t have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it’s worse than that. If this country had not “re-defined” marriage, some black people still couldn’t marry…black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not “Until Death, Do You Part,” but “Until Death or Distance, Do You Part.” Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

    You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are… gay.
    And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing — centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children… All because we said a man couldn’t marry another man, or a woman couldn’t marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage. How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the “sanctity” of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?

    What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don’t you, as human beings, have to embrace… that love? The world is barren enough.

    It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.

    And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling. With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?

    With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate… this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness — this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness — share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

    You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question of…love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate. You don’t have to help it, you don’t have it applaud it, you don’t have to fight for it. Just don’t put it out. Just don’t extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don’t know and you don’t understand and maybe you don’t even want to know…It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow person…

    Just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.

    This is the second time in ten days I find myself concluding by turning to, of all things, the closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial.

    But what he said, fits what is really at the heart of this:

    “I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam,” he told the judge.

    “It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all:

    “So I be written in the Book of Love;

    “I do not care about that Book above.

    “Erase my name, or write it as you will,

    “So I be written in the Book of Love.”

  3. I watched Anderson Cooper on CNN last night for a short period of time (I was trying to go to sleep, but the conversation kept raising my blood pressure, I know), and there was some guy in support for homosexual marriage on there…It was just insane. He was so militant to the guy against homosexual marriage and acted like all the younger people in California had voted against Prop. 8 and that God had no place in society anymore. The guy was saying how the majority of marriages now end in divorce, but…uh, maybe we should FIX that problem first. I mean, who brought up the idea that all homosexuals will stay together til death do them part? Where did THAT idea come from?

    Lois Lane IIs last blog post..Sentimental

  4. @Curious: Let’s take a look at your argument and see if it holds up.

    You are denying two law-abiding adults the opportunity for happiness – a happiness that you yourself can enjoy, but you want to deny it to others simply because you can.

    In order to make this a credible claim you would have to explain what exactly it is about not getting married by the state that impedes two law-abiding adults happiness. Certainly, on one level, there are many different commitment ceremonies that adults enter into that do not need the state’s blessing. Personally, I do not derive any added “blessing” or happiness because I was married through the state.

    What’s it to you? You’ll let older heterosexuals marry, even if they’re beyond childbearing age – they provide no “benefit for the race,” by your definition. Why deny that opportunity to homosexuals?

    What it is or is not to me is irrelevant. It’s a red herring. The question I posed in the post was this: What particular reason is there for the government to either promote same sex unions, or logically remove all benefits for heterosexual unions. That older heterosexuals may marry is something that comes along with the fact that all marriage has been traditionally heterosexual. This applies to the historical argument. Again, my argument does not rest alone on whether a couple can produce a child, but rests in multiple arguments.

    As for the argument from history: Fifty years ago, the definition of marriage in many states did not cover blacks and whites marrying. Was it wrong to “redefine marriage” to allow people of different races to marry?

    Depends on what you mean by “the definition of marriage.” The concept and definition of marriage has been a long for thousands of years, and it has always been defined by the union of heterosexual couples. That the law in certain states refused recognition of unions between the skin colors did not change the definition of marriage as much as it limited those that the state would officially recognize. Historically, marriage has never meant the union of same sex couples. Therefore changing the definition to include same sex couples is a redefinition in the literal sense.

    If there’s some argument in Mr. Olbermann’s words that you wish me to comment on, I’m more than happy to do so, but the key ones that you repeated I believe are his main points.

    Suffice it to say, there is no grounds that I’ve seen to suggest that there’s a benefit to society to include this form of marriage, there is no argument from history, creation, etc. to state why save sex marriage should be considered. Indeed, the only grounds that you’ve presented were “love” or “happiness” but you haven’t defined how state recognition of a union that people can enter into regardless of the state impacts either of these things.

  5. And you wonder why people believe those who oppose same-sex marriage are hateful? Only the most specious arguments are being used to oppose same-sex marriage, when it really comes down to a matter of justice and civil rights.

    First of all, there is no “argument from history.” Because something has been done for thousands of years does not make it preferable or even acceptable. If we only practiced that which has been practiced for thousands of years, we’d still have slavery, and women wouldn’t be attending college. If you want to maintain the discriminatory policies of the past, have at it, but I think we’re better off today than in the days of “separate but equal” and only allowing landowning males to vote.

    Secondly, though we recognize many relationships that don’t result in procreation, including the marriage of barren couples, the marriage of senior men and women, that’s not even the point. The fact is that many same-sex couples are, in fact, having children, whether you like it or not. It would help stabilize those children’s self-image and social development as they grow if we did recognize that their parents are married — just as we do with heterosexual couples. If marriage provides benefits, both legal and psychological, than it behooves us to provide it to same-sex couples out of sheer fairness to the couples and their offspring. A well-known quote comes to mind: “Do unto others…”

    What it comes down to is fairness: If we provide tax breaks and other advantages to opposite-sex couples, we should provide it to same-sex couples, because there simply isn’t any reason not to — and I believe eventually we will. Twenty years ago, same-sex marriage was not even a possibility; today, almost half of Californians voted in favor of it. Civil rights movements don’t flow backwards. Inevitably, same-sex marriage will be legalized, and (just as they did with interracial marriages) those who opposed it will wonder why they did.

  6. A few minutes have calmed me down a bit, and I apologize for the “hateful” statement – I don’t mean to imply that you’re hateful. But same-sex marriage strikes me, and many others, as something so evidently tied to fairness and justice that to prohibit it can only stem from intolerance.

    What it means to you personally DOES matter – it’s not a red herring. Civil rights eventually comes down to personal interactions: Will you treat others the way you would want to be treated. To deny others an equal right to marriage simply because of “history” seems a specious argument. Would you allow someone to tell your daughter that she can’t vote because of “history”?

    This issue matters more than I think many people realize. I can’t imagine looking into my heart and telling someone they can’t have what I have: A chance to be married to the person I love.

  7. @Curious: I’m not quite sure that my arguments are specious– that they are actually fallacious– because that would have to be proven. Furthermore, I’m not (necessarily) presenting why we should not have same-sex marriage as much as laying the groundwork for why opposite-sex marriage is to be preferred. If you read the post again you will see that my arguments are crafted in such a way to support the status quo as a preferred system and present that a substitute system would have to justify itself.

    My point is not to be hateful, but try to look at the question as dispassionately as possible. You can understand how hard it is to do such in your own responses.

    Argument from History is a rational argument in that ideas and concepts mature over time. The fact that something– anything– has been practiced for many years means that it either works or there was a reason to stop doing it. Your two sub arguments are specious at best. One could easily make the argument that slavery still is alive in well, though it has been moderated into the employer/employee relationship. There are more things and employee can do, but you’re still at the mercy of the employer if you want a paycheck.

    As for women attending college, this one could go in all sorts of directions, and could end up with another post– but just stating it as something that’s positive doesn’t work without the supporting argument.

    Rarely does a couple enter a marriage relationship knowing that they are barren, so that’s a moot point. As for senior men and women, I know some senior men that have still procreated, and that something is a byproduct of the preferred coupling in another setting doesn’t count as a detraction.

    Since studies (do I need to find them, or will you take this at face value) have shown that children of a two-parent heterosexual family are the most well rounded, stating that there’s other options doesn’t negate the primacy of heterosexual marriage. No one wishes to be a single mom or dad, but it happens. Should we promote it? And yet there have been people that are single that have gotten pregnant believing that they deserved it. The question is, what should be promoted.

    Fairness is an odd concept. Life isn’t fair. Society needs to figure out what to reward, and should choose to reward the best. If everyone gets a reward, then there is no reward.

    Though it’s possible that same sex marriage may be legalized in the US, this post is dealing with the question of why heterosexual marriage is to be preferred, and should stay that way.

    As for your last comment: I try not to take anything that is said here personally. We argue in the realm of ideas, and that’s where it should stay. Thank you for your apology, but none was needed.

    In order to be consistent, if you believe there’s an issue of fairness involved, you need to be across the board– arguing for polygamy, etc. Because it’s unfair to the polygamist. You cannot pick and choose with your line of argument. And again, your argument falls apart when you take it to its logical conclusion because it ends up preferring no pairing.

    I do not consider this a civil rights issue because I don’t see any class of people that’s not allowed to marry, and I do not see a chosen behavior is being something that’s necessarily something to be protected. Choosing to have homosexual sex is a choice. Though the attraction factor may be something out of control, it can be learned and unlearned, and the person chooses whether to act upon it.

    However, this is external to the basic argument presented here about the primacy and efficacy of heterosexual marriage.

  8. The title of this article highlights a deep misunderstanding–proponents of gay marriage are not trying to repeal, degrade, roll back, change, or destroy heterosexual marriage. So there is no need to make a case FOR heterosexual marriage–it’s not under threat, from the gays at least (now, it might be under threat from adultery, divorce, etc., but that’s a different story). In other words, it’s not an either-or kind of thing. Heterosexual marriage is obviously deeply, vitally important to human civilization and society. So, the question at hand is really whether the institution of marriage is appropriate for gay couples, or should be restricted to heterosexual couples only.

    Arguing from Creation: Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. We decided in this country to abolish slavery. While many of our founding values come from religion, I argue that our reason and common sense must primarily determine our actions and laws, not blind allegiance to any ideology.

    Arguing from History: Same-sex marriages have been documented from around the world, including from Roman times and in more than 30 African cultures, such as the Kikuyu and Nuer. So the claim that “Never, in the history of the world, has marriage been defined as anything but a union between a man and a woman” is false.

    “There is no natural benefit from the union of two same-sex couples toward the race.” This claim rests on the assumption that pairings in a population can only benefit the race by directly producing children. I couldn’t disagree more. Non-breeding individuals help with child-rearing and other tasks in millions of species. Sterile helpers in bee colonies gather food, defend the hive and care for the larvae of the queen. These individuals do not reproduce themselves, but they serve an important function for the species as a whole. Gay and lesbian people who don’t choose to have children are brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, teachers, counselors, firemen, volunteers, social workers, doctors, nurses, foster parents, adoptive parents, etc. So a union of two individuals of the same sex can result in lots of benefits to society–because having a stable partner enables you to do your job better and be of greater benefit to your community. More importantly, increasing numbers of same-sex couples ARE actually having children, just as heterosexual couples are, which is certainly a “natural benefit.”

    “Inclinations and desires are not always right.” OK, a little vague, but I agree in principle. But the claim that is implied is that “same-sex inclinations and desires are wrong.” As I understand it, we define something as ethically “wrong” when our actions damage ourselves or other people. Murder and robbery, two examples you used, are wrong because they cause damage to others. Who exactly is damaged by two consenting adults pledging to devote their lives to protecting, loving, and cherishing each other? I can’t think of anyone who is harmed. Who is helped by same-sex marriage? Marriage has well-studied positive effects on health, lifespan and quality of life (, so the two individuals who are able to marry benefit. Allowing gay people to marry would improve the self-esteem of gay people in general, helping to reduce high rates of depression and suicide among gay teens and it would help gay couples form more long-lasting and stable relationships. It would also allow children of gay couples to feel that their family units were recognized by society.

    Argument from “The Majority”: I agree that the majority is not always right (as Proposition 8 in California in 2008 demonstrates). Your claim that “it does not seem logical to enact something that goes against the majority of the people, that would effect the majority of the people and set up problems with the majority’s rights” is puzzling. How would allowing same-sex marriage affect the majority of the people and create problems with their rights? Allowing gay marriage would not erode or change any of the rights of heterosexuals to continue marrying. This argument is simply absurd. Name one thing that would change in your life if gay marriage were allowed tomorrow!?

    Argument from Society: There are many benefits to society that would result from allowing same-sex marriages to exist (see above). There are numerous benefits to society of promoting heterosexual marriage. In fact, I basically think marriage is a pretty cool thing in general. It is one of the last unselfish acts we celebrate in this overly commercialized, me-first culture. The idea of devoting yourself to someone else, to be there for them through thick and thin, is a rare and beautiful thing.

    In terms of the slippery slope, I don’t think there is a big enough arborphilia lobbying group to make that legal! You bring up polygamy… well, that is really a whole separate issue that should be decided on its own.

    Same-sex marriage is good. Heterosexual marriage is good. Let’s enhance and protect both.

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