Up Front and Personal

An Alien Concept Of Marriage

by John Goldstein

New York State has just granted same-sex couples the legal right to marry. Apparently state officials believe that absent the right to marry, homosexuals are the victims of discrimination, and are confined to a status in society inferior to heterosexuals, and that the only remedy for this situation is to grant same-sex couples the right to marry.
This idea has more in common with Madison Ave. advertising than it does with serious thought. Proponents of same-sex “marriage” have used the techniques of advertising to sell state officials and a large portion of the population on the idea that in order to redress a long history of real discrimination and sometimes violence against homosexuals, society must now grant them “marriage equality.” Advertising rarely cites real facts to support its claims, but relies instead on a tenuous and often non-existent connection between a real need or desire and the product being marketed.
Think of the axiom “sex sells,” and consider how sex is used to sell a variety of products, all of which have no real connection to sex. In like manner, the proponents of same-sex marriage have connected the American sense of fair play, a real, existent value, with “marriage equality,” without demonstrating that cohabitating homosexual couples actually have a marriage.
Thus, many are persuaded to support same-sex “marriage,” because of what their support allegedly says about them, rather than on the merits of the case.  Advertising slogans work because people rarely question whether the claims are supported by facts, just as state officials did not question whether two people of the same sex who share a home, bank account, and bed really have a marriage.
The idea that two people of the same sex could marry is so alien to the concept of marriage that state officials could only perpetrate such a fiction by redefining marriage. Chief among the victims of this redefinition is the role that marriage plays in procreation  We cannot survive without heterosexual reproduction, which takes place best in heterosexual marriage where children are born and nurtured until they are self-sufficient.
However, we can survive without same-sex “marriage,” where procreation is impossible.  In a misguided attempt at fairness, taken in the name of “marriage equality,” officials of New York State want same-sex couples to share the unique social status of married heterosexual couples, even though same-sex couples cannot match the contribution to society of these heterosexual couples. Is this fair?
Instead of tinkering with the definition of marriage, it would have been better if state officials had granted legal recognition to same-sex couples in the form of “civil unions” or “domestic partnerships.”  The fact that the governor and state legislators did not do this speaks volumes about them. What will they do next – legislate pregnancy equality for men?

Jack Goldstein is a member of Incarnation parish, Queens Village, where he is an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, lector and catechist. He also is past president of the Catholic-Jewish Relations Council of NE Queens.