On December 8, 2022 Congress passed the Respect for Marriage Act. It redefines marriage to include unions between homosexual couples and mandates that all states recognize such unions. This bill enshrines in law the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which first legalized homosexual marriage in the United States. The passage of this law should come as no surprise to many. It merely follows from the cultural redefinition of marriage that happened several decades ago.
The redefinition of marriage began in part with the introduction of no-fault divorce. This meant that a marriage could be dissolved at will. Subtly that changed the traditional meaning of marriage as a lifelong union of a man and woman for their good and for the procreation and education of children. After all, if marriage can be dissolved at will, then it cannot be defined as a lifelong union. Likewise, it means in practice that couples can divorce at any time regardless of the impact on children.
Our culture needed a new definition of marriage divorced from procreation and life-long union. Therefore, marriage became in our cultural consciousness merely a union of two people based on love. “Love” here does not necessarily include children, nor a lifelong commitment. Instead, it is left intentionally vague. If marriage is defined as such, then there is no argument against allowing people of the same sex to marry. Nor, it is important to realize, is there an argument against allowing any other combinations of couplings so long as they fulfill the conceptually shallow requirement of “love.”
We will need to reintroduce people to the true meaning of marriage that was lost well before 2022.
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