I have just been listening to the first 8 minutes of a debate about “gay marriage” and discrimination against “gay couples” on the February 2 Mandy Connell Show hosted by Mary Walter. I know I should listen to more, before posting an article, but I can’t bear to. What a painful experience these eight minutes were as neither Walter nor her co-host Brian seem to have the slightest clue about the core of this issue. It is remarkable to me that the entire reason that marriage is recognized by government in the first place — for the good of children — is so frequently missing in these debates. The debate on the Mandy Connell show is a good example of an endless argument that goes nowhere because neither “gets” what this issue is about. It’s about children.
Marriage is not a “right” any more than driving a car is a “right.” Driving a car is a privilege that is reserved for certain people. For example, my 15-yr-old cannot get a license to drive a car. A blind person cannot get a license to drive a car. Lots of people are denied drivers’ licenses for various reasons. Because so many can be denied a driver’s license, a driver’s license is not a “right” at all. It is a privilege. It is the same with marriage. You have to obtain a marriage license in order for your marriage to be recognized by the civil government. As with a driver’s license, not everyone can obtain a marriage license. If you’re already married to someone, for example, the state will not give you a license to marry another person. If you are a minor, the state will not issue a marriage license to you. You also cannot obtain a marriage license to marry your brother or your sister. Licenses should never be issued for rights. They are (and should be) issued for privileges that may be regulated by the State. Our rights may not be regulated by the State, hence no license should ever be necessary. They should, rather, be considered a given. A court should always assume that my rights exist in the absence of laws to the contrary, and any law that denies an inalienable right is an unjust law.
The privilege of marriage exists because it has a right at its core. Government has always recognized the social institution of marriage not because politicians are romantic and sentimental, but because it is necessary to recognize marriage in order for our civil law to reflect the right of children to a mother and a father, and to help ensure that children are connected legally to their parents. All children have this right, and our courts have always automatically assumed this right whenever parents divorce. As a divorcee myself, I can tell you that the court automatically assumed that our four children had a right to a relationship with their mother and their father. It is not okay for me to move to Australia, for example, and to take the kids away from their father. That would not be okay even if I despised him. Our kids have a right to a relationship with him and with me. It is because of this right that government recognized marriage in the first place.
One of the things that really blew my mind in the conversation between Mary Walter and her co-host Brian was when Walter said it is okay for a business to discriminate against a black person. Hello? The other thing was when Brian said the following:
You have the right…you have every right to say, “I’m not going to serve x, y and z,” and then the government, the state government in this particular case, has the right to say, “That is discriminatory so we will now investigate you.”
Clearly, neither Brian nor Mary know what a right is. If you say, Brian, that the state has the “right” to “investigate” me for something, that means, in and of itself, that you don’t believe I have the right to do it. Mary, all people have the right to engage in commerce. Blacks are people. To say that a business owner should be allowed to deny services to someone based on something the customer has no control over (his race) is to say that not all people have the right to engage in commerce. Being black isn’t a behavior. Getting married is a behavior.
These people are paid to discuss politics on the radio? Why? They don’t appear to be very well-versed on why the government recognized marriage to begin with. They don’t appear to understand that the rights of children are the most important thing to consider in civil marriage laws. Further, they don’t appear to even know what a right is.
States don’t have “rights.” They have “powers.” Granted, there are lots of folks who use the term “States’ rights” but read the Constitution. States don’t have rights. People do. Children have rights. One of those rights is to have a relationship with their mother and father. Sometimes, that right is denied, such as when a mother has a child she cannot care for and makes an adoption plan. The child who is abandoned still has a right to a mom and a dad, so we have adoption agencies to help ensure that every child may have a mom and a dad. Adoption agencies are selective in who is allowed to adopt a child, because the child has rights. NO ONE has a “right” to a “child.” Rather, children naturally occur in the union of man and woman, and it is the rights of these children that we have always sought to protect.
Roe v. Wade, of course, destroyed in many people the idea that children have rights that trump the wishes of their parents. Now, “gay marriage” is driving the final nail in the coffin as children are treated as commodities. “Gay couples” claim they have a “right” to “children” as if a child has no rights at all, like a loaf of bread on the shelf in the grocery store. There is no “right to children.” Children are a gift from God, and our civil government recognizes marriage as a privilege that is ordered to the rights of children. Once you say that marriage is a “right” you are speaking out of ignorance and you are throwing the rights of children out the window.
God help us.
Photo: Cuba Gallery