To the Editor:
The ‘right to marry’ has become advertised as a matter of “equality,” as if homosexuality was a viable alternative or substitute for heterosexuality.
Perpetuation of the species is the natural way of things, a biological imperative, which makes it the norm. If all were heterosexual, the species continues. If all were homosexual, the species would end.
This is what homosexuality is missing. On all other grounds, it might be equal; although some religious and social traditions would not grant that.
All are equal to marry an opposite gender. This is the norm.
To marry to the same gender makes some not equal to, but beyond or outside the norm.
In the “equality” the homosexuals want, their “alternative” would be lifted up to the norm, the exception that makes for some to be “special” instead of equal. It dissolves the norm of marriage.
How can a minority lifestyle dictate what is normative for a majority’s lifestyle?
Once a civilization or society discards its norms, it destroys its cohesiveness.
To redefine the parameters of marriage broadens the concept of marriage to make it so inclusive that it dilutes its meaning. It’s the restrictions and boundaries that define anything, from a concept to a society. You remove its definition — you remove the concept. You remove the restrictions on what is marriage — you remove marriage.
Trying to remove a tradition by re-inventing and establishing a new thing which is intended to be a replacement only works when the old tradition expires because it’s outlived its usefulness or has become meaningless.
This is the attack on marriage: to make the traditional concept meaningless.
It doesn’t seem that the attack on marriage was for equality under the law, because the laws themselves are not being challenged: to rewrite the tax code, to modify inheritance laws, etc., which is the proper way to include exceptions and a minority lifestyle, which is different to the majority’s lifestyle, makes it an exception.
Rather than changing the laws, the avenue of approach has been to slip under the umbrella of an existing institution, that of marriage and dismantling the traditional marriage by inserting a new definition so as to be covered by its privileges.
This is not the same as saying “we’re different” and want to be included by modifying the laws, but rather saying “we’re all the same” and legislating the adoption of that point of view.
What widens the scope of this controversy is religion. When a religion defines traditional marriage as being a sacrament, (that is, a physical symbol of a spiritual reality), and places specific criteria on receiving and entering into such sacrament, then the redefinition circumvents the restrictions upon elements of the sacrament, which eliminates it as a sacrament.
In the sacrament of marriage, two dissimilar elements become united as one. This does not have the same spiritual meaning as two similar elements; it becomes cosmologically a different religion.
This becomes the ‘foot in the door’ to redefine further sacraments, which will redefine the religion. This is where innocent people who are honestly seeking justice and acceptance, are being used as tools in a much wider agenda.
Homosexuals have a partnership. Call it a ‘civil union’. Give it equal treatment under law with marriage. Make it a true alternative rather than trying to incorporate it into traditional marriage.
Remove clergy from performing civil unions and have them only perform marriages. To be recognized by the State, everyone gets a civil union to receive all those ‘united-as-one-person’ protections under law.
For homosexuality, this marriage redefinement is the wrong approach to gain acceptance. You cannot co-opt a heterosexual institution without it being perceived as an assault.
Changing the law will be seen as a smokescreen for changing tradition.
Just like with religions and cultures, we can live parallel lives, without intruding on each other’s sacred spaces.
If not, it will breed resentments that will widen our differences, exaggerate our stances, and increase prejudice.
It seems to me easier to start a new institution with new laws rather than try to bend an old institution to comply with new parameters.
Michael Bourland, Newcastle