As my family drove home tonight along a street in downtown Salt Lake City, we were delayed by several hundred, make that thousands of people around Temple Square protesting the LDS Church. It wasn't like any protest I've seen in this city and was quite a testament to our right to protest. (Of which I am grateful.)
So why were they protesting the LDS Church? Because the LDS Church was one of the main proponents of the recent proposition in California to amend the state constitution to define marriage as only a union between a man and woman. I happen to support that proposition as well. And here's why.
What first needs to be answered is why, in this day and age, the state (by which I mean the government) is involved in the practice of marriage. It wasn't always that way. Traditionally, marriage was a function of religion and was a religious ceremony. The question is why the state became involved. The answer is because society wanted to encourage marriage as it led to the stable creation of families and child-rearing. As those children age, they learn the how to make a family and eventually marry and have kids. Continuing the cycle and ensuring the survival of society. And of course, as children get older and begin to work and consume, they become taxpayers and on and on it goes. All to the benefit of both society and the state. This is the purpose of the involvement of the state in marriage.
Marriage and the creation of stable families is beneficial to the state. In order to encourage marriage, the state ensures certain benefits to those that are legally married. These include the assumption of pensions and assets upon death, tax breaks, and immigration benefits. There are others, but there are also detriments. Though not often considered, these include not being able to end the relationship as easily as non-married couples can, or having to pay alimony if one of the partners was dependent on the other. (Of course this is a benefit to the dependent side.)
The question that must be answered next is how marriage by homosexual couples is beneficial to society and the state. I don't believe it is as homosexual couples can't make a family. It's biologically impossible. Although they can form a family through adoption, they can't teach their adopted children, through example, the fundamentals of making a biological family as those children are inherently wont to do. And thus society and the state are not set to benefit by such an arrangement. It follows then, that society and the state should not be concerned with extending the definition of marriage to include the union between members of the same sex.
For this I believe that the purpose of demanding gay marriage is not so that homosexual couples can enjoy the same benefits as heterosexual couples. I believe that that is just a cover. The real purpose is to gain acceptance and recognition. They want society to accept and agree with their behavior. Remember, tolerance implies disagreement. It's not very tolerant to demand that others in society accept one's behavior, however beneficial or detrimental it is to society. It's actually quite intolerant. And until homosexuals can demonstrate that gay marriage is beneficial to society, it is illogical to redefine an institution thousands of years old.
I welcome any dialogue that may ensue from the above, so long as it is conducted in a respectful and tolerant way.
(As a note, one of the main reason so many different churches, including the LDS Church, are involved is because of our right to worship. As gay marriage laws are passed in such places as Sweden, it has/will become illegal for churches to sermonize or speak out against what they traditionally believe to be the "sin" of homosexuality. The definition of "hate speech" has been or will be extended to include such sermons, etc. This is an attack on liberty and everything America was created for.)