3. Regarding the State, Traditional Marriage, and Same-Sex Unions
A number of questions regarding the legitimate role of government have been raised by both advocates of particular rights for homosexuals and defenders of traditional marriage. In this brief essay I am attempting to address several of the most urgent of these questions.
The matter of pension rights is one that, as we have said previously, could be addressed by simple contracts and legal declarations, provided no subsidizing by outside parties is involved. It cannot be legitimately argued, in the view of this writer, that those in either traditional marriages or homosexual unions, simply because of their relationship, should have the right to special subsidization by other participants in a pension scheme or by government or as a result of a government mandate. The only apparently legitimate argument that can be made for any government-mandated subsidizing is in the case of partners with children. Any legislation regarding this is a matter for detailed and special laws, not a matter for basic human rights.
What about the right to adopt? Who should have that right? Well, adoption surely is not a basic right, but a special right which is granted not primarily for the welfare of a couple but for the welfare of children. It can surely be legitimately argued that the optimum welfare of children is served by their being raised in a stable relationship in a family headed by an opposite-sex couple, and opposite-sex couples in such stable relationships should be granted special status when deciding questions of adoption.
What role should the school system play in the matter of portraying traditional marriage and homosexual unions? Pro-homosexuality activists demand that the latter should be given at least equal status in education to that of the former. Pro-homosexuality activists would demand that literature classes study the portrayal in novels of homosexual romance in the same way that heterosexual romances are now portrayed. In fact, these activists would call into service much of the school curriculum for the favourable portrayal of homosexual relationships.
Should education be subjected to such a revolutionary treatment on behalf of the homosexual minority? The medical evidence would shout a loud and clear warning which we ignore at our peril. The brevity of the average homosexual’s life-span, the prevalence of disease among the practitioners of homosexuality, the rarity of permanent commitment to relationships: all are clear warnings against the use of the schools as instruments to give youth a favourable view of homosexual behaviour. Public schooling must not be used as an instrument of pro-homosexuality propaganda.
The matter of parental rights must come into play in any consideration of the proposals to alter public education on behalf of a homosexual minority. The state should not subvert in the public schools the teachings of those parents who espouse traditional morality.
Those of us who are social conservatives are not, for the most part, expecting--and in my opinion should not expect, the state to enforce our private standards of behaviour. But to the extent that government should be involved in the marriage question at all, it should be involved on the side of recognizing the unique and beneficent nature of the justly time-honoured institution of marriage as a relationship involving the commitment of one man and one woman.