I’m back to Public Discourse for this defence of civil marriage as a contract between one man and one woman. In an article based on his submission to the US Senate on their debate regarding the Defence of Marriage Act, Austin R. Nimocks argues that the State’s interest in legislating marriage is fundamentally about the public purpose of marriage, not the private purposes; about the State’s interest in marriage as an institution, not about how marriage affects any particular individual or couple.
Due to the public nature of the government’s interest in marriage, a couple’s entrance into marriage has never been conditioned on the couple’s ability and desire to find happiness together, on their level of financial entanglement, or on their actual personal dedication to each other. Because the scope of due process rights is determined not by anyone’s individual circumstances, but by the country’s history, traditions, and legal practices, marriage laws stem from the fact that children are the natural product of sexual relationships between men and women, and that both fathers and mothers are viewed to be necessary and important for children. Thus, throughout history, diverse cultures and faiths have recognized marriage between one man and one woman as the best way to promote healthy families and societies.
Moreover, studies and data from the social sciences have long demonstrated that for children, the ideal family structure is one headed by two opposite-sex biological parents in a low-conflict marriage.
Nimocks goes on to discuss case law that supports the link between marriage and procreation, and between marriage’s dependence, as an institution, on the complementarity of one man and one woman.