The world is constantly changing and evolving. It isn’t possible to stop this from happening, but it is possible to stand up for what is morally right and for what isn’t. And now, we are faced with what many people feel is the “inevitable evolution” of marriage: legalizing homosexual marriages. Not allowing homosexual marriages to be recognized by the government and to be legal would prevent changing a fundamental institution, would prohibit breaching the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and would prevent unthinkable consequences.
Marriage has been around for as long as anyone can remember. And after all this time, it has changed very little in the eyes of the law. Every major religion and culture has embraced marriage as a unique relationship between a man and a woman. One of the only times marriage was altered, was when no-fault divorce was legalised. No-fault divorce was introduced, and it has proven to be a complete disaster for children and often for the adults involved. Statistics now show that 53% of marriages end in divorce. And now, we find ourselves gambling yet again with an institution that is foundational to the well-being of our children and a healthy society.
The same argument once made in support of no-fault divorce, “This will not affect good marriages and healthy families,” is now being made in support of gay marriage. Yet we have no credible evidence to prove that altering our marriage laws again will be any less problematic for children and society than was no-fault divorce. The painful lessons we have learned as a result of no-fault divorce should stop this process cold in its tracks.
To fundamentally change an institution whose worth has been proved over thousands of years and in hundreds of cultures risks unintended and unexpected consequences. “It is with infinite caution that any man ought to venture upon pulling down an edifice which has answered in any tolerable degree for ages the common purposes of society.”
Secondly, it has been argued that prohibiting homosexuals to marry would breach the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter was modified in 1981 with the following heading “Whereas Canada is founded upon the principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law.” With such an acknowledgement, how could the acceptance of same-sex marriages even be considered? Time and again, the Bible clearly states and demonstrates God’s position on homosexuality:
Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of homosexuality (Gen 18:20-21; 19:5-7, 13);
Homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9-10);
Those who practice homosexuality are called “perverted men” (Jdg 19:22);
The penalty under the Old Testament for homosexuality was death (Lev 20:13);
It is abominable, whether committed by men or women (Ro 1:26-27)
Three Ontario judges stated that “…prohibiting gay couples from marrying violates the Charter…” The Charter, acknowledging the supremacy (ie. dominion, preeminence) of God strikes down any notion that same-sex marriages can be accepted in Canada.
Thirdly, the Marriage Act of Ontario, when speaking of a marriage mentions a “…man and wife…”. How does a same-sex couple fit this definition? The same document outlines a list of people whom a man cannot marry (“…grandmother, mother, daughter, sister, granddaughter…”). Likewise, a list of people whom a woman cannot marry is provided (“…grandfather, father, son, brother, grandson…”). If the Marriage Act permitted homosexual marriages, why is a man not restricted from marrying his “…grandfather, father, son, brother, grandson…”? And likewise, why is a woman not restricted from marrying her “…grandmother, mother, daughter, sister, granddaughter…”? It is for the simple reason that same-sex marriages do not fall within the framework of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Marriage Act of Ontario, or most importantly, God’s holy word.
To change the definition of marriage would be to change the nature of marriage; to recommend that, the full impact of the change must be understood. And that impact must be considered not just at the individual level, but most importantly at the societal level, and not just for the present, but also the future.
Definition (and language in general) create human reality. We don’t just change words, we change the nature of an entity when we redefine it. Definitions are frames that we place on events, concepts or circumstances, in order to give them meaning — we frame reality with language in order to find meaning in that reality. Those in the gay community who want same-sex marriage are right to seek meaning in their relationships and to want to have that meaning publicly recognized. They are wrong, however, to try to do it by co-opting the institution of marriage. The institution of marriage cannot function in that way without being deformed and destroyed.