Is interracial marriage the same type of issue as gay marriage?

This seems to be the big new argument out there now. Advocates of same-sex marriage are claiming that forbidding homosexual couples is just like the discriminatory laws that didn’t allow interracial marriages.

I can see where this argument is coming from, at least. I still don’t think it’s the same thing, however, and here’s why.

People of different races are all the same on the inside. Genetically, there is no difference between a black man and a white woman. They are the same. Our discrimination laws originated to prevent us from discriminating against someone on the basis of their outward appearance: gender, age, race. Proscribing interracial marriage was based on the outward appearance, but there was no reason to forbid those people to marry.

Same-sex couples, however, are a different matter. There is an obvious genetic difference between gay couples and heterosexual couples – two women or two men are not the same as one woman and one man. We’ll also have to get back into why people are gay, here: is it choice, or is it a genetic abnormality?

If it is choice, then these couples are choosing an alternative lifestyle. They are choosing to deviate from what society considers normal. People are free to choose to live alternative lifestyles, but they do have to live with the consequences. Americans don’t seem to like the fact that their actions have consequences, especially when those consequences are negative. That’s why we’re in this economic crisis. It is not any one individual’s fault; Americans chose to overspend, banks overextended themselves, and no one was prepared for the consequences.

So when a gay couple has a relationship, what are some of the consequences? Well, they can’t procreate, for starters. Gay couples have higher rates of STDs, including AIDS. Gay couples tend to be less stable. And, up until recently, they were not allowed to marry. When they made the choice to live that lifestyle, they were aware of that consequence. Is it good for society as a whole to let gay couples get married, to teach our children that homosexuality is equal to hetersexuality, to perpetuate a condition that is, at heart, an aberration from the norm? Assuming that it is a chosen behavior, the more we teach our small children about how great and wonderful homosexuality is, the more people will choose it. Eventually, society dies out when its population growth declines too far.

What if we argue instead that people are not gay by choice, but that it is a genetic tendency and we shouldn’t “punish” them for being made that way by forbidding them to marry? This goes back to the interracial marriage argument – if these couples are genetically different, genetically “flawed” according to mainstream society because of their homosexual tendencies, then they are not genetically equal to a heterosexual couple. They are not the same, and do not merit the same privileges. Marriage isn’t just about a couple who love each other; it is a societal contract. Marriages are about more than declaring one’s love for one’s spouse to the world; it is a bond that declares you are responsible for one another, you are responsible for your children, and you acknowledge your children as your own. Marriages were created to organize families, not to validate lovers’ feelings.

If we allow same-sex marriage on the grounds that it is discriminatory to prevent any two people who love each other from getting married, then it is only one more step to incest. It is only one more step to legalizing marrying children who are too young to be married. Beyond that, it is only one step further to legalizing polygamy. After all, these people all just love each other, right? What’s wrong with that?

What’s wrong with that, is that gay marriage, incest, child marriages, and polygamy, are not good for society. They are bad for society because of their effects on the gene pool, and they are bad for society because of their social effects. When we tear down the traditional family, we tear down the last place our children are safe from the world. By making marriage all about the couple and forgetting about the children, as society has been doing for the last several decades, we wound our children terribly. Look at divorce rates; look at fatherless children; look at gang violence; look at teenage promiscuity and teenage pregnancy rates. All these things are on the rise, because we’ve become selfish as a society. We are all about Me, My, Mine. Marriage ought to be about creating a home for our families, not about personal gratification. Perhaps there would be less adultery if we stopped to remember that – it’s not just about meeting an individual’s sexual needs (or, more often, wants). It’s about providing security for each other, providing emotional support, providing a refuge, a safe haven. It’s about responsibility. It’s about providing a safe place for children to grow up, taking care of their needs, until they are ready to go out into the world. And as much as they may want to, two moms or two dads will never be equal to a mom and a dad in their abilities to raise a child.