First, you are guilty of using the most frustrating and pernicious leftist debate tactic.
To try to make your case, you use examples outside the norm – such as families who adopt, grandparents raising their grandchildren, single parents due to the death of a spouse – in an attempt to undermine the norm. It’s no different than those who are pro-abortion trying to undermine opposition to abortion by raising rare cases of rape and incest, or more recently, using the existence of intersex persons to try to undermine natural sex/gender.
Many of us have friends or family whose situation is exactly one of those examples, but their efforts are a compassionate response to a crisis, not something that we should set as a legal standard.
Second, articulating an ideal is not exclusionary.
The ideal articulates what is objectively best (in the case of marriage, what is best for society). I could never meet the standards for getting into the army – is that exclusionary? Should they be forced to allow overweight middle-aged women into the ranks so that I don’t feel excluded? No, that’s absurd, and that policy would be detrimental to our national defense – just like eliminating the standard of marriage (as the lifelong commitment of a man and a woman for the care of their offspring) is detrimental to our society.
Third, you have asked how removing the standard of traditional marriage threatens people.
Removing “traditional” from the platform waves the white flag when it comes to the same-sex marriage debate. It sidelines conservatives and would publicly give fodder to the radical left precisely when they are doing a full court press to go even FURTHER than the redefinition of marriage. Our party’s platform is at best our last finger in the dam on this issue (mainly because so few people actually pay attention to it anyway – really, only Republicans who are committed to the party pay attention to the platform).
The fact is that when we abandon the standard of traditional marriage, we forfeit our liberty to the state. When our laws no longer respect and reflect the natural order and the biological reality of family (man + woman = child), we are by default giving the state the power to decide what makes a family. No longer is the state merely RECOGNIZING a family (and it’s biological bonds), but it has the power to make and destroy families. In fact, I’m sure we’re not far from the sexual revolutionaries crying that any biological basis for claims to children are discriminatory (since same-sex couples are unequal in that regard and cannot themselves procreate). Where does it stop if you have eliminated the objective, biological basis by redefining marriage?
Fourth, this treats marriage as if it is nothing more than a preference.
Marriage is not just “what flavor of ice cream do you prefer.” Our society has an interest in maintaining traditional marriage because it is best for human flourishing. It has an interest in traditional marriage because it produces the best possible next generation. It has an interest because, it at its root, marriage involves the rearing of children. Society does not have an interest in a romance between two men who cannot procreate. We weaken and redefine marriage at our own peril. Do you like the welfare state? Because the more we destroy traditional families, the bigger and more invasive the state will become.
Finally, just to put it all together: what the NHGOP platform currently states is absolutely true.
The platform states: “Traditional families are the foundation of strong communities.” Removing a mother or a father from a family (which is at the root of what makes a family “non-traditional”) weakens the community because it puts children at higher risk of poverty, incarceration, substance abuse, sexual abuse, suicide, and more. Plus, it strains the family itself (how many single moms aren’t burned out?) as well as the community that has to provide for any shortcomings (i.e. financial strain like welfare for struggling single moms). Perhaps I’m missing something here, but it strikes me that this change (removing the word “traditional”) is really only being proposed to make people feel better, and it would actually result in something demonstrably less true than the platform as currently worded.
Note: Edited from the authors original status update on Facebook