by Stephen Scaer |
The NH Log Cabin Republicans want the state GOP to join them in playing Jenga with civilization by removing the marriage plank from its platform. Bad idea.
Thousands of years ago, our ancestors realized they had a problem: when a baby is born, the mother is nearby to feed and protect the child. The father? Not always. He might even be off making babies with someone else, leaving others to support and protect the mother and child.
They came up with a solution that’s worked pretty well for millennia: Marriage. Civilizations encouraged men and women to publicly promise to join in an exclusive, life-long partnership where they will take care of themselves and any children resulting from their relationships. Brilliant.
Our ancestors recognized that comprehensive, life-long commitment between a man and a woman is difficult, so they offered incentives: gifts of property and money, as well as laws and customs that protected their status, their shared property, and custody of their children. These laws also held husbands and wives responsible for their promise to care for their children so that someone else – usually the state – didn’t have to step in and care for them.
Although no family is perfect, we know most children thrive when raised by their biological mothers and fathers, each with something special to bring to child-rearing: Mothers breastfeed, understand babies and small children, and offer nurture and comfort. Fathers excel at discipline, play, and encouraging children to step up to challenges.
In the last 60 years, we’ve lost our way. With the introduction of birth control came the promise that sex could be a form of recreation, disconnected from reproduction, and as a result, the rate of children born out of wedlock in the US rose from 5% in 1960 to 40% in 2019. This was compounded by the introduction of no-fault or low-fault divorce, which taught that marriage was for the gratification of adults and that it was OK for parents to leave their children if they found a mate they liked better. Today 43% of children live in households without their fathers, leaving the children much more vulnerable to crime, addiction, incarceration, and mental illness.
- 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average, and 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)
- 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (National Principals Association Report)
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse.”
Black families have been disproportionately hurt by fatherlessness in the wake of the sexual revolution and the expansion of welfare programs that disincentivize marriage. In 1965, 25% of children did not have a biological father in the household, but the rate of fatherlessness has risen to 73%.
Fatherlessness expands government. A 2008 study found that divorce and unwed childbearing cost taxpayers $112 billion a year.
This would be a good time to step back from our social experiments and celebrate natural marriage by encouraging men and women to join in raising their own children. Instead, the NH Log Cabin Republicans are pushing state Republican Party to turn away from natural marriage by removing the plank from our platform that states that we “Recognize marriage as the legal and sacred union between one man and one woman as ordained by God, encouraged by the state, and traditional to humankind, and the core of the family.”
NH Log Cabin Republican Chairman Jim Morgan asserts dropping this plank will show we’re “doing everything we can to broaden our inclusivity within the Republican Party and make the gay community a factor in Republican politics,” but the powerful LGBT lobby has shown itself to be anything but inclusive.
The LGBT lobby has no tolerance for proponents of natural marriage or respect for the First Amendment, as evidenced by the persecutions of Gordon College, Jack Phillips, Barronelle Stutzman, Brendan Eich, Kelvin Cochran, and Elaine Huguenin. Adoption agencies whose insist that children need mothers and fathers have been forced to close rather than act against faith and conscience.
If marriage isn’t a life-long public covenant between one man and one woman-oriented towards creating and raising children, what is it? A state certification acknowledging a partnership based on the strength of emotion between two adults that can be dissolved when their love fades? A public institution for the gratification of adults from which children can be written off as collateral damage when the adults lose interest in each other and separate?
Moreover, there is nothing exclusive about the NH GOP’s marriage plank. It says nothing critical about same-sex relationships and says nothing to discourage adults from living and loving as they choose. The plank simply acknowledges biological reality, by continuing to define marriage has it has been for thousands of years in order to give children the best opportunity to be raised by their mothers and fathers.
Marriage is the foundation of a thriving civilization. If we’re serious about social justice, racial equality, fighting addiction, the well-being of our children, and our First Amendment rights, we can take this opportunity to use our platform to demonstrate our love and respect for all people by continuing to encourage men and women to join in a unique partnership that bonds biological families and puts children first.
Let’s keep natural marriage in our platform.
Update: Minor edits and clarifications added.