You raise several important issues. Let me just respond to the one that I think is at the crux of the confusion:
- “In my opinion, the state CANNOT, by the laws as set out in the Constitution and by the equality statements in The Declaration of Independence, deny anyone certain rights that they give to others.”
Even though we would agree with the Declaration that we are all created equal, this doesn’t mean that the State can’t discriminate behaviorally. The State exercises the right to disqualify certain people from driving based upon their age, performance and driving record.
In fact, all laws discriminate. Therefore, the question must be whether or not they discriminate justly and in a way that promotes the general welfare. This should also pertain to the institution of marriage.
The State has always exercised discrimination in regards to marriage, divorce and child custody issues – and yes, their authority ultimately comes from God in all areas. The State has understandably discriminated against polygamous marriage, pedophile marriage, incestuous marriage and forcibly arranged marriage.
Should the State not be involved? Should someone be able to start a business marrying 100 young girls from Moldavia in order to give them residential and monetary benefits? Should parents be prevented from marrying off their 5-year-old girls to a billionaire for money and so he can have sex-slaves? Of course not!
What would be the long range impact of instituting gay marriage? Can any society survive such an institution?
• For example, in Norway, a country that has had de-facto same-sex marriage since the early nineties, illegitimacy is exploding. In Nordland, the most liberal county of Norway, where they fly gay “rainbow” flags over their churches, illegitimacy has soared—more than 80 percent of women giving birth for the first time do so out of wedlock, and nearly 70 percent of all children are born out of wedlock. Across the entire country of Norway, illegitimacy rose from 39 percent to 50 percent in the first decade of same-sex marriage. http://www.allaboutlove.org/same-sex-marriage-countries.htm
• But it’s not just Norway. Blankenhorn reports this same trend in other countries. International surveys show a mutually re-enforcing relationship between same-sex marriage and illegitimacy. Natural marriage is weakest and illegitimacy strongest wherever same-sex marriage is legal.
• [Blankenhorn]: “redefining marriage to include gay and lesbian couples would eliminate entirely in law, and weaken still further in culture, the basic idea of a mother and a father for every child.”…He goes on to warn that if same-sex marriage is adopted, the claim that “every child needs a father and a mother” will probably be viewed as “divisive and discriminatory, possibly even as hate speech.”
• Furthermore, homosexual activists are fighting to change marriage laws because they know that there is a causal connection between law and behavior. As people like Sullivan and Signorile have admitted, they don’t want to change the law so they can get married, but because they know that a change in the law will change the attitudes and behaviors about marriage and homosexuality for all of society.
Will this nation profit from such a change?