The legalization of homosexual marriage in Canada threatens traditional marriage in the United States. Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” this Sunday that if elected, he would “insist that every state find a way to recognize the same legal rights for gay couples as they do for everybody else. If a couple goes to Canada and gets married, when they come back, they should have exactly the same legal rights as every other American.”
Mr. Dean’s comments follow closely the decision of an Ontario appeals court, which ruled June 10 that Canada’s ban on homosexual marriage is unconstitutional, clearing the way for the country’s first legal same-sex “marriages.” Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien has announced that a law to legalize same-sex marriage will be drafted within weeks.
In a few weeks, the Massachusetts Supreme Court will also rule on the issue. A similar case has also been filed in New Jersey, and litigation is expected in other states. Although 37 states have adopted the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman, homosexual advocacy groups promise to challenge this definition. The legalization of homosexual marriage has also gained momentum with a bill introduced in Congress by Sen. Hillary Clinton, New York Democrat, that gives homosexual couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. A similar bill has also been introduced in the California legislature.
Despite this current trend, a recent poll shows that the majority of Americans are against the legalization of homosexual marriage, as they should be. For centuries, marriage has been the bedrock of civilization and the foundation of society. Overwhelming data confirms that healthy children flourish best under the nurturing love between a man and a woman. While sexual orientation should not deprive someone of the constitutional provision of equal protection under law, such rights do not imply the right to same-sex marriage. To adopt such policies would devalue and threaten the sacred tradition of marriage. The unique sanctity of the heterosexual family is not only the bedrock of American culture — it is the first principle of all human societies. While the world’s great religions all assert this truth, the empirical evidence that it has been embraced by all peoples across all time stands on its own as proof of its validity. Congress should stand ready to take all actions necessary to protect the institution of marriage.