Byron Babione

On May 9, Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to openly support a redefinition of marriage. By so doing, he demonstrated that he doesn’t understand the public purpose of marriage and that he isn’t beyond politicizing every institution—even sacred ones—for personal gain.

Other than that, he only told us what we already knew. In other words, he was for redefining marriage before he was for it. Thus the only surprising aspect of his announcement is that he made it the day after North Carolinians turned out in droves to support a constitutional amendment protecting marriage in that state.

And because North Carolina is the 31st state to implement such a constitutional-grade protection, President Obama’s announcement simply proves how out of sync he is with the desires and convictions of the American people.

Marriage—the lifelong, faithful union of one man and one woman—is the building block of a thriving society. It’s not something that politicians should attempt to redefine for political purposes. And when one thinks of how eloquently President Obama lamented how fatherless homes hurt children and society, an announcement of this magnitude brings us to a point of “either/or.”

That is, either Obama does lament fatherless homes and fails to recognize that same-sex “marriage” is a guaranteed way to produce more such homes or he’s fully aware of it, but considers them acceptable losses (or collateral) in exchange for political gain at this point in time.

Regardless, with Obama’s announcement we have reached a perilous point in our culture. For we can now see more clearly than ever the divide between the people—who want to protect marriage—and the president, who is openly hostile towards it. We as a society should not be comfortable with using the force of law to intentionally deprive children of either a mother or a father.

And as we did not endure to this point in time as a nation without marriage, so too we cannot hope to continue intact past this time without protecting the sacred institution which has brought us this far.

President Obama has it all wrong on this particular issue, and the citizens of North Carolina have it all right. But ultimately, regardless of what politicians say or what happens at the polls, the union between one man and one woman—marriage—is timeless, universal, and special. It is the one and only relationship absolutely essential to the future of humanity. And false characterizations that say marriage is something else only confuse the discussion about it.

This is not a matter of who to include in marriage, but a matter of what marriage actually is. Redefining it is nothing short of attempting to create a square circle—something that not even the president of the United States can do.


Byron Babione

Byron Babione is senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that has defended marriage and religious liberty in courts throughout the U.S.