Byron Babione

In his second false analogy, the president assumes that, because romantic love is involved, same-sex relationships have the same implications as do opposite-sex relationships for society and must, therefore, be treated exactly the same. This comparison is not a weapon of politicians alone. Same-sex marriage activists and their attorneys have employed it not only in their Hollywood-run PR campaign, but in their legal arguments as well—which have now reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

They argue that marriage is primarily about romantic commitment and mutual economic interests and that same-sex and opposite-sex couples are the same in this way, and thus they are the same in every other relevant way.

But anyone who’s ever gotten “The Talk” from their parents is aware of the obvious: a fundamental difference exists between the sexual union of a man and a woman and that of two men or two women. So the analogy fails because it ignores that the two relationships drastically differ concerning the most important civil purpose of marriage: promoting the creation and raising of children by their natural mother and father—a social good without equal.

The mature truth that men and women procreate and same-sex couples don’t is not a mean-spirited criticism; it’s a fact rooted in biology that doesn’t violate any principle of equality known to human reasoning or American law. Equality means that you must treat things that are the same the same. But when you treat two things that are different differently, you behave rationally. No principle of equality is offended.

Ah, but the false analogy is so useful to those who wield it. For the purpose of redefining marriage by judicial fiat, it is indispensible. Without the false analogy, attackers of marriage protection laws have no case.

Government has recognized marriage for the entire history of Western Civilization for two reasons: The first is to acknowledge the blessing of children and increase each future child’s likelihood that he or she will be brought up in a home legally bound to his or her mother and father. The second is to reduce the threat of epidemic-level, taxpayer-crushing, out-of-wedlock births. Same-sex relationships have no bearing on these well-known reasons for preserving marriage, humanity’s only reliable life-giving and society-sustaining union.

Another comparison that fails: likening marriage amendments to abominable laws that once prevented white and black people from marrying. Racist laws kept men and women apart. Marriage laws bring men and women together to keep society thriving. The shade of someone’s skin is irrelevant to marriage, but the sex of the partners is essential to the definition and the societal function of marriage.

Inspiring people to think through these issues is much better than allowing them to unwittingly adopt simplistic, superficial talking points created by Rob Reiner’s PR guy. And at the Supreme Court, we should hope that the proper analogy prevails—that men and women are as indispensible to marriage as logic is to sound public policy.


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.