The last few weeks have been filled with political drama. The economic bailout, discussions about Sarah Palin, and the vice presidential debate have kept millions of Americans occupied with their own debates about America’s future.
While all this excitement is taking place nationally, there is a quiet tragedy brewing that can have just as much impact as the financial crisis. It is the battle to protect marriage. Three states have marriage amendments on the ballot this November - Arizona, California, and Florida. The California battle is especially significant because judges have made same sex marriage into law in that state. These battles have been relegated to the back pages of the national papers and hardly covered at all on national television because the protection of marriage is often called a “wedge issue.”
Due to the lack of media coverage, many people are unaware of how much is at stake in this battle. Same sex marriage could become the law of the land in three years or less. The only speed bump that could slow this process down (or derail it) is passing a constitutional amendment in these three states.
The problem with redefining marriage is that it is more than a civil rights issue concerning how gay people are treated. It has the potentially unintended effect of hastening the decline of traditional heterosexual marriage. It also may blur the lines of morality and sexual behavior for centuries to come. Studies have shown that in the nations that have legalized same sex marriage or other forms of “faux” marriage, the change has devalued the institution of marriage as a whole. This devaluation has resulted in heterosexuals waiting longer to marry, increases in single parent households, and an overall alienation of many children from their birth fathers.
Let me explain these findings in a different way. Once we redefine marriage, we automatically redefine the family. After the family is redefined, we must redefine how kids are educated and trained in our “brave new world.” For example, in the second grade in the State of Massachusetts, students in public schools are required to read books like The Prince and the Prince. This book lays out the romance and courtship of two gay men who become “the King and the King” and live happily ever after.
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.