The ALI proposals are instead explicitly based on the new idea that adults' sexual preferences triumph over the needs of children, who are expected to resiliently flourish (with a little help from lawyers) no matter how adults choose to behave.
These two big ideas, it is becoming increasingly clear, are mutually exclusive: Either we create the kind of society that urges parents to conform their sexual behavior to what is best for children, or we view the sexual liberty rights of adults as a kind of trump card, mowing down any obstacles in its path.
This summer, the Massachusetts high court is viewed as likely to rule that confining marriage to men and women is unconstitutional. Gay marriage supporters think and talk about it as a social justice issue for homosexuals, leaving the core of marriage unaffected. But creating a legal right to gay marriage requires first fundamentally stripping marriage of its great historic purpose: as a carrier of the message that children really do need mothers and fathers, and adults have a responsibility to act sexually in ways that lead to this outcome. At its most fundamental level, same-sex marriage is not about what we think about homosexuality. It is about what we think about marriage.
People who care about marriage and understand its critical importance need to speak up, before it is too late.
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.