Marriage is a Civil AND Religious Matter
Len Deo, Executive Director, NJ Family Policy Council
In their quest to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples, same-sex activists would have us believe that marriage is just a civil matter. Yet marriage is far more than a civil matter. It is also a sacred religious and personal matter that affects the lives, happiness, and health of the men, women and children involved. Heterosexual marriage, as clearly illustrated by social science evidence, provides the best environment to raise children and yields the healthiest relationships on average. In conjunction, research shows that strong religious beliefs increase marital success, health, and happiness.
Marriage is actually a human institution that involves both church and state, which is why civil and religious marriage can not be completely separated from one another. Religion lends the critical support needed to sustain the marriage culture on which the whole society depends and the state is interested in what marriage provides: a social structure that secures a stable family. Same-sex relationships in contrast have proven remarkably unstable and fragile in nature – ending in divorce significantly more than heterosexuals. Broken families lead to crime, poverty, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, school failure, mental and physical health problems – all requiring millions of government dollars.
In addition, when looking at the raw numbers they highlight an incredible reality. Out of 8.6 million New Jerseyans, there are currently 1.6 million marriages or 3.2 million people involved in marriage or 37% of the population. Likewise, according to census data, it is estimated that there are 250,000 homosexuals living in New Jersey of which 1514 (3,028 individuals) couples have taken advantage of civil unions or 1.2% of the homosexual population and 0.04% compared to the entire population. To even make the assertion to redefine marriage for the rest of society is preposterous.
While same-sex activists argue marriage is simply a civil matter, they have at the same time attacked the church for strongly defending one-man one-woman marriage, and have even attempted to re-write church history regarding marriage. The Judeo-Christian traditions and other major world religions make it very clear that God created male and female and instituted the union of one-man and one-woman from the beginning of time. In spite of this, some scholars claim that same-sex unions have been practiced and accepted by various peoples through out history, including by the church in premodern Europe! Professors Lubin and Duncan respond to these unsupportable hypotheses in a 1998 Catholic Law review article by stating that the so-called evidence for same-sex marriage comes from small, isolated, pre-literate tribes and conclude that “There is no rich history of same-sex ‘marriage’” [and] the ‘resistance’ to same-sex marriage is not limited to Western culture,” but extends to almost every culture throughout the world.“