LETTER: Marriage has limitations: Vote yes

To the Editor:


All people in America have the freedom to marry. But marriage has limitations, as every liberty does, and for everyone, not just same-sex citizens.

The 17-year old high school student in love with his teacher isn’t free to marry. He’s limited by age. I love my parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles and cousins. We’re not free to marry, even if sexually attracted to one another. We’re limited by kinship. My husband is the only one I’m able to be married to, limited by number. Freedom has responsibilities. Freedom doesn’t mean license to do whatever one wants without regard for the rest of society. So freedom is not the key word in this debate. Marriage is the key word. And it’s the definition of marriage that same-sex citizens are seeking to change.

Children are the heart of the matter. Studies prove over and over that children have the best life chances when raised by their married biological parents. Children need their mothers and fathers, and men and women are not interchangeable. They each provide significant and complimentary attributes necessary to the healthy development of children. Though not every marriage produces children, every child has a mother and father. Children are entitled to a relationship with both parents. They are entitled to know who they are and where they came from. Marriage is the child-centered institution within society providing children with these basic human rights. Same-sex couples are focused on adult interests. For a same-sex couple to deliberately conceive a child with the intention of separating the child from his/her father or mother is cruel and unjust to the child.

And isn’t it government’s duty to provide justice, to protect the rights and interests of the child, the most vulnerable of our society? Yes, indeed, this is where government has a role and interest in marriage. Because strong marriages create strong families, and strong families create strong societies. “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live” — Pope John Paul II.

Vote YES for the Marriage Protection Amendment Nov. 6.

Brenda Thorn

St. Michael