Marriage: What It Is, Why It Matters, and the Consequences of Redefining It

heritage.org 13 March 2013
Abstract
Marriage is based on the truth that men and women are complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the reality that children need a mother and a father. Redefining marriage does not simply expand the existing understanding of marriage; it rejects these truths. Marriage is society’s least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children. By encouraging the norms of marriage—monogamy, sexual exclusivity, and permanence—the state strengthens civil society and reduces its own role. The future of this country depends on the future of marriage. The future of marriage depends on citizens understanding what it is and why it matters and demanding that government policies support, not undermine, true marriage.

Key Points

  1. 1 Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces.
  2. 2 Marriage is based on the truth that men and women are complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the reality that children need both a mother and a father.
  3. 3 Marriage is society’s least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children. Marital breakdown weakens civil society and limited government.
  4. 4 Government recognizes marriage because it benefits society in a way that no other relationship does.
  5. 5 Government can treat people equally and respect their liberty without redefining marriage.
  6. 6 Redefining marriage would further distance marriage from the needs of children and deny the importance of mothers and fathers; weaken monogamy, exclusivity, and permanency, the norms through which marriage benefits society; and threaten religious liberty.
    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/03/marriage-what-it-is-why-it-matters-and-the-consequences-of-redefining-it