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Saturday, October 23, 2004

In Defense of Marriage

For millennia, marriage has been celebrated by cultures around the world as the foundation of their social order. This arrangement has proven to be a stable building block for society. Recently, homosexual activists and some members of the judicial branch of government have challenged this valuable institution, claiming discrimination and violation of civil rights. However, to redefine marriage to include homosexual unions would do more harm to society than good.

Proponents of homosexual marriage claim that prohibiting such unions is discrimination, often citing the Civil Rights Act or likening it to the restriction once imposed against interracial marriages. However, skin color and sexual behavior are completely different. (10). One, race, is an immutable characteristic. The other, homosexuality, is a behavior (1,2,4). If the Civil Rights Act comes to refer to behaviors, then alcoholics, smokers, kleptomaniacs, and pedophiles all could claim special protection under it. The only non-immutable characteristic that is protected under the Civil Rights Act is religion. This is because freedom of religion is specifically enshrined in the constitution as a fundamental right. Although individuals are free to practice most sexual behavior, homosexuality is not a constitutional right (3). Furthermore, drawing such comparisons diminishes the tremendous sacrifice that African-Americans were forced to endure in slavery, segregation, and racism because of the color of their skin, a trait they had no control over.

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