Marriage Matters


Marriage is a matter of justice for children because it’s the only relationship that unites the two people to whom children have a natural right- their mother and father. It is a comprehensive union of spouses with a special link to children. Each of its norms- permanence, monogamy, and exclusivity- distinctly benefit children.

Government can permit adults to form all manner of consensual relationships, but should only promote the one relationship- lifelong male/female unions- which protects children’s rights.

Marriage is not a guarantee of parenthood, but it’s guaranteed that every child is the product of a mother and father. Marriage is society’s best shot at giving children both… for life.


Government’s interest in marriage is children. As explained in the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):

At bottom, civil society has an interest in maintaining and protecting the institution of heterosexual marriage because it has a deep and abiding interest in encouraging responsible procreation and child-rearing. With their ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court made gay marriage the law of the land, yet these truths persist:

  • Children are the natural product of a sexual relationship between a man and a woman.
  • Both a father and mother are necessary and important for children.
  • Marriage between one man and one woman is the best way to promote healthy families.

Post-Obergefell, there’s no longer any governmental or political institution in the US that recognizes children should have a mother and father. To do so may constitute discrimination.


Everywhere gay marriage becomes law, children’s rights suffer. Redefining marriage redefined parenthood because it made men and women, and therefore fathers and mothers, legally interchangeable. Regardless of what parenthood laws may say, it’s impossible to legislate away a child’s longing for his or her mother and father.

I grew up surrounded by women who said they didn’t need or want a man. Yet, as a little girl, I so desperately wanted a daddy. It is a strange and confusing thing to walk around with this deep-down unquenchable ache for a father, for a man, in a community that says that men are unnecessary. There were times I felt so angry with my dad for not being there for me, and then times I felt angry with myself for even wanting a father to begin with.” – Heather Barwick, raised by two moms

When law conflicts with children’s natural rights, it sends the message that a child’s normal yearning for their missing parent is wrong, not the law itself. Legalizing gay marriage is a nationwide gaslighting of kids with same-sex parents.


Biology is a bigot when it comes to parenthood; it insists on a mother and father. Therefore, the only way to ensure same-sex and opposite-sex couples are treated equally in matters of parenthood is to legally override biology—a feat that can be accomplished only by replacing biological parenthood with intent-based parenthood.

Intent-based parenthood means that any adult with the resources to acquire a baby can do so regardless of kinship connection. No background checks, supervision, or home studies are required. Intent-based parenthood joins donor conception and surrogacy to form the unholy trinity that reduces children to purchasable, designer products. Intent-based legislation is the greatest legal threat to children’s rights. It’s tenets violates adoption bestpractice which considers separation from biological parents as a last resort, prioritizes the child’s best interests, and insists on the child’s right to safe placement, to not be purchased, and to preserved kinship bonds.

Parenthood should only be based on biology (with natural safeguards) or adoption (with built-in safeguards.)


Far from simply having more adults who can love and care for them, polygamy ensures that unrelated adults share living spaces with kids. Thus rates of neglect and abuse increase in polyamorous homes, alongside competition and jealousy between adults and children.

I grew up in a household with my father, mother, and another woman. I hated seeing my dad kiss another woman in front of me. It would anger me to see my own dad with someone else who was not my mom. I never told anyone how I felt. In my late teenage years I began dating two girls at the same time, of course without their knowledge. In the end I hurt both girls. It wasn’t until my early twenties that I began questioning my intentions, desires, and actions when it came to dating. I wish I only had my mother and father with me in my childhood.” -James


In the past fifty years, the number of households with cohabiting couples raising children has expanded from fewer than one in one hundred to one in ten. Cohabitation is inherently unstable and thus harmful to children. Kids whose parents shack up are:

  • Three times more likely to see their parents break up.
  • Four times more likely to suffer physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.
  • Four times more likely to live in poverty.
  • More likely to use drugs, suffer from depression, and drop out of school.


No, the intent of anti-miscegenation (anti-race-mixing) legislation was to prevent the creation of interracial babies. Such bans were based entirely on the reality that marriage is primarily about children. Children of interracial couples have both a mother and a father, are connected to both sides of their extended family, and enjoy two rich ethnic heritages. Children of same-sex couples are denied a mother or father, have no connection to half of their extended family, and are alienated from half of their biological identity. Interracial marriage supports children’s rights, gay marriage violates them.

As Doug Mainwaring, a gay man and traditional-marriage advocate, points out, “[I]t is impossible to be on the right side of history while simultaneously being on the wrong side of natural law.” When you are defending kids, you will never be on the wrong side of history.

Excerpts from chapter 4 of “Them Before Us: Why We Need a Global Children’s Movement”