If you live in Scotland, please write to Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) and urge them to oppose the bill on Wednesday. For information about how to contact MSPs, visit this page on the SPUC Scotland website: http://spucscotland.org/Lobbying.html Please send copies of any replies you receive from MSPs to SPUC Scotland, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to 75 Bothwell Street, Glasgow G2 6TS.
Pro-life arguments against same-sex marriage can be found:
- in the summary below
- in the position paper http://www.spuc.org.uk/documents/papers/ssm201201 and background paper http://www.spuc.org.uk/documents/papers/ssmbackground20120103 SPUC HQ produced prior to the parliamentary debates at Westminster on the bill which allowed same-sex marriage in England and Wales.
SPUC in Scotland and across the UK has a particular interest in moves that dilute or weaken the meaning and social status of traditional marriage, not least because it is demonstrable that an unborn child has a far higher risk of being aborted when in the womb of an unmarried mother than a married one. To move ahead in the face of this fact would be to worsen a situation in regard to abortion which both those for and those against legal abortion admit is already very grave.
Traditionally, the State’s whole interest in regulating marriage by promoting permanence and exclusivity has referred to the need to protect the well-being of children. A marriage is not a ‘mere’ deep friendship (which the State does not regulate, and which need not be permanent or exclusive) but is something more. It does not merely concern the sexual choices or emotions of adults, but concerns children and society. Marriage as an institution exists to protect the identity of children and their right to know and be nurtured by both their mother and their father. There is no direct relationship between any same sex union and a child – any more than between a non-sexual union (for example, a union of friends or siblings) and a child. Necessarily, one or both parents will come from outside the union.
Marriage is a pre-political union of a man and a woman (the sexes having a natural complementarity) who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to one another of a type that is inherently fulfilled by the bearing and rearing of children together. This is the fundamental point of the institution, even though many couples do not have children. Marriage is valuable in itself, and monogamy and fidelity are essential to it in terms of providing the appropriate structure for the upbringing of children. Research confirms that children do better, on almost every indicator, when brought up by married biological parents.
The traditional family is the first and vital cell of society, the basic source of human society, and through it is formed our conception of the common good and the relational nature of the human person. Indeed the family is more fundamentally human than civil society, such that one of the duties of any civil society is to support the family and thereby its own stability.
Same sex marriage is damaging to society, as it necessarily promotes the false view that the complementary sexual difference of men and women with its natural link to procreation is irrelevant to the idea of marriage. Societies throughout history have recognised the importance of traditional marriage and understood it as a unique bond between man and woman.
Moreover, not legalising same sex marriage is in no way opposed to principles of equality or human rights. To recognise the unique nature of marriage and treat it accordingly does no injustice to anyone, whereas redefining marriage by fiat would radically alter the nature and meaning of a fundamental institution – an institution which, by any measure, has been proven to provide the best environment for the rearing of children. It is no more unjust to deny the title of marriage to same sex unions than to deny it to multi-partner or incestuous unions: anyone interested in traditional marriage is free to approach it, but traditional marriage with its own specific function cannot be redefined on demand from those who, in effect, want something very different. Justice requires that different things be treated differently: that the proper character of institutions be recognised.
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