The time-honoured legal truth of ‘marriage’


Lawyers have their uses: they have a clarity of thought that cuts through when you need it. While the US Supreme Court judges ponder the legal fiction of homosexual 'marriage', US law professor Robert George cuts through on the time-honoured legal truth of marriage - not only for the USA but for all of human history (with a couple of tiny exceptions): read it in full HERE, but at least savour this summing up:

So, historically, how have the states understood and defined marriage?

They have understood and defined it as a relationship shaped by the needs of children for mothers and fathers, rather than as an institution whose purpose is to serve the interests or desires of adults by facilitating sexual-romantic companionship. Our laws, including those under review in the cases now pending before the Supreme Court, reflect the judgment that marriage is the conjugal union of spouses, rooted in the sexual-reproductive complementarity of male and female, which brings together a man and a woman as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children born of their union. As a social institution, it aims to secure for children the inestimable blessing of being brought up in the committed love—the marital bond—of the man and woman whose union brought them into being, and the related benefit of both maternal and paternal influences and care.

This understanding of marriage as a conjugal union recognizes that not all married couples will have children, though most will. But it responds to the biological fact that every child will have a mother and a father, and recognizes the psychological reality that children generally long to know and be known by, and to love and be loved by, both their fathers and their mothers. And it is built upon the fact that the social purpose of legally recognizing and supporting marriage as an institution—the goal that gives the state any legitimate interest in marriage—is to ensure that as many children as possible are brought up by their father and mother in the marital bond. After all, the state has no interest whatsoever in the romantic lives of its citizens as such.

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