In an interesting debate between Tony Perkins, the President of Family Research Council and Ted Olson, a Republican attorney who fought to strike down California’s same sex marriage ban, a good question came up: If love is the only deciding factor in marriage, where do we draw the line in who can get married? Or can we?
It’s a question with serious implications. Marriage is regulated in this country for a reason. One of the biggest of those reasons is the protection of children. Protection of children born or adopted to the marriage and protection of children from forced marriage. Let’s look at the second of the two of these reasons.
Children or minors, legally anyone under the age of 18, are unable to do a lot of things. This is a good thing. The law protects children. Minors are prohibited from signing contracts. They can’t vote or do other “adult” things, unless emancipated, for a good reason. They aren’t able to understand the consequences of their actions.
Actually, the brain isn’t fully developed until about age 25. According to Sandra Aamodt, a neuroscientist, “the changes that happen between 18 and 25 are a continuation of the process that starts around puberty, and 18 year olds are about halfway through that process. Their prefrontal cortex is not yet fully developed. That’s the part of the brain that helps you to inhibit impulses and to plan and organize your behavior to reach a goal.” Asking a 5 or 10 year old to make adult decisions isn’t something most people would do. Asking a 15 year old to do so isn’t smart either, and the law doesn’t allow it.
Teens can marry, depending on the state and its laws, with parental permission. Most parents don’t allow it for the same reason – teens are impulsive and not able to make good decisions in this area. How many times have you, parent, heard “BUT I LOVE HIM!” How many times did we, as teens, say the same thing? Most of us didn’t end up with that teen romance. But with Olson’s, and others who say marriage is about “marrying who you love” reasoning, there should be no restraints on a 14 year old who wants to marry.
Taking that another step forward, what if that 14 year old is “in love” with his or her 35 year old teacher or coach… the one that has been molesting them. What if it was a 5 year old, 9 year old? How many children are influenced by an adult that says they “love” them while they are really molesting them? Under that reasoning, the marriage should be allowed because of LOVE. Don’t say it won’t happen, I’m following the natural progression of logic. Marriage is only about love and the teen and adult love each other. Voilà, no legal roadblock should be in their way.
How many pictures have we seen of extremist or fundamentalist Muslim men marrying girls; I’m talking girls as young as nine. Documented forced marriages. We, of course, are horrified, or at least most of us are. There are those who excuse it with the whole “it’s a cultural thing” excuse. To them I say go to a THIRD GRADE CLASSROOM and then picture the girls there forced to marry and have sex with ADULT MEN. Cultural, schmultural. It’s child molestation. The others not horrified ARE pedophiles, just waiting for the slope to become steeper so they can slide right down it and molest legally.
When Perkins was confronted with the “you think this will lead to polygamy or bestiality” rejoinder, he backed off. Wrongly so. He should have answered that not only those two items, but that it will lead to pedophiles being able to “marry” the children they are molesting. Why? Because what we have seen is that since the gay marriage rulings have rolled in, another ruling rolled in too: one that will lead the way to reinstating polygamy as a valid form of marriage.
A federal district court judge in Utah has, in fact, ruled in favor of Kody Brown, who is “married” to four women, one legally and the three others that he considers to be “spiritual marriages.” He is a polygamist. What we know is that polygamy was outlawed in this country because it was demonstrated, again and again, to hurt women and children. Recently so as well. An FLDS church leader, Warren Jeffs, was convicted of a lot of things, one was polygamy, the other was marrying minor girls. FLDS is a fundamentalist sect of the Mormon church.
Jeffs is the living embodiment of both of the reasons why marriage is and should be regulated, and why it isn’t about “love.” His “wives” said repeatedly they loved him. Most were also “married” to him as young as 12 or 13. Hardly an age where life decisions can and should be made.
So, if you are for gay marriage, please don’t be naive enough to say it’s only about love. Be honest. It’s about agendas. It’s about changing the morality of a nation. It’s about removing roadblocks that even the most “Republican” among them should be wary of removing. Don’t fool yourself into believe it won’t happen. Too many of my gay marriage supporting friends said polygamy laws wouldn’t be struck down if gay marriage laws were struck down.
We see how wrong they were. Marriage should be protected, because among other things it’s about protecting children, not love.