This self-described liberal Democrat supports California's Proposition 8, which would constitutionally define marriage between one man and one woman because, as the piece so well explains, marriage, as a societal institution recognized by government, is about children. I don't agree with the sociological claim that marriage evolves over time and implies that it's a mere social convention, though it is interesting to me that it seems to indicate that the differences in marriage over time and cultures is within a certain range, which doesn't mean it's just anything we choose to say it is. Even on this view, David Blankenhorn presents a narrow definition of marriage that we should not overturn by recognizing same-sex marriage. Marriage, as a government-endorsed institution, is about children. Blankenhorn explains:
In this sense, marriage is a gift that society bestows on its next generation. Marriage (and only marriage) unites the three core dimensions of parenthood -- biological, social and legal -- into one pro-child form: the married couple. Marriage says to a child: The man and the woman whose sexual union made you will also be there to love and raise you. Marriage says to society as a whole: For every child born, there is a recognized mother and a father, accountable to the child and to each other....
Every child being raised by gay or lesbian couples will be denied his birthright to both parents who made him. Every single one. Moreover, losing that right will not be a consequence of something that at least most of us view as tragic, such as a marriage that didn't last, or an unexpected pregnancy where the father-to-be has no intention of sticking around. On the contrary, in the case of same-sex marriage and the children of those unions, it will be explained to everyone, including the children, that something wonderful has happened!
For me, what we are encouraged or permitted to say, or not say, to one another about what our society owes its children is crucially important in the debate over initiatives like California's Proposition 8, which would reinstate marriage's customary man-woman form.