Biology, Sex, Reproduction, Evolution
Three billion years ago life on this planet began to reproduce by sexual reproduction. Males and females of species mated and combined their DNA to produce new individuals that combined traits from both parents. This way of reproducing produced genetic diversity and created new traits in which the fittest survived to pass on their advantages to future generations.
Genetic superiority is just one of the factors in survival. An individual needed not only to be born, but also to survive to reproductive age and reproduce before dying. Various creatures evolved social strategies to protect themselves and hunt for food and to defend against predators. These social groupings ranged form hives of bees to solitary individuals who survived on their own except to mate. Humans adopted a number of social strategies in order to survive. The basic unit of survival historically has been that the parents have been the core providers of their offspring, and that these families have associated with other families into tribes who looked out for each other. Modern governments are the evolutionary extensions of those early tribes.
With the exceptions of new technology, humans still reproduce from the mating of a male and a female. This is where we all come from. Our biological parents are not two men or two women, or three people for that matter. We still recognize that our biological parents are usually the ones who raise the children and are primarily responsible for their upbringing. Thus there is a basis in reality to distinguish heterosexual families with children as being directly part of the process of reproduction and the continuing the human species. The reproductive process and biological parents and families do create a logical distinction that is not an arbitrary line. If this line could be compared to the lines that separate states on a map, this line would be like a river in that there is a natural separation.
Having said that, I’m not going to rely on that as my only reason and say that heterosexuality is good and homosexuality is bad. All I’m doing is saying that there are real distinctions that need to be recognized, and that this distinction needs to be considered in any honest discussion about the reality of marriage. I contend that this is a significant difference and should not be ignored.
The History of Marriage
Marriage was born from primitive cultures that recognized that males and females mated and as a result produced children that needed to be cared for. The biological parents were considered to be the primary caregivers, with other relatives and friends taking a secondary role, and the tribe or state being there on a third level. The families needed each other to survive. Women without males were often at a disadvantage and required more resources from the tribe. It was in the interest of the tribe to require the fathers to take responsibility for the children they created and force couples to marry based on pregnancy. When the shotgun was invented, the shotgun wedding soon followed. This was a way to preserve the family unit in cultures where surviving was a chore.
Thus marriage was a logical extension of human reproduction and that society organized around the family to survive and for society to survive. It created a recognition of the idea of couples committing for life and raising children together and sharing the struggles of survival. In general, these social rules had more benefits to society and helped our cultures and species survive.
The definition of marriage has a long tradition of being between one man and one woman and this has been supported across virtually all cultures and has an accepted definition. This is not a concept that has had a variety of meanings and is not undefined and ambiguous. Again, I don’t hold this out as the “final argument” but as a factor to be considered in an overall discussion of the “big picture”.
That was then, this is now.
On the other side of the argument is the fact that in the last 100 years, the human race has dramatically changed. No longer are we tribes of hunter-gatherers or agriculturally based communities. We are a society of high technology. Before the telephone, a person could verbally communicate only with people within hearing distance. We didn’t have telephones, radio, TV, airplanes, trains, cars, advanced medicine, genetic engineering, the Internet, birth control, abortion, cloning, test tube babies, and other things that affect society in general. We live twice as long as people did 200 years ago. In many significant ways, we are not really the same species of human as we were then. Yes, genetically we are almost identical compared to 200 years ago, but with our new technologies, and the resulting cultural change