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Russell D. Moore & Andrew Walker

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2nd VIEW: The elderly, infertility: Any similarity to same-sex couples?

NASHVILLE (BP) -- The argument goes something like this: If marriage is predicated on the possibility of children springing forth from sexual unions, those who cannot procreate -- such as the elderly or infertile couples, not just same-sex couples -- should not be allowed to marry.

The elderly, infertility: Any similarity to same-sex couples?

NASHVILLE (BP) -- The argument goes something like this: If marriage is predicated on the possibility of children springing forth from sexual unions, those who cannot procreate -- such as the elderly or infertile couples, not just same-sex couples -- should not be allowed to marry. [QUOTE@left@180="Marriage connects the generations, reminding us that we are the result of previous unions and pointing us to those who are yet to come."
-- Russell D. Moore & Andrew Walker]]Such an argument, however, sidesteps the underlying principles of marriage's intrinsic purposes. Marriage isn't just about children, a point on which everyone we know agrees, no matter which side of the debate they're on. But we would argue that neither is marriage just about adults. The fact that the debate over the definition of marriage is so heated is a sign that all of us see marriage as different from many other relationships. In truth, marriage connects men, women and children into one institution that society depends upon. Marriage is based on the truth that men and women are different. As a biological fact, reproduction requires both a man and woman. As a social reality, children need the love and care of a mom and dad. Marriage connects the generations, reminding us that we are the result of previous unions and pointing us to those who are yet to come. Marriage isn't a zero-sum game of children present within marriage or no marriage at all. Elderly or infertile men are still men and elderly and infertile women are still women. The differentiation of men and women, even in these scenarios, is the very grounds that bring forth procreative potential, whether it's actualized or not. If marriage is no longer based on the complementarity of the sexes, why should it be exclusive or monogamous? No one who engages in principled debate can offer a satisfying answer of why "marriage equality" shouldn't be bestowed on three persons who have a desire to call their arrangement a marriage. Marriage revisionists refuse to answer these questions beyond saying they're a "slippery slope," but we've not yet heard any satisfying answers on why redefining marriage wouldn't logically lead to these possibilities. In America, all people are legally free to live in whatever sort of arrangement they choose. That's not at issue here. What's at issue is whether marriage is a unique sort of relationship, different from other relationships between consenting adults. To say that the union of a man and woman is different is not grounded in bigotry or discrimination. It's grounded in the powers of observation that draw rightful distinctions between different sets of relationships.