Gay marriage confusion

By Tom Quiner

A letter writer in this morning’s Des Moines Register states that …

“… a large number of Iowans, who happen to be people of faith, do not believe we should be sticking our noses into the private affairs of our neighbors. Marriage is still a private matter between two persons and simply none of the public’s business.”

What planet has this gentlemen been living on?

In fact, civil society has always maintained that the institution of marriage is an essential component in civilizing and strengthening communities. In the U.S., standards and definitions used to issue a license for anything have always been based on function, on what’s good for society, not on the feelings of the people wanting the license.

Society doesn’t issue licenses to drivers or hair salons based on the desires of the recipients of the license. Rather, they issue them on the basis of protecting and strengthening society.

Fourteen year olds who desire a drivers license must wait until they are old enough to qualify based on the licensing requirements of their state.

Senior citizens with failing eye sight cannot renew their drivers license even though they desperately desire to continue driving.

So, what is the purpose of marriage? According to the “public’s business,” it is to encourage reproduction in order to keep our civilization from dying off, and to protect the children those unions produce. These purposes can only be attained through marriage between one man and one woman.

Marriage laws have been consistently applied regardless of one’s sexual attractions. In other words, people with opposite-gender attractions have been prevented by law from marrying someone of the same gender, just as people with same-gender attractions have been allowed to marry someone of the opposite gender.

Discrimination has nothing to do with this issue. It is about definition. The letter writer above concludes:

“I find it ironic that the same persons who oppose big government intervention into private lives of the citizens are at the forefront of this debate. We live in crazy times.”

I don’t view this as a big government issue. Rather, it is an issue of whether our states are able to issue licenses based on function rather than feelings.

Nothing crazy about that.