Marriage is pro-gender, pro-sex, pro-child, and pro-life.  Unfortunately, marriage is in jeopardy.  Six US states have redefined marriage, the Associated Press reports that five more are preparing for “costly and bruising state-wide showdowns,” and countries such as Great Britain and Australia are debating same-sex marriage.

Are people jumping on board the same-sex marriage bandwagon because they don’t want to be considered “anti-gay” like Kirk Cameron?  If so, that’s the wrong reason to betray marriage.  Not only because courage is better than acting out of fear, but also because marriage defenders are not anti-gay. 

Defending both genders in marriage does not make us bigots.  We have friends and relatives who have same-sex attraction.  We do not hate them.  We want the very best for them, which means we won’t lie and play along and pretend that two men are the scientific and social equivalent of one man and one woman when it comes to marriage and motherhood.  No matter how loving a father is, he will never be a mother. 

As Chesterton noted, “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him but, because he loves what is behind him.”  And this is why we defend marriage: Because we love both our mothers and our fathers.  We love our husbands and our wives.  We love our sons and daughters.  We don’t believe children should be deprived of this love and these unique relationships.

We love what came before us:  our grandmothers and grandfathers.  We don’t consider them bigots even though they never legalized marriage for two men.

We want children growing up in intact families, with both a mother and a father.  We don’t want children placed in monogender homes and taught by example that mothers are unimportant. We don’t want to tell those children they shouldn’t even want their mothers because that might hurt the feelings of their two fathers.  If we have to choose between depriving children of their mothers or offending adult men, we choose to defend children.

We want to defend our children from growing up being called bigots or hate-filled simply because they believe all children deserve mothers and fathers.  We want to love what is ahead of us.

We fight the zealous activists lying to our friends and relatives in monogender partnerships.  The activists who claim that sterile, fruitless sex is the social equivalent of complementary, procreative sex.  But we don’t fight activists because we hate them.  We fight because we love bold truth more than pretty lies.  It’s not the liar we hate, but the lie.

We love our genders.  We marvel at the differences between men and women.  We don’t want to ignore or discount or squelch this diversity.  We want to appreciate and love masculinity and femininity, not just in the marital embrace, but also over the morning coffee, at the office meeting, and at the dinner table. 

We don’t want same-sex marriage to sterilize our vocabulary.  We don’t want the beautiful words bride and mother neutered into partner and parent in speech and on government forms.

We defend our friends and neighbours sued or fined for the “crime” of recognizing and honouring the differences between men and women.  Yes, men and women are equal in dignity and worth, but their sexual differences are powerful enough to create new life.  No matter how much two men love each other or how committed they are to each other, they can’t produce new children for our community.

One of the most basic and powerful diversities on planet earth is gender. We wouldn’t be here without it.  And without the integration of genders our society would cease to exist.

So, vive la différence! 

And soldier on, not with hate, but with love.

Frances Kelly lives in the United States with her husband and daughters. She writes about gender issues for Homegriddle.