Tuesday 27 September 2016

Marriage has a purpose that gay unions can't fulfil

Dr Ali Selim

Published 21/05/2015 | 02:30

Declan Waters, owner of the Holy Love Information Centre, adjusts his flag as it flies above ‘Vote No’ posters in Knock. Photo: Getty Images
Declan Waters, owner of the Holy Love Information Centre, adjusts his flag as it flies above ‘Vote No’ posters in Knock. Photo: Getty Images

As we approach the referendum on same-sex marriage, and as people in Ireland think about a public policy on marriage and the family, it is worth asking two questions. What are the fundamental purposes of marriage? Is this referendum really about equality?

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There are three fundamental purposes for marriage: companionship, sex and children.

The first purpose of marriage is companionship. Marriage is God's designed relationship for male and female, paired in marriage relationships where they enjoy intimacy and procreate children, achieving prosperity and continuity of man's existence on the earth.

Ponder over the universe around you. Not only mankind, but all the components of the entire universe, where there is a type of life, have been paired in male-female links through which they can obtain happiness and integrate and complete one another, as they are not the same but equal. Non-sameness but equality creates a sphere of diversity and diversity is enrichment.

Husbands and wives are foremost friends. Hanna Rosin had a piece on Slate.com last year titled, 'The Dirty Little Secret: Most Gay Couples Aren't Monogamous' in which she states: "In legalising gay marriage, we are accepting a form of sanctioned marriage that is not by habit monogamous."

Peter Sprigg, a Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council in Washington, argues that same-sex marriage would definitely lead to a situation where fewer people would remain married for life. Based on this, one may conclude that same-sex marriage characteristically fails to satisfy the companionship purpose for this most sacred of relationships.

The second fundamental purpose for marriage is sex. It has been created for our enjoyment as well as for procreation. Since sex is one of the most powerful drives we experience, members of a society know that there is a place where sexual expression is legitimate and will be endorsed by the rest of society. That place is the unity of two members of opposite sexes. Only when husband and wife enjoy sexual expression does it become a powerful source, not only of life, but of connectedness.

The third fundamental purpose of marriage between man and woman is to have children and together raise them to adulthood. In the case when a married couple fails to have children, they become sad. But conception through homosexual sex is inevitably inviable.

The ideal nurturing environment for children is in a home where they are raised by their biological parents married to each other.

Even secular researchers confirm that mums and dads respectively have something profoundly, uniquely important for the lives of their children. Based on the false supposition that love is all that children really need, some may conclude that what matters is that children are raised by loving parents regardless of their sex. This assumption fails to understand the complex nature and core needs of human beings.

Numerous studies manifestly state that children raised in traditional families are more likely to thrive psychologically, mentally, and physically than children reared in any other kind of family. In addition, mums and dads have distinctive characteristics needed by children through the various developmental phases. During infancy, babies of both sexes are in need of both their mother and their father but they need their mother more than the father since she can respond better to their needs.

When a male infant becomes a young boy, detaching him from his mother and attaching him to his father serves the best of his interest since it helps him form a healthy masculine identity. A father also plays an important role in his daughter's life. The father offers his daughter the first opportunity for a male-female relationship, non-sexual yet based on love.

Legislating for same-sex marriage imposes difficulties on teachers and businessmen who, based on conscientious grounds, cannot endorse same-sex marriage.

Advocates of same-sex marriage defend it, claiming that legislating for same-sex marriage is equality. Where is equality in this scenario?

Dr Ali Selim is a senior member of staff at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland

Irish Independent

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