Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces. Marriage benefits everyone because separating the bearing and rearing of children from marriage burdens innocent bystanders; not just children, but the whole community. Without healthy marriages, the community must step in to provide more directly for the children’s well-being and upbringing. By encouraging the norms of marriage—monogamy, sexual exclusivity, and permanence—the state strengthens civil society and reduces its own role.
Government has always recognized marriage—always understood as the union of a man and a woman—because marriage benefits society in a way that no other relationship or institution does. Marriage is society’s least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children. State recognition of marriage protects children by encouraging men and women to commit to each other and take responsibility for their children.
The future of this country depends on the future of marriage, and the future of marriage depends on citizens’ understanding what it is and why it matters and demanding that government policies support, not undermine true marriage.
Ryan T. Anderson, “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom,” pg.207