“...But whatever one holds about the morality of homosexual acts, it is clear that the state does have an interest in promoting and regulating marriage as traditionally defined, and that the sexual relationships of same-sex couples are distinct in kind from that. ... And so the two types of relationships or arrangements should not be lumped together. Moreover, falsely to equate the two is to obscure the nature of marriage. ...”
“...First, marriage is a bodily union...which consummates the marital union...to form a single subject of a single biological action...that could procreate, provided conditions outside their conduct are present.
“...marriage is not a mere means in relation to procreation, but a sharing of lives (bodily, emotionally, and spiritually) that is good in itself—and so a man and a woman who have consented to such a multi-leveled union are genuinely married, and have an intrinsically fulfilling marital union, even if it turns out they cannot procreate together.
“...is simply this: marriage, as traditionally defined, is a distinct type of community and not an arbitrary set. Unmarried cohabitators have a different type of relationship. Alliances to raise children also are not necessarily marriages: a group of celibate religious women running an orphanage, for example, are not married. And, plainly, same-sex sexual relationships are a different kind of relationship: they cannot become biologically one, nor is their relationship of the kind that would find its fruition in conceiving, bearing, and raising children together. (True, same-sex partners can form an alliance to raise children—for example, those from a previous marriage or produced by artificial reproduction; but that alliance is not an extension or prolongation of a bodily-emotional-spiritual union already begun, as is the case in marriage.)...”
“...marriage also provides the crucial social function...will provide the safest and healthiest environment for children. ...it is in everyone’s interest for the state to promote a sound understanding of marriage, and certainly to avoid obscuring its nature. ...”
"...Since a same-sex couple is unable to form the kind of union marriage is, not granting same-sex couples marriage licenses is simply a decision by the state not to engage in a confusing and harmful fiction. ... Denying a marriage license—or the privileges, protections, and obligations of marriage—to those who are unable to marry is not unjust discrimination. ..."
"...The state denies marriage licenses to threesomes or foursomes (refraining from declaring polyamorous groups marriages) and denies marriage licenses to twelve-year-olds (requiring valid consent for a marriage). These denials are not unjust because threesomes, foursomes, and twelve-year-olds are unable to form the kind of union that marriage is. But the same is true of same-sex couples. So, just as the distinction between eighteen-year-olds and twelve-year-olds is relevant to the purpose of marriage—because the former but not the latter are actually able to form the union that is marriage—in the same way, the distinction between opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples is relevant to the purpose of the marriage laws, because the former but not the latter can actually form the kind of union that marriage is. ...”
“...benefits such as hospital visitation, inheritance rights, and so on, is really a side issue—such benefits could be secured by other means for individuals who need them (for example, a durable power of attorney for health care, a will, etc.). ... what proponents of same-sex “marriage” principally desire is the social affirmation and endorsement of homosexual relationships as such. Judge Walker indicated this point clearly in his Proposition 8 decision: “Plaintiffs [some same-sex couples] seek to have the state recognize their committed relationships...”
“...So, the proposal is...that marriage...will include same-sex partners. ... But the same-sex “marriage” position cannot provide a coherent account of what that something is. ...”
“...If marriage is not a bodily, emotional, and spiritual union of a man and a woman... then what makes a union marriage and why should the state support it? It is not simply a union that is formed by a wedding ceremony:... Nor is every romantic and sexual relationship a marriage... Suppose John and Mary have a romantic-sexual relationship while college students but plan to go their separate ways after graduation: is that stable enough to be a marriage? If not, why not? ...”
“...suppose Joe, Jim, and Steve have a committed, stable, romantic-sexual relationship among themselves—a polyamorous relationship. On what ground can the state promote the relationship between couples, but not the relationship among Joe, Jim, and Steve?... the point is: There must be some non-arbitrary features shared by relationships that the state promotes...fair for the state not to promote in the same way other relationships lacking those features. ... marriage is a distinct basic human good, that needs social support and that uniquely provides important social functions; ...inherent orientation to procreation distinguish it from other relationships similar in superficial respects to it. ...”
“...The problem is not solved if one adds to one’s description or definition of marriage, that it must be a permanent commitment...since marriage is a bodily and procreative-type union, and an irreducible basic good, it is non-arbitrarily distinct from other types of relationships. ... (since a strong marriage culture provides a safe haven for children) ...only a relationship between a man and a woman, pledged to be permanent and exclusive. The conjugal conception of marriage is just and coherent; the same-sex marriage proponents’ conception of marriage is unjust and incoherent. ..."
Brilliantly written, complete article, here.