Marriage is about . . . .

They are having a trial in California about the right of same sex couples to marry – and they’re off to a slow start. Here’s some of the New York Times report of how it went on the first day:
“In cross-examination, the lead counsel for the defense, Charles J. Cooper, focused on the rights of heterosexual parents to protect their children from discussions of homosexual marriage. In his opening statement, Cooper also argued that same-sex couples could not satisfy a basic requirement of marriage. ‘[The] basis of marriage is procreation,’ he said. ‘It is a pro-child societal institution.’

Why go on with the case? “A basic requirement?” Where is that written? Has Mr. Cooper never met a couple who married with no expectation or desire for children? I remember celebrating a marriage years ago for a woman 80 years old who was marrying for third time having buried two husbands. I am certain she did not marry for children!

Has Mr. Cooper ever looked carefully at the wedding service of a church or justice of the peace? In the midst of the “have and to hold, for better for worse,” there is no promise to have children or even to try to have children. A prayer for children may be included, but it is optional.

I remember an incident some years ago in Ohio in which a Roman priest refused to marry a couple because the man was paraplegic and unable to have children. He was quickly set straight by higher authority.

And what about people like me and my wife? We wanted children, and had some, but that phase is long over and we are still together and don’t feel that our relationship is diminished.

Marriage is about love. Ask any couple. Some certainly want to have children, but some certainly shouldn’t. To reduce marriage to a biological function is to miss the whole point. Many do, but to build the whole case for “traditional marriage” on that basis is to make marriage much less than God intended it to be. Adam and Eve, as I remember the story, were condemned to have children because of their disobedience, not as a bonus.

Marriage is about love. Tell the lawyers and justices before we get handed a decision that diminishes us all.

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