10 Jul I Now Pronounce You Married Persons
July 10, 2014
I Now Pronounce You Married Persons
On Monday, Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law recognizing same sex marriage in the state of California. SB 1306 erases the words that were approved by millions of California voters, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
The new law also has a new twist. It also “makes other conforming changes in the Family Code by replacing gendered language with gender neutral language.” In other words, it erases any reference to “male and female,” “man and woman,” or “husband and wife” in California family law. The sponsor of the bill, Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco, referred to these traditional gender references as “outdated and biased language.”
SB 1306 is ignoring biology and social science. Research continues to show that men and women, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, are not outdated; they are as current and critical than ever. For example:
- “From a social science research standpoint, it is clear that men and women bring different, but complementary, skills and talents to the task of parenting. The combined roles become greater than the sum of separate parts. Boys and girls need the loving daily influence of both male and female parents to reach their full developmental potential.”
- “Children who grew up in households with their married mother and father did better on a wide range of economic, social, educational and emotional measures than the children raised in other kinds of family arrangements.”
- “Studies suggest that men and women bring different strengths to the parenting enterprise, and that the biological relatedness of parents to their children has important consequences for the young, especially girls.”
- Conduct your own study at home: Which parent throws the baby into the air, and which parent says, “Honey, not so high?”
In reality, no law can change the fact that men and women are biologically different to the core, from brain patterns to eye structures. Our gender is an intrinsic part of our humanity. In the words of Dr. Paul McHugh, Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, it is “something fundamental to the human constitution.”
Gender matters. Husbands and wives matter, fathers and mothers matter–and words matter.
We can only wonder how removing words such as “husband,” “wife,” “mother,” “father,” “man,” or “woman” from the law will impact the language in all other California family law issues, including adoption, divorce, custody, and paternity laws.
In addition, the law is a teacher. As our friend Ryan T. Anderson reminds us, “Law shapes culture, culture shapes belief, and belief shapes practice.” Will this new law do to school curriculum what previous California laws have failed to do–ultimately “forbidd[ing] in public schools the use of ‘mom,’ ‘dad,’ ‘husband’ and ‘wife’?” Will Californians no longer specify “male” or “female” on drivers licenses or hospital records? Will it remain legal to celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s day?
It is so important to stand up for the truth that men and women are not interchangeable units, and that children need a mother and a father. What can you do to help?
- Pass this email on to others who care about preserving the natural family.
- Educate yourself on the threats coming from laws centered around “sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.”
- Watch for and actively oppose laws removing gender references in your state.
We are not likely to get that which we do not speak up for. Your voice of civility and truth might be the very thing that helps someone else stand firm.
United Families International, President