Governor Romney’s remarks at the FRC Liberty Sunday event were outstanding, and I’ve reprinted them below as a sample of the way that the Governor is addressing religious liberty and traditional marriage:
Welcome to this historic city. The authors of liberty recognized a Divine Creator who bequeathed to us certain inalienable rights. They affirmed freedom of religion and proscribed the establishment of any one religion. Today, there are some people would like to establish a single religion for America . . . the religion of secularism. They not only reject traditional religious values, but also the values of the founders. And they set aside the wisdom of the ages. Their allies are activist judges. Here in Massachusetts, activist judges struck a blow to the foundation of civilization, the family. They ruled that our constitution requires same sex marriage. I believe their error occurred because they focused on adult rights. If adult heterosexual couples can marry, they reasoned, then to have equal rights, adult homosexual couples must also be able to marry.
But marriage is not primarily about adults. Marriage is primarily about the nurturing and development of children. A child’s development is enhanced by the nurturing of both genders. Every child deserves a mother and a father. Of course, the principal burden of the Court’s ruling doesn’t fall on adults. It falls on children. We are asked to change the state birth certificate. To prevent “heterocentricity,” mother and father would become parent A and parent B. An elementary school teacher reads to her 2nd graders from a book titled “The King and King” about a prince who marries a prince. And a 2nd grader’s father is denied the right to have his child removed from class while that book is being read. Our state’s most difficult-to-place adoptive children may no longer be placed by Catholic charities because they favor homes where there’s a mother and a father.
The price of same sex marriage is paid by children. Our fight for marriage, then, should focus on the needs of children, not the rights of adults. In fact, as Americans, I believe that we should show an outpouring of respect and tolerance for all people, regardless of their differences or their different choices. We must vigorously reject discrimination and bigotry. We are all God’s children. He abhors none of us.
Massachusetts is the front line on marriage, but unless we adopt a federal amendment to protect marriage, what is happening here will unquestionably enter every other state. The spreading religion of secularism and its substitute values cannot be allowed to weaken the foundation of family or the faith of our fathers who more than life their freedom loved.
I think the Governor’s focus on children in the same-sex marriage debate is critical. The defenders of traditional marriage have too often fought the battle on the others side’s turf: by framing the debate as a matter of adult rights and adult preferences. “Why can’t I be happy just like you” is an argument with powerful appeal to many Americans.
Yet we now know — after decades of social science — that the single best place for raising children, the single best mechanism for fighting poverty, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, and violence is the intact, two-parent, mother-father household. We have learned this a great cost after indulging in foolish social experiments that have undermined the family and diminished the true purpose of marriage. We thought that we could give adults all that they wanted — no fault divorce, cohabitation without marriage, “Murphy Brown” single parenting — and do so without consequence to the next generation. We were wrong.
And now the left wants our culture to engage in yet another social experiment . . . this one involving perhaps the most radical family redefinition of them all. Why? So adults can be happy.
Have we learned nothing?