Good news, as David noted, came from Massachusetts as state legislators there voted to allow a marriage amendment to move forward. Bad news came out of Canada, where the Ontario Court of Appeals ruled that a 5-year-old boy can have two mothers and a father–that is, that the female partner of the boy’s biological mother could legally be recognized as his third parent. According to Justice Marc Rosenberg, the court’s reasoning went like this:
It is contrary to (the child’s) best interests that he is deprived of the legal recognition of the parentage of one of his mothers.
Obviously this isn’t the place to debate Canadian jurisprudence (sounds fun though, doesn’t it?), but such a significant development in the battle to defend marriage is clearly relevant to social conservatives in America.
First, it gives credence to the argument that “if everything can be marriage, pretty soon nothing will be marriage.” Logically, it can’t be any other way. That was the point, in response to the ruling, of the Catholic Civil Rights League:
Once you remove it from the realm of nature and the realm of traditional moral and religious teachings, who’s going to decide how many parents a child can have? What’s so magical about three, maybe there could be more.
Second, it reminds us of what’s at stake in the marriage debate in our own country: defining and defending, in fact, the “best interests” of children, families, and society as a whole. This means preserving marriage as the incubator for stable families that it is intended to be.
Third, it reminds us of our need for political leadership on this issue. If we are to withstand the challenges of those who would weaken–if not ultimately abolish–marriage, we will need clear, unequivocal leadership that is willing to take a stand in defense of the family. And while we understand that reasonable people may come down on different sides of this issue, we also realize that a “nuanced” position is really no position at all. Either marriage is worth defending or it is not. Governor Romney believes that it is, and proved that with his actions in Massachusetts. As the marriage positions of the other GOP candidates further crystallize, and stories such as that from Canada continue to emerge from all over the world, that fact should never stray from our minds.