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DIANE MEDVED: Supreme Court Redefines “Marriage” as “Love”

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Supporters of gay marriage rally in front of the Supreme Court in Washington June 25, 2015.  REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

By Diane Medved

 

President Obama was so romantic when commenting on the Supreme Court 5-4 ruling that same-sex marriage be permitted nationally.  “Love is Love,” he declared, in a puzzling statement of the obvious.

Yes, love is love. But it is not marriage, though the president implied that’s so. Do all people who deeply love each other naturally want to marry?

The nursery rhyme that “love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage” is as outdated as the horse and carriage. Nowadays more Americans are single than married. Many live together; many just hook up. Others cultivate relationships for years but don’t marry.

Love is love. It is a feeling. It can waver and wane and disappear. More marriages based on how spouses feel will mean more divorces, and divorce is inevitably sad, divisive and, when children are involved, becomes difficult, uncomfortable and complicated.

Redefining institutions is a dangerous business. Changing an institution into a feeling is absurd, but it has happened. Marriage, in every culture, through all time, was the setting designated as the procreative, child-rearing core of societies. Without the purpose of man and woman creating offspring that they together raise, marriage would not have endured. Why would the world’s major religions sanctify–set aside–marriage as a glorified institution if societies have no stake in its welfare? Marriage would have faded or morphed thousands of years before if it was defined as a declaration of feelings.

But now that the Supreme Court has decided love is the legally recognized criterion for marriage, they’re going to have a tough time upholding other criteria. Triplet sisters with a close bond certainly deserve to marry as much as two strangers! And should they decide to obtain sperm and become pregnant, isn’t it nicer for a child to have THREE mothers rather than merely two? Doesn’t a child deserve more legally recognized love, rather than less?

Love is love, and now it’s marriage. Love comes in many different types, none more than a mother for her child. I know many who claim their mothers are their best friends. That bond cannot be surpassed; who is to say it is less permanent than those of the same generation? Children should be able to marry their mothers. At age 4, my son Danny pledged to marry me. I remain solidly married to his father and Danny chose a brilliant wife, but we continue our commitment to each other, so why not marriage?

Love is love, so if someone currently married to another–or others–finds a willing person to add to his/her constellation of love, then clearly under the new definition, he should not be denied marriage. Isn’t it better for children if Mom and Dad or Moms and Dads, remain together? Why should the government require divorce? Isn’t that bad for children? Isn’t divorce economically disruptive? Love is love. How dare the government limit one’s love to just one other person?

Ahh, but government makes many inconsistent laws. When logic dictates one thing, legislators often ignore it. Love is marriage for gay and straight unrelated couples. Love as marriage is forbidden if you love too many people, or love family members or have no divorce.

There are many ways to show respect for those with all sexual orientations. Government does not impede private relationships between people. But like every other culture at every other time, our nation retains a stake in children being born and raised in the environment that offers them the best opportunity to thrive.  That is the only relationship that should be encouraged. Every person is worthy of respect, but not every relationship is worthy of marriage.

The American version of the English language is confused when love is defined as marriage and marriage defined as love. Feelings make poor basis for reliability and predictability, and so with this change, all marriages become tougher to uphold and defend.

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Comments (37)

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  1. Praelium  •  Jun 27, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Thank you for a very good essay. I agree. Marriage involves love as well as children, money, government protection and religious strength. To give government support to love alone and to exclude government support for a traditional family and their religious strength is weak policy. “Children being born and raised in the environment that offers them the best opportunity to thrive” should be the first priority of prudent politicians.

    • robin  •  Jul 6, 2015 at 9:57 am

      Want to buy round car magnets that say ABO Anyone But Obama? email me at anyone_but_obama@aol.com $1 donation

  2. pstein  •  Jun 27, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    This is a slippery slope that the SC has gone to.

    • Why can’t I marry my brother or sister?
    • Why can’t I marry a minor?
    • Why can’t I marry multiple partners?
    • Why can’t I marry my pet?

    The slope we are now on is that ** by law ** marriage is no longer based upon an institution to support the pro-creation of the next generation, so that leaves all of the above as now valid. I’m not sure what it will mean when I declare my taxes and also declare my Great Dane as one of my multiple spouses (or dependents). Hey, we had a ceremony declaring us as man & wife.

    Oh wait, did this also redefine the definition of wife as not being female “married” to a man? I’m sorry, I guess wife should now be redefined as “entity” associated with “entity”. Wishing good luck to Webster in redefining what husband and wife means.

  3. Nicomacheus  •  Jun 28, 2015 at 12:31 am

    Ideally, marriage involves love or is based on love. But that is not always necessarily the case. Up until fairly recently, marriage was not based on love at all but rather an arrangement made for political or economic reasons. (This still holds true in some societies and cultures.) But even now, at least here in the United States (as well as Europe), people marry for other reasons besides love. So what does love have to do with marriage? It doesn’t. At least not necessarily. “Love” is a somewhat difficult word to (easily) define, and I believe there are many kinds or types of love. I don’t view love as a feeling, or not only just as a feeling, although I would readily admit that it is difficult in fact to love someone without having feelings for that person. Regardless, given the decision by the Supreme Court–or at least those five in the majority–I can see no valid argument against allowing, say, three people to get married, or a brother and sister, or a father and a son, or an uncle and a niece, or a sister and a sister.

    Marrying a pet is a bit of stretch, of course, but, hey, thirty or forty years ago, not to mention fifty or sixty years ago, so was same sex marriage. Marrying a minor is no stretch at all. In conclusion–I suppose these are my so-called talking points–I would only add that if the word “marriage” can be redefined (as it has been), anything and everything can be as well. I do not view, however, this new definition of marriage to be an expansive one, for ultimately this has to do with the elimination or destruction of marriage, since, after all, marriage now can mean anything, which will very likely pave the way in perhaps the not so distant future to it meaning nothing.

  4. Stanley  •  Jun 28, 2015 at 12:50 am

    I hope that God let me live long enough to see Obama walking down the steps of the White House for the last time; it will be one of the happiest day in my life.

    • Marshall  •  Jun 29, 2015 at 8:24 am

      It will be one of the happiest days in my life too but Obama relishes us feeling that way. He is a disrupter; by design. It is his goal and remains his goal to upset the apple cart by being contrary and obtuse with his reasoning. What all of this means is wealth for him and his family as going forward there will be an endless array of books and articles along with speeches and lectures that will make him extremely wealthy and that is what it is really all about for Obama.

    • CAROLINE ROPER-DEYO  •  Jul 3, 2015 at 12:35 am

      Diane Medved has provided an excellent analysis of how the Supreme Court has erred in putting feelings above principles.

  5. Stanley  •  Jun 28, 2015 at 12:53 am

    Any person picked at random from any phone book will definitely perform better as president than Obama.

    • robin  •  Jul 6, 2015 at 9:57 am

      Want to buy round car magnets that say ABO Anyone But Obama? email me at anyone_but_obama@aol.com $1 donation

  6. Pamela Bailey  •  Jun 28, 2015 at 1:15 am

    Diane, I was thinking the same thing and you explained my arguments perfectly, much better than I could have. You are so right!

  7. Dennis  •  Jun 28, 2015 at 9:04 am

    You sad people who want to control other people’s lives. Shame on you.

  8. Margo  •  Jun 28, 2015 at 11:56 am

    In a free country, consenting adults should have the right to marry. Using the logic of the majority of the Supreme Court, we must now extend the right to marry and receive benefits not only to homosexual couples, but to polygamists as well. Marriage in this country is a consensual contract for government benefits and recognition of love, so there is no principled argument against decreeing that polygamous, polyamorous and even incestuous (between those old enough to give consent) marriages are also fundamental rights. Indeed, polygamous marriage has been around far longer than SSM. People already get married just for the benefits or to become a citizen of a country, so why not allow any consenting adults to get married and obtain benefits? Since this country is sharply enough divided already, like SCOTUS, the government must get out of the marriage business entirely, and some sort of flat tax system must be implemented. There would be a lot less marriages overall, less social division, and a lot more focus on our 18 trillion debt, which is put on the backs of our children and grandchildren to figure out. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/06/gay-marriage-decision-polygamy-119469_Page2.html#.VY7-nlJHbCQ
    Like

  9. walt kovacs  •  Jun 28, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    ms medved

    as an observant jew, i think you might be interested in the ou’s statement

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/322380/orthodox-union-statement-on-supreme-courts-same-gender-marriage-ruling.html

    then ask your rabbi to teach you about the concept of dina demalchusa dina

  10. Danny  •  Jun 28, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    I’ll go ahead and say it, I’m a married Christian father of four. I’m an American. I love this country and our people, all of them (races, religions, etc.). I don’t hold contempt or want to tell others how to live their lives, but I’m afraid. I’m afraid our teachers and public institutions will be forced to teach my grandchildren about homosexuality in grade school.

    I believe homosexuality is a sin. I believe polygamy, greed, stealing, drunkenness are sins too and only God can forgive those sins. I don’t hate or judge others that follow this behavior. However, I will stand firm in my beliefs, my values, and what I think is best for my family and our country. I hope and pray the rest of America that feels the same way will also stand firm and not be waivered by this event.

    • Chuck  •  Jul 7, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      Danny, the tragic fact is that even elementary age children in many school districts are already being taught about homosexuality from a positive and promotional perspective. God help us.

  11. Vardeman  •  Jun 28, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Diane, the slippery slop argument that without a prohibition on same sex marriage the door was swung completely open for marriages of all imaginable permutations is hyperbolically absurd; and moreover those like yourself who invoke it, know better. I have no personal and political stake in the same sex marriage debate, but my ire gets raised when otherwise reasonable, rational people go off the rails. Michael would often on the show tell callers to” focus like a laser”; you should do the same.

    • Nani  •  Jul 1, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      Vardeman, the questions being presented are:

      1- Since the only criteria for marriage is love, can marriage be denied to polygamists or those related by incest?

      2- SHOULD marriage be denied to these people?

      Answer please.

      The answers will tell us how reasonable YOU are.

    • Annie  •  Jul 4, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      Vardeman, don’t know how old you are, but if you are young enough, you will see the “hyperbolically absurd” that you point out become reality, you really will. Why do you call them “absurd”? Who are you to call ANY relationship absurd, anyway?

    • Chuck  •  Jul 7, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Vardeman, Fact: there is already at least one application for polygamous marriage submitted in Montana.

  12. branwell  •  Jun 28, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    For a clinical psychologist, this is pathetic. She’s just trumpeting her hubby’s antiquated views. I used to admire her. Not any more.

    • Nani  •  Jul 1, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      Oh please, we know you never admired her. If you ever did, you’d know she’s intelligent enough to see the bigger picture. She knows that the Uber Left won’t be live and let lilve; they HAVE to have religious people APPROVE of the gay lifestyle and will bully, shame, and sue religion into silence.

      • branwell  •  Jul 5, 2015 at 4:08 pm

        She is ignorant and bigoted. I could forgive one of those, but not both. She has no business in her profession with those views. She could harm her patients. I would not be surprised if a malpractice suit came her way.

  13. TJ  •  Jun 29, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    It’s interesting how those who claim love are so unloving, close minded, and intolerant of those with opposing views.. I also acknowledge there are many religious individuals expressing hatred of gays. I think both are entirely inappropriate.

    I don’t agree with gay marriage or any marriage that is divorced from the fundamental principle of pro-creation, but I would be willing to fight/die for the right for all of us to voice our opinions.

    I respectfully disagree with those who only have “love” as their argument for gay marriage. A young teenager completely infatuated with their dream crush, is very similar to the “logical” arguments being made today. Many are stuck in an emotional daze that will prove to be divorced of logic.

    Thank you Diane for this article.

    • Naomi  •  Jun 30, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      Marriage was created and designed by God between a man and a woman. And he said let no man separate it. This is in the Old Testament (Genisis 2) and in the New Testament (Matthew 19) are just to passages. Now our country is not just tolerating the sinful act of homosexuality, it is institutionalizing it. If we are silent about the Supreme Court justice ruling of “same sex marriage”, our nation is headed for destruction. We have yet to see the full extent. For example the family, fatherhood, motherhood, children, identity, stability, and the like.

      • Arlen Einertson  •  Jul 7, 2015 at 11:19 pm

        “let no man separate it”, seems to be lost on the people writing here. We have people who have been married and divorced more than once. Children of the marriages have multiple sets of parents, several half brothers and sisters and multiple grandparents. If you condone divorce then what is your definition of marriage?

  14. Ed  •  Jul 1, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    What is interesting at this time is that I haven’t heard anything from our world religious leaders.
    The marriage debacle arrived at by SCOTUS is a decision that will have so many of our nation’s families divided for decades to come.
    Realistically, the judicial system worked for many years to celebrate LGBT progress, from the state level all the way to the Supreme Court. The left, Oblama et al, stacked the Supreme court, to include some of the Supreme court justices who conducted Gay and Lesbian weddings.
    What is on the LGBT agenda next, the lawyers are working for you!

    • Sean Flynn  •  Jul 8, 2015 at 10:05 am

      When 5 of the 9 Supreme Court justices were appointed by guys named Reagan or Bush, I can’t see how Obama/left “stacked” the court.

      And 2 of those 5 republican-appointed justices ruled in favor of Obamacare and 1 voted in favor of gay marriage.

      I fail to see how this is Obama’s fault.

      When the Supreme Court rules in favor of the political “right”, such as Gore v Bush 2000 and the Citizens United case in 2010, there is nothing but praise from the conservatives about the wisdom of the court and the wonderful system of three co-equal branches of government , etc.

      When republicans lose a Supreme Court case, they go nuts and want to do away with the court altogether.

      Poor losers.

      P.S. Of course, the same can said of the political left, when they lose cases. Everybody needs to start accepting defeat gracefully and move on.

  15. Andrew Heffler  •  Jul 2, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Thank you Diane for this article.

    My position on this is, I guess, sort of “nuanced.” Gay marriage…YES; but marriage “equality”..NO. And with the Left now pushing for protected status for LGBT couples, any adoption decision between two otherwise equally qualified couples (one homosexual…the other heterosexual) may, in fact go to the homosexual couple for fear of legal exposure that the decision was made due to sexual orientation.

    While there are different thoughts on how/why the institution of marriage was originally established, there can be no denying that the heterosexual relationship/family unit has developed into the best way to stabilize and establish the nuclear family as the most basic construct of civilization.

    Even homosexual partners seem to recognize the validity of complementing roles in a relationship. It is often instantly clear to even a casual observer (of appearance and/or behavior) that one partner has assumed the “female” and the other partner the “male” role. Are there always such distinctly modeled roles in gay and lesbian relationships? Probably not…and I don’t know enough homosexual couples to make even an uneducated generalization. However, I have seen enough anecdotal evidence to bring up the point as a pretty common observation.

    Do all heterosexual relationships formalized by marriage produce children? No. However, that is either by choice (which may change over time) or as an unfortunate accident of nature. It is not an accident of nature that the love of homosexual partners is unable to naturally produce children between the partners. Nature and evolution have designed it that way.

    Homosexuals are members of a minority group most deserving of individual civil rights protection, but their unions cannot naturally produce children. Since marriage continues to exist (primarily) as a societal institution to stabilize child-rearing, I don’t believe that denying homosexual unions equal status with heterosexual unions qualifies as a civil rights violation.

    Supporters of same-sex marriage often draw parallels between their struggle to gain acceptance…and the historical societal prohibition against inter-racial marriage; i.e. that marriage equality is a civil rights issue that only bigoted reasoning would oppose. However, there is an important distinction between jobs, housing, etc. and marriage. If inter-racial unions were “unnatural” (as its opponents used to claim), then they would be unable to naturally produce offspring. They can, of course, produce healthy and beautiful children.

    Is the bond of love between homosexual partners real? Are some homosexual relationships stronger, more stable and conducive to raising children than heterosexual ones? Of course. That’s why strong and formalized homosexual marriages should be able to adopt children. Should homosexual partners be able to use artificial insemination/surrogates to have children? In my view, no. While offering heterosexual couples this option is comparable to offering medical assistance to help a blind person “see” it is not an accident of nature that is preventing homosexual partnerships from conceiving, but nature itself that stands in the way. Their unions are not designed to create children. However, to deny homosexual marriages the ability to adopt and raise existing orphaned (or abandoned) children would be short-sighted for society and cruel to those children who would greatly benefit from the love of two parents.

  16. Mike Dross  •  Jul 2, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    “The environment that offers them the best opportunity to thrive” sounds nice, but would be disastrous if codified into law. Do we really want our children taken away, to be placed with someone more PC? If a throuple is more affluent than me, could society determine that they would offer my children a better opportunity to thrive? We need a more precise criterion.

  17. Hendrick  •  Jul 2, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    It’s not “gay marriage”, it’s called Same Sex Marriage.

    Gays were always able to marry someone of the opposite sex for the purpose of reproductive exclusivity. As were strait people obviously.

    Now, both strait people and gay people can also “marry” someone of the same sex. The Purpose of the institution has been changed, and I would argue that it is not even the same institution.

    The leftists weren’t trying to make marriage about “love”. They were simply trying to make marriage be about anything other than procreation.

    Families are by nature un-egalitarian. You love your family MORE than you love people who are not your family. There is also hierarchy within the family, another thing the leftists hate. Also, property is passed through the family line. So the biggest threat to the power of the state, is a family who doesn’t need the state.

    The only thing stopping the ownership of people by the state, is the ownership of people by their family. With fathers as the head of that family.

  18. SgtJUSMC  •  Jul 3, 2015 at 6:16 am

    I keep searching in the US Constitution for the clause or clauses where the Federal Government was delegated the sole power to define the limits of its powers or is the final arbitrator of constitutionality. To date I have not been able to find this power. Can anyone enlighten me?

  19. Mary Wortham  •  Jul 4, 2015 at 10:30 am

    What is it going to take for American Patriots to come to the aid of our country?
    We talk about survival food, ammo, guns but when do we do what is necessary
    to control(oust) (impeach) those who are destroying us?
    The Constitution gives we the people the control!!!

  20. Annie  •  Jul 4, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    “our nation retains a stake in children being born and raised in the environment that offers them the best opportunity to thrive” Alas, your definition of that best opportunity to thrive has been overthrown by popular culture. Who are you to say what’s “best”? , etc etc etc Of course the SCOTUS comments (the Pres’s and others) on love, was a ridiculous way to stage the argument, I just shake my head all day long it’s getting so crazy.

  21. Joel Goldberg  •  Jul 5, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    I listen to Michael as often as I can . I am a Jewish believer in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I am trained as a lawyer but I am no currently practicing at this time. I am also a former liberal hippie freak who has converted into a fiscal conservative but still somewhat a civil rights liberal.

    I studied at UCLA where I majored in political science but that was a long time ago, graduated in 1975. I also went on to Law School and studies had an advanced Constitution Law Class taught by that very liberal 9th Circuit Senior Judge Wallace.

    I am going to attach a facebook post that I wrote last week .

    I have read the Supreme Court majority and dissenting opinions and I find them to be logical, historical and well reasoned legally.

    How many of you involved in the Same Sex Marriage debate have actually read the Supreme Court opinion? If not you should do so as it gave a very good dissertation of the moral issues, the political issues, the historical issues and the legal issues involved in this case. First, how many of you believe that in general the right to marriage is a protected right guaranteed by the United States Constitution? That right is found, according the Supreme Court in the right to liberty. If we have the constitutionally protected right to marry and to have that marriage recognized by the all states, then can one state limit either what marriages a state will recognize or what marriages a state will allow to occur. These were the basic legal issues faced by the Supreme Court,. The court then used the Due Process Clause of the Constitution to declare that States cannot deprive anyone of a protected right and used the Equal Protection Clause to state that Gays cannot, as a class, be denied a Protected Right. So the decision turned on the Court’s interpretation of marriage as a protected right and that such a right cannot be denied to gays as a separate class. The Supreme Court did not decide the moral and/or religious issue of whether gay marriage is right or wrong. They left that issue to our own decisions. I bring this up only to say that reasonable minds can argue whether the decision was right or wrong from a constitutional standpoint. What we really do not have the right to do is to be hateful and judgmental to those who have a different viewpoint. Our society has become too derisive on so many issue. We are racially, ethnically, and gender divided. We are more divided today on issues of race and bigotry then in any time over the past 50 years. What happened to the hope of the Civil Rights Movement. What happened to treating one another equally no matter what color or gender we may be. I cannot bring myself to believe that we, as a society, hate each other because one is black, the other is Brown, the other is White, the other is gay, and the other is straight, just to name a few of our difference. I cannot also believe that we as a society will allow houses of worship, to be burned down to the ground because someone does not like who is worshiping there. President Obama, your legacy will not be that you brought all people together under your watch, because you were the First Black President, but that under your watch our society is more racially divided then ever. I pray that all Americans can come together under one God to bring peace to our country and all of its citizens. To create a place where we can all live in peace and harmony without regard to what color we may be or what gender we may be or what sexual orientation we may have. Martin Luther King who once had a dream and shouted that dream from the rooftops of Washington DC has now had that dream drowned out by hate.

    What I fail to understand, from both sides of the issue, is why neither side of the issue is truly willing to look at that law in a logical and systematic manner.

    As I said reasonable minds can differ about the outcome of the decision. But reasonable minds should be able to be objective and think through the issue from an objective, historical and legal viewpoint.

    I truly like listening to Michael’s show and I really enjoy his debate style, being a former debater and trial lawyer.

    I have prayed that your husband fully recovers from his recent health issues. We need logical and thoughtful discussion on all issues from all sides of the spectrum.

    God Bless to you, your family, to Michael and to this great nation.

  22. mike  •  Jul 11, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    So did your marriage to your husband arise out of a need to be institutionalized? Did it arise out of virtue as opposed to love? Did you one day all of a sudden say to yourself that you need to get married so that you might procreate and contribute to society? Please. While were at it why don’t we go back to the days of arranged marriages that were about combining family wealth? Institutions evolve. Clearly the Supreme court understands this. Would you actually suggest that a couple that wants to make a lifetime commitment to one another should be denied economic benefits simply because of their sexual orientation? I’m sorry but your argument is as thin as the paper its printed on.

  23. iYAKGgHlvMW  •  May 29, 2016 at 3:07 am

    408881 726You created some decent points there. I looked on the internet for the problem and located most individuals will go along with together with your site. 167862

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