Why Marriage Is Inherently Heterosexual

This excellent analysis was written by Dr. Patrick Lee, professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville:

A recent story in Newsweek claimed that the only reasons for opposing same-sex “marriage” are religious. But there are powerful arguments for marriage rooted not in faith but in reason.

In the December 15th [2008] edition of Newsweek, both Jon Meacham in his editor’s note and religion editor Lisa Miller in her front-page article mock arguments from scripture. At the same time, they invoke that same Bible’s authority for a “more general” message of “inclusivity,” in order to lobby for making gay marriage a sacrament. Meacham and Miller paint all opposition to the radical re-definition of marriage as hateful bigotry, comparing it to racism, and labeling appeals to the authority of the Bible against homosexual “marriage” and homosexual acts as fundamentalism. Indeed Meacham goes further: it is “the worst kind of fundamentalism.” How much worse than suicide-bombings and beheadings he does not make clear.

Others can dissect the theological and factual howlers in these essays. Here I want to correct the assumption made by Meacham and Miller that the case against same-sex “marriage” must be a Biblical one. Instead, both by faith and by reason one can see that genuine marriage must be heterosexual, that sexual acts outside of marriage are immoral, and that the state, therefore, should not declare any same-sex unions “marriages,” nor actively encourage sexual acts outside of marriage.

Consider some facts. . . . (continue reading)


  1. Matthew

    The difficulty with this argument is that the advent of widespread contraceptives has ruptured the link between sex and procreation in most people's minds. The author argues that: "Unique to marriage is the fact that the bodily, emotional, and volitional relationship between the man and the woman is intrinsically oriented to being prolonged and fulfilled by their becoming a family."Unfortunately while this statement is inherently reasonable it is still a religious argument because it makes a claim of certitude about the Way Things Are that cannot be proven by science. Relativism has so pervaded thought that even something that can be empirically observed is not considered proof enough, and anyone who does consider it proof enough is bringing their own "beliefs" into it. I do not have a problem with that, but it is not going to convince anyone who does not already agree.

  2. a thomist

    It's a good argument, but it could be made briefer: Homosexuals can't marry because they can't consummate a marriage. Consummation is sexual union, which involves more than sexual activity (this latter need not even involve another person) and certainly involves more than emotional union (which need not even be sexual). This is what he is getting at with his talk of biological union. Sometimes I worry that this argument gets bogged down by old arguments against birth control, but they are really diverse arguments. Infertile couples have no problem consummating a marriage, and so infertility does not render consummation impossible, while being of the same sex as one's partner does.

  3. Mark

    I'd love to read the article, especially since our local newspaper today published a guest column from the the local Unitarian, Universalist pastor advocating legel recognition of same-sex "unions". However, the link doesn't appear to be working.

  4. Mrs. O'Riordan

    I keep trying to get a grip on this as we are now faced with a same-sex "civil Bill" going through our Dáil and Seanad (Upper and Lower Houses) in Ireland. And I think "a thomist" has it in a nutshell – homosexual marriage is not in fact possible, a marriage has to be consummated (preferably on the honymoon!) for all the elements to be present. And on a bynote if we are in this mess it's because we didn't value marriage in the first place – divorce, adultry, fornication; none of these were fought against with the energy that we now must put into fighting for true marriage now. Ah well better late than never. – Blessings – Rene

  5. jayeverett

    Anal Sex and Oral Sex are not pro-creative and therefore are simply a matter of choice. That choice is made by the homosexuals which is a deviate form of sex. It is also a deviate choice when made by a hetrosexual couple. It is also very unhealthy….they cannot reproduce only seduce….

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: