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Saturday 7 December 2019
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Letters to the Editor

Just don’t call it marriage, please

THE EDITOR: The Cayman Compass on its website reports that the Cayman Islands Chief Justice, Anthony Smellie, ruled on March 29 that it is “unlawful and discriminatory for the government to prevent same-sex couples from getting married.”

The Chief Justice added that that country’s Bill of Rights entitled everyone in the Cayman Islands to the right to a private and family life and the right to freedom from discrimination.

Smillie is seamlessly conflating the institution of marriage with the individual’s “right” to a “private and family life” and “freedom from discrimination.” Both these latter “rights” can be and are often meliorated independent of “marriage.”

The fundamental purpose of the institution of marriage is the creation of the family – the nucleus of civil society and indeed the basic subunit of civilisation.

Marriage has religious overtones. It is commonly accepted that the act of marrying two people is ceremonial and rooted in the acceptance of the idea of God.

The sealing of the union of two people by a functionary of the State is referred to as a civil union rather than a “secular marriage.” The phrase “secular marriage” can easily be regarded as an oxymoron.

Those who are most adamant that marriage is conceptually discriminatory because of its intrinsic mandate for heterosexuality, deride this requirement for sexual complementarity as “faith-based” religious nonsense. They would rather dignify a homosexual or lesbian union with the mantle of “marriage” while they frown on the religious underpinnings of that traditional union.

The gay community, both male and female, advances the view that somehow it is their “right” to impose upon society this new norm and that society must accommodate them and accept this norm or risk being labelled discriminatory.

Everything alive and that exists in nature has a purpose that existentially involves the furtherance of life. The survival instinct is the strongest instinct of all species. The nuclear family is an expression of that instinct. The union of a man and woman is naturally complementary.

Nature made the human species so that only from the union of male and female gametes can new life be derived. Such a union has nothing to do with “rights.” Two people of the same biologic sex can protest until the cows come home, they cannot and will never have the “right” to procreate since that is a biological impossibility.

Whether sanctioned as a right or not, a man and a woman by their intrinsic nature cause the generation of new life through sexual union – and that small group we happen to call “the family.”

Two grown men or two adult women coming together as “same-sex” units can never, ever accomplish that simple, everyday but miraculous feat.

Two people of the same-sex can be given every “right” to cohabit, and they can rejoice at this, but they can never, ever by themselves find the sufficiency to add to the family of humanity because nature, not man, has decreed that it is not to be.

So, call such same-sex unions something other than “marriage,” please.

STEVE SMITH via e-mail

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