Note: After being made aware I had posted an errant column, I have removed it and replaced it with the correct version. The previous version was never meant to be published, but was for my records alone, were personal notes for an upcoming speech, and were published through an honest mistake. That version had many direct quotes without proper credit given to the author. I have fixed the problem and promise to be more aware in the future.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear an appeal to a federal district court’s earlier ruling, essentially removing Oklahoma’s ban on homosexual marriage.
I, as well as multiple other state officials, immediately expressed my outrage to the blatant disregard of the very moral fibers upon which this country was founded and for the gross overreach of the federal judicial system. In an issue which boils down to state's rights, three individuals in a federal district court overturned what 1.1 million people stated in defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
I have spent the last several days stating and restating my personal opinion, but for this column, I want to take a step back and look at this issue from a practical standpoint, ask a few questions and provide answers on this important issue.
What is marriage, why does traditional marriage matter for public policy, and what would be the consequences of redefining marriage?
We first have to ask ourselves why the institution of marriage exists. The simple answer would be so that population and society as we know can continue. Practically, marriage brings one man and one woman together to be a father and mother to the children their union produces. This union is founded on the indisputable truth that men and women are made differently, yet made complementary at the same time. Without these differences, including the physical differences which allow reproduction and the rearing of their children, marriage would just be another relationship. Without marriage, there would be no civilization. Marriage has many public purposes that even go beyond its private purposes. This fact is why a majority of states have attempted to affirm and place into state statute that marriage is between a man and a woman.
The reason government recognizes marriage is for its benefits to society. No other institution produces the kinds of results that marriage does. Proper child-rearing and the encouragement by the state to take responsibility of the family structure are among the many benefits.
As Ryan T. Anderson from the Heritage Foundation said in an article titled "Marriage: What It Is, Why It Matters, and the Consequences of Redefining It” (2013): "Promoting traditional marriage does not at any time ban any type of relationship. Adults are free to make choices about their relationships, and they do not need government sanction or license to do so. All Americans have the freedom to live as they choose, but no one has a right to redefine marriage for everyone else."
What we as a society are doing in redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships is placing the desires of adults of more importance than the needs of the children within these relationships. Selfishness is blinding our eyes to the needs of the next generation. Additionally, redefining marriage within state and federal governments reduces the institution to whatever government at the time defines it as. In other words, if an individual has an emotional connection to a rock or even (although it now sounds outrageous) a young child, then government could recognize and give the definition of marriage in that instance.
I believe we are traveling down the slippery slope of convenience over principle and a false definition of equality over practicality.
Never hesitate to contact me. Email me at: Josh.Cockroft@okhouse.gov. Call me at: (405) 557-7349. Follow me on Facebook: Representative Josh Cockroft, and Twitter: @VoteCockroft27.