The Marriage Debate


Princeton University, where Girgis and Anderson studied and Robert George teaches


Shortly back, I wrote a column about the book What is Marriage? by Sherif Girgis, Ryan Anderson, and Robert George.


I recommended it highly.  It makes a secular case for the traditional view of marriage and, incidentally but clearly, against redefining marriage to include relationships between people of the same gender.  I thnk that case ought to be heard and carefully considered.


Here’s a brief column – by Girgis, Anderson, and George themselves — based on a chapter from that book.



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  • Lucy Mcgee

    These scholars defend traditional marriage (mind, heart, and body) for the whole of life, oriented to family life; a perfected union. They claim that if “properly understood”, such a union requires a man and a woman and that redefining marriage would harm the common good. Really? What happens to the common good when one considers that one half of all first marriages fail? Don’t we all know couples with children who were negatively impacted by divorce with families torn apart? For many, this apparent lifelong sacred bond of mind, body and spirit is no stronger than the paper it is printed on.

    Let’s assume that 3-4% of the population are gay/lesbian, which would mean that some percentage of that number would desire a traditional marriage (those religious?). If Americans are so in fear of redefining an institution that has a 50% failure rate, and denying that same consideration to same sex couples, then we truly are backward looking.

    People should spend time making their own marriages work, instead of worrying about the marriages of others; a national obsession. And the fact that same sex marriages don’t produce biological offspring from both parents does not mean that same sex marriages cannot produce families with well adjusted children.

    Most accept the positive benefits of living in a committed relationship and that human happiness and flourishing is best served by doing so. Whenever and wherever they occur they are a cause for celebration, except where narrow views of what is acceptable in human relationships excludes all but monogamous heterosexuals from the great good that mutual affections and shared lives offer.

  • Gregory Taggart

    Lucy, your 50% statistic is wrong. See here:

    • Lucy Mcgee

      Got it, thanks.

  • Lance

    I have no beef with their arguments, only their strategy. To really strengthen the institution of marriage, they need to attack the organized crime that goes by the name “family law”.