Gay marriage an oxymoron

To the Editor:

Gay-marriage is an oxymoron. Oxymoron is defined as a phrase in which two words of contradictory meaning are used together.

To explain, let's first look at what marriage is, why it's important and lastly, the consequences of its redefinition.

Marriage is the unique relationship that can only occur between a man and a woman, becoming husband and wife in matrimony and maturing into father and mother, should this exclusive and complimentary biological relationship produce a child. Marriage certainly doesn't require the childbearing and childrearing of children, but it is safe to say that it is the rule, rather than the exception. Childless marriages -- absent medical conditions -- possess such choice, in the future.

And because children take such a long time -- some 20 years -- to grow, develop and mature into the kind of self-sustaining individuals -- and with the kind of character and values which their biological parents impart -- it is imperative that society lay down this defined marker as an ideal for every child to attain, regardless of how imperfect it may be to achieve. Research studies have shown that mothers can't be fathers and fathers can't be mothers, as each parent brings unique traits that are inherent in human nature. Denying this reality is denying a child the most optimal and loving of relations.

Gay-marriage is an oxymoron because the term itself describes a relationship that denies and rejects the exclusivity of not only the biological complimentary of one man and one woman joining in matrimony but denies and rejects the necessary roles and traits each gender uniquely possesses for a child's optimal upbringing.

Marriage is important because it puts the needs of children first, whereas "gay-marriage" puts the desires of adults first. Whereas the focus of the latter is on the emotional intensity of any given relationship between consenting adults, the focus on the former is on the child. Civil society and their governments have very little interest in the emotional relationships of adults, but have much in seeking the optimal care and welfare of the children that two consenting adults can produce during sexual relations. Civil society and their governments send powerful signals through laws that translate into culture and ultimately affect human behavior.

The consequences of redefining marriage to mean whatever two (or more) consenting adults say it is -- emotionally, romantic or otherwise - is not only to redefine marriage but it is to obliterate marriage, for if marriage is to mean almost anything and applied equally to all adults, then it really means nothing. And, most troublesome, the three most important covenants of marriage: permanence, monogamy and sexual exclusiveness are no longer immutable with this redefinition - as romantic or emotional 'feelings' replace the protection and nurturing of children as the universal and commanding conception in this new arrangement. What is to stop three consenting adults to marry based on their mutual loves and then to choose to make this "love" contingent on its renewability, let's say after every five-year period?

It should be noted that marriage does not deny anyone the right to enter into loving and permanent relationships, regardless of gender. And as much, marriage does not disallow the right to same-sex adoptions. Any rights or privileges regarding these or other same-sex relations can be dealt with separate from changing marriage and its meaning. Having these kinds of same-sex rights for some does not give the right to alter the definition of marriage for all.

Civil society and their governments are not in the business of either approving of adult emotional relationships or dispensing rights or privileges to these adult relationships.

What civil society and their governments are in the business of is promoting and protecting the very basis of all which human civilization and civil society rests. That basis is found in the natural family and the children that a man and a woman produce in a loving, matrimonial covenant.

Tom Licata

Burlington, Vt.

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