Traditional marriage strengthens families, communities, and nations. Traditional marriage, also known as biblical marriage, is a union between one man and one woman. Such a marriage has been in existence since God performed the marriage between Adam and Eve.
The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles published “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” in 1995. The first paragraph of the proclamation defined marriage as being “between a man and a woman.” It then stated that such a marriage “is ordained of God.” The third teaching in the first paragraph is that “the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”
Ryan T. Anderson, defender of traditional marriage, wrote that marriage is essential to good public policy. The male-female sexual relationship has been regulated by governments for many – if not hundreds and thousands – of years. Anderson explained that governments are interested in male-female sexual unions because these unions are the only ones that “produce new human life.” (See Truth Overruled – The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom, 2015, p. 24.) Anderson continued:
For highly dependent infants, there is no path to physical, moral, and cultural maturity – no path to personal responsibility – without a long and delicate process of ongoing care and supervision to which mothers and fathers bring unique gifts. Unless children mature, they never will become healthy, upright, productive members of society. Marriage exists to make men and women responsible to each other and to any children that they might have….
Marriage is society’s least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children. Government recognition of marriage protects children by encouraging men and women to commit themselves to each other and to take responsibility for their children….
Connecting sex, babies, and moms and dads is the irreplaceable social function of marriage. Laws and social expectations can strengthen or weaken marriage in this role, and that’s why the government is rightly involved in this aspect of our lives….
As strong as the government’s interest is in the marriages of its citizens, however, it is important to remember that the government does not create marriage, it recognizes marriage. Marriage is a natural institution that predates government. Society as a whole, not merely any given set of spouses, benefits from marriage. This is because marriage helps to channel procreative love into a stable institution that provides for the orderly bearing and rearing of the next generation. (Anderson, 2015, pp. 24-26).
Government policies do not always strengthen and support marriage and family. Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has revised a bill titled Family Security Act 2.0. He discussed the bill recently at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. His message was that family policies need to be overhauled in such a way that would “encourage marriage and stability” – policies that are “pro-family, pro-work, and pro-birth.” His proposal will encourage marriage and employment while strengthening family finances.
Like most government policies, Romney’s proposal throws money at a problem. The problem is that both marriages and births are declining. Romney said that the government should set incentives for people to have babies that they do not want, but its policies should not penalize those people who marry and have children.
Studies show that marriage creates stronger families in numerous ways. This is particularly true of couples who marry and stay married. Parents can strengthen their family, community, and nation by getting married, staying married, and working together for the good of the family.