To the Editor:
I respectfully disagree with the recent Illinois senate vote taken on the same-sex marriage issue. Same-sex marriage is not good for society and children and should not become law in Illinois.
The fundamental purpose for the institution of marriage in all the societies I know is to provide a stable family structure for the raising of children. A man and woman join together in marriage with the purpose of having children, loving them, and raising them to be good members of society. We have historically protected the family with marriage restrictions, such as bigamy laws, that keep the family strong. When marriage is weakened, as with no-fault divorce, families break apart with increased poverty for women and children. This weakens society.
Same-sex marriage will also weaken the society. It has no natural way of creating a family from the beginning. A family can only be created through adoption of children or with one of the partners having children prior to marriage. A same-sex marriage is also not the optimum structure for raising children. Children need good role models provided by a loving mother and father. It is not fair to deprive children of this right.
I know many heterosexual couples marry with no intention of having children. While present throughout history, I believe it has become more widespread in the last 50 years as our society has become more materialistic. However, the thousands of years of human history are different. Men and women married to build a stable family with children for society.
I have no problem with same-sex couples living together. We normally call them good friends or roommates. If you want to equalize estate planning or medical benefits for same-sex couples, then change civil unions. But don't redefine marriage.
Finally to call this a civil rights issue is to diminish the REAL civil rights issues of our time such as slavery, human trafficking, genocide, segregation, voting rights and racism. The only civil rights at stake here are those of children who are again deprived of the right to be raised by a loving mother and father.
Michael J. Smith