Does Marriage Have a Purpose?

Ryan Anderson has a great piece up on RedState on the way in which the Justices, during oral arguments, tore down the argument that marriage laws represent discrimination against gay people, akin to race:

When a baby is born, a mother always is nearby. The question is whether a father will be involved in the life of that child and, if so, for how long.

Marriage increases the odds that a man will be committed to both the children that he helps create and to the woman with whom he does so.

The recent oral arguments at the Supreme Court highlighted this and other key questions about redefining marriage as we’ve always understood it in America. That is, marriage is the union of a man and woman as husband and wife to provide any children of that union with a father and a mother.

A leading argument from liberals is that marriage so understood unjustly excludes same-sex relationships. However, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, during arguments on California’s Proposition 8, resisted any characterization that marriage was about “excluding a particular group.”

As Roberts explained: “When the institution of marriage developed historically, people didn’t get around and say let’s have this institution, but let’s keep out homosexuals. The institution developed to serve purposes that, by their nature, didn’t include homosexual couples.” . ..

…Another conservative justice, Antonin Scalia, was particularly forceful on this point. In an exchange with lawyer Ted Olson, who argued that laws defining marriage as a male-female union are unconstitutional, Scalia asked “when did it become unconstitutional…? 1791? 1868, when the 14th Amendment was adopted? … Has it always been unconstitutional?”

Olson sounded stumped. “I – I can’t answer that question.”

Scalia wasn’t impressed: “I can’t either. That’s the problem. That’s exactly the problem.”

Marriage must be colorblind, but can’t be genderblind he says.  Go here to read the whole thing by this young rising star, co-author of What is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense.