Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center; Former U.S. Senator
04/24/2008 - The debate over same-sex marriage in the United States is a contentious one, and advocates on both sides continue to work hard to make their voices heard. To explore the case against gay marriage, the Pew Forum has turned to Rick Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania and now a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Sen. Santorum is also the author of the 2005 book It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good, in which he makes the case for promoting families anchored by a married mother and father.
A counterargument explaining the case for same-sex marriage is made by Jonathan Rauch, a senior writer at The National Journal.
Rick Santorum, Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center; Former U.S. Senator
David Masci, Senior Research Fellow, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
Question and Answer:
Gay rights advocates and others say that gay and lesbian people want to get married for the same reasons that straight people do - they want to be in caring, stable relationships, they want to build a life and even start a family with someone else. Why shouldn't they be able to do this?
See, I think that's the foundational flaw with this whole debate. The law is as it has been for 200-plus years, and so the burden is on them to make the persuasive case as to why they should be married, not just for their benefit but for what the impact is on society and marriage as a whole, and on children.
I would argue that the gay community has not made the argument. They may have made the argument as to why they want it, but they have not made any arguments as to why this is beneficial for society. They have not made any argument - convincing or otherwise, that I'm aware of - as to what the impact would be on heterosexual marriages and what the impact would be on children.
They have no studies. They have no information whatsoever about what it would do to the moral ecology of the country, what it would do to religious liberty, what it would do to the mental and physical health of children - nothing. They've made no case. Basically the case they've made is, "We want what you want, and therefore you should give it to us."
Read the complete transcript An Argument Against Same-Sex Marriage on the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Web site.