Testimony by Peter Sprigg
Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, Family Research Council
Resident of Montgomery County, Maryland<
February 8, 2011
The core issue in this debate is whether the birth and nurture of children remains a priority within this state. It is the core issue because these have always been the central purposes of the social institution called marriage.
Marriage is a public institution because it serves two public purposes: bringing together men and women for the reproduction of the human race, and keeping together a man and woman to raise to maturity the children produced by their union.
The existence of future generations of children is fundamental to the survival of any society. The quality of their nurture is directly related to the quality of life within that society. Bonding the man and woman whose sexual union produces a child to one another and to that child is by far the most efficient way of insuring that nurture.
Opposite-sex relationships are the only type capable of producing children through natural intercourse, and the only ones assured of providing children with both a mother and a father. Affirming only opposite-sex relationships as "marriage" thus makes perfect sense.
The common sense understanding that children should have both a mother and a father is now supported by reams of social science data. The research leaves no doubt that children raised by their own biological mother and father, who are committed to one another in a lifelong marriage, are happier, healthier, and more prosperous than children in any other living situation. A recent (December 2010) study from the National Center for Health Statistics has reinforced this, demonstrating that children raised in the traditional "nuclear" family are less deprived in nine key areas of mental, physical, and economic health.
Does Maryland need children? Do children need a mom and a dad?
The answer to both questions is "Yes."
But if you vote to legalize same-sex "marriage," you will be declaring that the answer to both is "No."
Please do not make this foolish and tragic choice.