As the Supreme Court of the United States heard the final, "Oyez!" on March 26, it plunged itself squarely into the debate over marriage -- that timeless, universal, and special union between one man and one woman.
The Supreme Court should resist demands to prematurely end the national debate over the future of marriage. The Court should not attempt to silence the debate, but should let it go on, respecting the freedom of citizens to affirm the bedrock social institution that diverse cultures and faiths have honored through the history of Western Civilization.
In short, the Supreme Court ought to allow the public to decide -- as a society -- the future of marriage.
Why? Because marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces. Marriage is society's least restrictive means to ensure the well-being of children, while respecting everyone's freedom to form their own relationships.
Throughout history, diverse cultures and faiths have upheld marriage as the ideal, the fundamental building block for human civilization itself. Yet some have launched a multi-billion dollar political, cultural, and social assault to redefine marriage.
Conscripted into the battle are hundreds of large companies and a president, proving that the resistance is so powerful that it really needs no judicial protection. In fact, they argue that the tide of history is on their side -- a fact that, if true, would make envious those of the civil rights era who saw history amassed against them.
Plainly, same-sex marriage advocates are more than capable of winning political battles for themselves and do not need nine judges to intervene on their behalf.
The Court ought to offer no quarter to those who would convert marriage from an institution focused on the needs of children to an institution focused on the felt desires of adults. Government is not in the business of regulating love.
Rather, government recognizes marriage because it benefits society in a way that no other relationship does -- no matter how loving it may be. Marriage is the one and only social institution centered on the well-being of children. It is the uniqueness of that union that established marriage -- only the lifelong, faithful union of husband and wife promotes healthy, natural families for the common good today and for future generations.
It is uniquely this union that has proven to be society's time-tested way to bless as many children as possible with both a mom and a dad. Commonsense confirms what cultures across continents and continuances have confirmed: moms AND dads are both necessary for the optimal setting in which to raise a child. Take one away and replace it with a "generic" adult and the result is a catastrophic social experiment. Marriage upholds the truth that children need a mom and a dad, and encourages the establishment of homes with both a mom and a dad.
Marriage predates government and has public purposes that transcend its private privileges. Above all, we pray that the Supreme Court will recall that marriage is based on the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman and the reality that children need a mother and a father.
That is something that truly deserves our attention.
Dys is the president and general counsel of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia.