A Conservative Case for Marriage Equality

By Evan Draim ’17

Within a few days, a federal district judge in my home-state of Virginia will likely rule on the constitutionality of the commonwealth’s Marshall-Newman Amendment, which only permits marriage between one man and one woman. Frankly, as a conservative Republican and as a Christian, I hope that the amendment is struck down.

Republicans value marriage so highly because it encourages people to live according to conservative values. For instance, by enabling two people to share resources, marriage makes couples more financially secure, thereby reducing their dependence on government. In addition, marriage binds people into permanent, monogamous relationships, enabling couples to more effectively raise children. Although gay couples cannot reproduce, today there exist multiple other ways for same-sex couples to acquire offspring, such as in-vitro fertilization or adoption (which is often cited by the pro-life movement as a viable alternative to abortion). Numerous studies have confirmed that gay parents are just as capable as heterosexual ones. The benefits of marriage exist regardless of a couple’s sexual orientation, and therefore conservatives have an interest in ensuring that as many couples as possible enter the institution, whether heterosexual or homosexual.

Due to the separation of church and state, Christian doctrine cannot explicitly guide any court opinion, but faith no doubt motivates many people’s core principles and underlying values. As Christians, we are taught to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” Since you most likely want the ability to gain the benefits of marriage for yourself and enter into an expression of commitment with the one whom you love, I believe it is inherently un-Christian to deny other adults that privilege. Also, we are all creatures of God- whether gay or straight- and God does not make mistakes. By denying certain individuals the ability to marry their loved ones, you are telling them that their relationship (and, by extension, their sexual orientation) is somehow inferior or “not as good” as your own. Not only does the government lack the authority to make or enforce such a claim, but by condemning someone’s God-given traits, that sentiment also criticizes the actions of their divine Creator.

Admittedly, marriage today is threatened- not by the gay couples trying to get INTO the institution, but rather by the straight couples opting OUT. Only 51% of Americans are married, compared with 72% in 1960. Luckily, same-sex partners can actually help save the institution of marriage by making it relevant again and reversing a downward trend in marriage rates. I hope my fellow Virginians will join me in supporting this necessary step to guarantee human rights and save the future of marriage for future generations.

Virginia should be for ALL lovers.