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The Boston Globe

Opinion

The Podium

Marriage — it’s between a man and a woman

Marriage between a man and a woman has been the paradigm, the bedrock social institution of diverse cultures and civilizations for all of recorded human history. Nevertheless, on Tuesday, the radical experiment that began in Massachusetts will reach the US Supreme Court when it hears oral arguments regarding the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8, both of which define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The legal precedent is clear in that the Court has already ruled on two occasions that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Murphy v. Ramsey affirmed the federal government’s right to ban polygamy and in Baker v. Nelson, the Court declined to find a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

As for DOMA, the federal government has a valid reason for recognizing marriage between a man and a woman because it benefits society in a way that no other relationship does. Marriage is the one and only social institution centered on the total well-being of children. Granted, not every marriage produces children, but the vast majority of marriages do. Conversely, every child has a biological mother and father who, when married, form the single best environment for raising a child. Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies, most recently The New Family Structures Study by Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas-Austin and the census data report released in the highly respected journal Demography, confirm that children do best when raised by a married mother and father. That is why throughout history governments have promoted and incentivized the marriage union of husband and wife to produce healthy, natural families for the common good today and for future generations.

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