This is the first article in a three-part series where we’ve asked leading Republicans to weigh in from the conservative perspective about civil unions, and whether they should be allowed in Colorado.
Marriage and Civil Unions
Colorado Senate District 15
The family is the most essential institution of a civilized society. Historically, the family existed long before civil government. Any nation which has ever flourished had at its core the family unit gluing the day-to-day details of life into a harmonious system.
This is no accident of random social experiment. Our Creator established the family as the cornerstone of human society, and we can see this intentional design of the family through the universal effectiveness of its function.
The traditional family of one man and one woman, bonded together in marriage, with the direct responsibility to raise their children, has contributed more for civilization than anything civil government has ever accomplished.
Civil government cannot make or enforce enough laws to replicate the role of the family.
I have seen first-hand that the legislature will never be able to mandate a responsible citizenry. In stark contrast, a solid family is the first, best step toward building and maintaining that responsibility at all levels. In the arena of public policy the very best that can be done is to always encourage and promote the health of the traditional family.
Yet some in our culture want to turn our most essential structure of society on its head by creating civil unions, or even redefine marriage itself. This undercuts civilization’s most effective means of promoting peace, harmony and prosperity. Attempts to change the one man, one woman traditional marriage to any combination of any gender is not accepting a broader, fuller meaning of marriage; it is to miss the very point of marriage and attempt to supplant it with a very different paradigm.
Ultimately we would not really redefine marriage, we would simply put our laws in contradiction to the realities of human experience.
Of all times in history, now is the most important time to stand up and defend that which is best. The traditional family is essential for any culture to flourish, and today’s rapidly changing society is in desperate need of the stability and good influence of healthy families. This is what we should promote. This is what we should encourage. To embrace a counterfeit is to dangerously flirt with a significant deterioration of our culture.
In the past couple of decades some nations have already changed their laws to include civil unions and/or same-sex marriages. In the brief time since those changes began, particularly in the countries of France and Sweden, marriage has not become a greater influence on the culture. In those countries marriage has diminished in acceptance and practice. Marriage has become more of the exception than the rule. With this diminished role of healthy marriages in those cultures the state has, by default, become the greater influence in citizen’s lives. Then, not only has marriage diminished, so has liberty.
Unfortunately, in the U.S. we also see these trends far too often. Despite the fact that over two-thirds of the states, and Congress, have passed defense of marriage acts, social progressives continue to press for civil unions and same-sex marriage. Since the people consistently reject changing marriage at the ballot box, these activists use the courts and legislatures to try to force their will on the people.
Here in Colorado the people very clearly spoke less than five years ago. They endorsed a one man, one woman marriage amendment for our constitution and rejected another measure on the ballot that would have established civil unions.
This year Senate bill 172 was the big push to create civil unions in Colorado. This bill would have recognized same-sex unions as the equivalent of marriage in every aspect that can be addressed in Colorado law. Based on the facts I have cited here, I opposed SB-172 in committee and on the floor. The bill passed the Senate and then died in committee in the House.