Marriage: Should it be limited?

Brian Kuehmichel
August 7, 2013

Our local advertising and limited news paper on April 3, 2013 had an article where the author claimed that somehow certain people, homosexuals, are missing or denied their full 'marriage' rights underneath state or governmental laws or practices. In response, this article describes the basis for which limitations are made upon some behaviors and practices. Marriage is described and its most important focus is addressed. It suggests workable titles for alternate 'marriage' relationships and asks for an examination of them for validation as beneficial or not.

Laying a foundation

The state or government has made limitations upon many forms of contracts and it recognizes direct contracts and implied contracts. Direct contracts are made through written and verbal agreements between parties. Implied contracts are brought before the court when two or more parties work together to commit a crime. The state or government uses that implied contract to convict the parties behind the scenes of a crime as well as the direct perpetrator of the crime. The same direct and implied contract scenario is used in government licensing of individuals to practice in a profession. The implied contract with the state or government is used against the individual when an unlicensed person uses specifically defined, and therefore restricted, names or terms attached to their name (as a title or attained capacity) in advertising or contracts with other parties. [Examples include: plumber, doctor, electrician, surveyor, physical therapist, nurse (RN, LPN, NP, etc.), cosmetologist, barber, crane operator, insurance agent, CPA, broker and many, many more.] The state has also made limitations upon another form of license with which you are very familiar—the drivers license used for autos & light trucks, motorcycles, commercial transport, heavy equipment, et cetera when used upon public roadways and in certain other conditions (more restrictions).

Now here is where things get interesting. The arguments for male to male marriage, female to female marriage, multi-party marriage, human to animal marriage, et cetera fall under these licensing arguments. If you think restrictions for 3 year old drivers is reasonable then it is likewise reasonable to restrict some types of 'marriage.' If you think it is reasonable to restrict the unlimited practice of medicine to qualified persons then you also agree to restrict 'marriage' to qualified persons. For inherently they are built upon the same types of argument: that it is good for society to limit some behaviors (the few) for the well-being of others (the many). Laws are made using these same fundamental arguments that it is reasonable to restrict or restrain the practice of murder, robbery, defrauding, vandalism, rape, and on and on for the well being of others.

When person "A" says they have the right to do what ever they want it means that they assert the right to have no impediment to their behavior and/or consequence for their actions upon person "B" or "C' or "D", and any other person as well. But behaviors or actions always have consequences and all of us, every last person, do not want unlimited behaviors or actions inflicted upon us by others. We call this tyranny, despotism, demagoguery, oppression and by other terms. So we justly and wisely restrict unlimited behaviors or actions by laws, statutes and constitutions and these put restraints upon people for their own larger good.

The basis of restrictions

The most simple basis of restrictions upon others is capacity. Let me give you three types of argument for capacity:

Argument one: sufficient time and development is required for the attainment of mental and motor skills, education and instruction, recognition and application of rules and obligations, discernment of circumstances, and self-control sufficient to be non-detrimental and non-destructive to others by developing individuals (child or a person in training).

Argument two comes from common law1: unlimited freedom or liberty exercised by one person upon another thwarts or restricts the same unlimited freedom or liberty by another. So the tension between the two or more parties is resolved by limiting the freedoms of each party to a balance that grants freedom within boundaries to each party.

Argument three: no harm, intentional or consequential, to others should follow or be expected to be derived from the behaviors or actions of one or more parties in the exercise of their freedoms.

This means that self-control and restrictions are necessary to a functional society. It also means that not everything that is possible to do is beneficial to do. And it requires discernment to evaluate what should not be limited and what should be limited, and then, to what extent it should be discouraged, limited or prevented.

The application to marriage

Marriage requires capacity. The first argument about preparation and fitness addresses the capacity to participate and helps us understand marriage is for adults. It is not for a child and it certainly is not for animals as some are now promoting. The second argument reveals that one or more parties may not do whatever they may want to do and that they must keep themselves inside of boundaries to give equal freedom to others. The third argument addresses the capacity for harm and reminds us that our actions must not bring direct (personal costs to spouse or children) or indirect (personal costs via taxes for public costs) damage to others.

The association of two men or of two women is fully recognized already. So has the association of mixed groups of men and women. These have long been called friendship and they each have all of the liberties or freedom within boundaries (presented above in argument two) with the self-control or maturity (required in argument one). Marriage is therefor not necessary for most forms of human relationships: business, barter, friendships, associations, clubs, sororities, fraternities, political groups and the like.

Marriage is not about doing what you want to do, nor is it just about doing what another may agree to do. Marriage is most importantly about the third argument-no harm, intentional or consequential, to others. It becomes the best platform for ensuring the well-being of the male and female married parties2,3 and more importantly the well-being of the likely propagation of that marriage—children 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11. Studies of social behavior have abundantly shown more partner abuse, emotional turmoil, financial weakness and increased legal and social costs for cohabitation12,13,14,15 of male to female partners than for marriage. The same is true for the counterpart of male to male and female to female (same-sex) cohabitation.16,17,18 Nothing said here is about marriages being great or that men and/or women can or cannot get along very well in relationships.

But marriage is a recognized relationship of intention and commitment between one male and one female19 that will more likely than not propagate offspring of direct genetic lineage20 from both parties of that relationship. And these offspring need all the protection of argument three, presented above, until they reach the ability to responsibly participate in full legal capacity as citizens.21 Diverse cultures around the world have established and maintained marriage as "a union between a man and a woman such that children born to the woman are the recognized legitimate offspring of both partners."22 and have done so for more than 5,000 years of recorded history.23

The need for descriptive titles

Each of these alternative sexual male to male relationships or female to female relationships needs its own descriptive title so that it can be understood, studied and validated as beneficial or not beneficial, not only for the adults, but also for children since that is the likely outcome of real 'marriage.' Then, if appropriate, justly and wisely restrict or limit these behaviors or actions by laws, statutes and constitutions and put these restraints upon people for their own larger good. The terms MS-cohabitation (or male-seco) for male-male sexual cohabitation and FS-cohabitation (or female-seco) for female-female sexual cohabitation would be words or terms that could be meaningfully understood and appropriately describe the intention and commitment between two males or two females. Using specific terms would also facilitate studies on the effects of these social relationships and not commingle or confuse the data with those in the historical male to female marriage commitment.

The idea that either the implied or formal contract of male to male relationships or female to female relationships inherently driven by sexual pressure are in any manner 'marriage' is regrettable. That is because 'marriage' is, and has been, recognized as a relationship of intention and commitment between one male and one female 9,10,13,15,17,19 that will more likely than not propagate offspring of direct genetic lineage from both parties of that relationship. Anything that pretends to be the same is just that, pretension, imaginary, and not real. It is using a title without the content or substance that comes with that title.

References and Notes:

1. Common law reduces all relationships between individuals or parties to two fundamental precepts:
1) do all you agree to do, and
2) do not encroach upon your neighbor.
Self-control is required in all human activity and is inherently a major part of maturity and good human relationships.

2. The Case for Marriage,, accessed 4/5/2013.

3. Now, let's get straight on marriage,, accessed 4/7/2013.

4. Amazing Discovery! Liberals Realize Two Parents Are Better Than One, [male and female parents], accessed 4/7/2013.

5. Marriage Reduces Child Poverty, accessed 4/7/2013.

6. Parents' Work: Invaluable but Nearly Invisible,, accessed 4/5/2013.

7. Things A Father Does Best,, accessed 4/5/2013.

8. Things A Mother Does Best,, accessed 4/5/2013.

9. W. Bradford Wilcox & Robin Fretwell Wilson, Bringing Up Baby: Adoption, Marriage, and the Best Interests of the Child, 14 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 883, 897 (2006); see also Mary Parke, Policy Brief: Are Married Parents Really Better for Children?, Center for Law and Social Policy 1 (May 2003), available at (noting that most researchers now agree that, on average, children do best when raised by their two married, biological parents and that "adopted children have very similar outcomes to children raised by both biological parents.")

10. Philosophers And The Issue Of Abortion, Marian Hillar,, accessed 4/9/2013.

"The sexual act is a conscious human activity with several purposes ... :

1. It serves as a bonding between committed individuals (as in a family) which developed as a mechanism to secure the care of the helpless infant. Not every act leads, is intended to or must be intended to lead to pregnancy. Therefore it is morally justified to prevent any unwanted pregnancy by techniques preventing the fertilization of the oocyte. Once, however, the fertilization of the oocyte took place, we are faced with a new situation.

2. The sexual act satisfies our psychological needs when it is associated with long-lasting commitment and responsibility. Otherwise it is a dehumanizing exploitation and, though it may provide temporary sensual gratification it can lead to a sense of frustration, dissatisfaction, cynicism and even psychological aberrations and neurotic disturbances. The traditional form of long-lasting commitment is the institution of marriage, in which involved partners build psychological relationship of mutual support and responsibility.

3. Commitment is necessary also for responsible sexual activity. Since sex, even with utilization of preventive measures, may predictably lead to unwanted pregnancy and development of a new life, responsible sex must take such a possibility into consideration. Therefore every sexual act outside the institution of marriage or similar arrangement, guaranteeing lasting commitment, is morally unacceptable."

11. Conception is the actual purpose of effective sex. Orgasm is God's free gift for participating in conception—effective sex. Effective contraception comes by simply avoiding sex. If you believe in contraception... don't have sex!

1. Evolution's view: "At its very essence, the purpose of sex is the horizontal exchange of genetic material between members of a population." Why did Sex Evolve?,, accessed 8/7/2013

2. Biologist's view: "... the purpose of sex was to generate genetic variation.", accessed 8/7/2013

3. Creator's view: The purpose of sex is procreation:

"God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”" Genesis 1:22

"And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:24-25

"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”" Genesis 1:27-28a

What is the biblical purpose of sex?, Matt Slick,, accessed 08/7/2013

  1. Procreation
  2. Intimacy
  3. Companionship
  4. Physical Pleasure

12. The Negative Effects of Cohabitation, Linda J. Waite,, accessed 4/5/2013.

13. Research looks at cohabitation's negative effects, William Harms,, accessed 4/5/2013.

14. Common Law Marriage: A Legal Institution for Cohabitation. Göran Lind,, accessed 4/5/2013.

15. Marriage: The personal and social costs of cohabitation, Tim Cannon,, accessed 4/5/2013.

16. The Stability of Same-Sex Cohabitation, Different-Sex Cohabitation, and Marriage, Charles Q. Lau, or by Charles Q. Strohm,, accessed 4/5/2013.

17. Cohabiting Same-Sex Couples Report Worse Health Than Married Heterosexuals,, accessed 4/5/2013.

18. Marriage Counterfeits: Cohabitation, Domestic Partnerships, and Same-Sex "Marriage",, accessed 4/5/2013.

19. Marriage is between a man and a woman historically, and with few exceptions9. A notable concept in jurisprudence and legislation is that a rare or hard case or a few exceptions make a very poor case for making a narrow law. "[A] general law is better drafted for the average circumstance as this will be more common.", accessed 4/7/2013.

20. Adoption is recognized as a special method to bring children in need into the benefits of a relationship with a father and mother in one household. It is designed and legally established for the nurturing and well-being of children and it is in the state's or government's best interest to have young members of society cared for and developed into citizens of capacity.2

21. Legal age for citizens is established through recognizing the three arguments outlined above and expecting, with few exceptions, capacity to be attained for youth at that age. This plateau of privilege comes with accountability, i.e. recognizing that all three arguments (1. preparation and ability to participate, 2. limiting the freedoms of each party within boundaries, 3. no harm, intentional or consequential, to others should be derived from their behaviors or actions), are applicable to them in the exercise of their freedoms and rights.

22. Marriage,, accessed 4/7/2013.

23. The Jewish Torah and The Holy Scriptures record history for about 6,000 years and show marriage already from that period. Christian historical records reveal the practice of marriage through the present. Marriage between a man and a woman predated governmental participation in legal recognition, protections or licensing.