Fielding: Another name proposed |

Fielding: Another name proposed

In response to Ken Collins’ support of gay marriage, I offer the following observations.

There is something beyond the old conventional religious positions that comes into consideration in defining marriage. There is the natural order, a fundament that is cherished by many who eschew anything having to do with Biblical tenets.

It is clear to any observer that the family, consisting of a mother and father together with their children, is the basic unit of human existence. The human race as it has evolved will not be continued if that order is not maintained.

Marriage was enshrined and sanctified in recognition of that natural principal, for the protection of the family, to require a permanent commitment in order to procreate (or even to engage in sanctioned sexual relations).

It is also clear to any observer that human sexuality was intended (by evolution, nature, God, Gaia or whatever you wish to call the creative force) to have its function as a reproductive and bonding mechanism. Sexuality in nearly every other multicellular species on Earth follows the same basic pattern of the male and female uniting their genetic components. It is the natural order.

That said, there is plenty of basis for sexual inclination to follow paths that will not lead to procreation, no harm, no foul. And people whose inclination is to pair bond with another of the same gender should have a right to do so.

Perhaps all it needs is a different name to satisfy the wish to protect the oldest and most basic human relationship, but that will still not deprive those with unconventional sexual attractions from enjoying a legally recognized status. I propose “traditional marriage,” or “conventional marriage” for the old institution, and “alternative pair bond” or “legal life partner” for the new variety. Each would have identical legal ramifications.

The more significant factor that has gone awry with marriage is the responsibility of the father. Marriage was, more than anything else, a requirement for the husband to provide for the wife and children, a commitment he could not forsake.

I support a re-institution of paternal responsibility, one which even a single mother cannot reject without due process and compelling circumstances. The child has a biological mother and father and is entitled by its natural rights to the support of both, and unless in exceptional circumstance, to have access to the nurture of both.

John Fielding

Steamboat Springs

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