It was one of the most embarrassing moments on a cable news show. Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, invited family law attorney Ron Schweitzer on his program to talk about why a recent decision by the California Supreme Court, striking down a state law prohibiting same-sex marriage, should be overturned by a ballot initiative amending the state’s constitution.

During the course of the segment, O’Reilly pressed Schweitzer numerous times to give him one good reason, outside of religion, for opposing gay marriage. Schweitzer couldn’t come up with one.

O’Reilly: “You are going to lose at the ballot box if you don’t come up with a reason. Now what is the reason …?

Schweitzer: “I don’t oppose a civil union. We already have that, and we’ve had that for many years … (unintelligible)”

O’Reilly: “Why do you oppose gay marriage?”

Schweitzer: “I only oppose the definition of marriage applying to same-sex marriages because its an age-old definition … it’s like naming one thing from another.”

O’Reilly tries a couple more times but eventually the best Schweitzer could come up with is that he just “wants it” to be that way.

As you would expect, gay rights advocates are having a field day with this.

Schweitzer was not just an over-educated, under-prepared guest. His weak-kneed response was typical of many in the pro-family movement. They simply can’t come up with a cogent argument for preserving marriage and all of the benefits traditionally afforded a married couple, so they settle for defending the word “marriage.”

Once you agree to civil unions, marriage becomes a definition in search of a difference. It’s meaningless!

O’Reilly is right. Eventually, those of us who want to protect traditional marriage will lose this battle. Gay rights activists are committed and tenacious. They have spent years doing the groundwork to make their lifestyle socially acceptable while most Americans were asleep.

While we slept, homosexual activists were invited into our classrooms and textbooks were rewritten to mainstream the lifestyle. The young people in those schools have grown into adults. Now, they are being asked to look at gay marriage simply as an issue of fairness.

Is it any wonder that polls are showing that Californians – who just eight years ago overwhelmingly voted to reserve marriage for a man and a woman – are now almost equally divided on the issue?

Before I can give O’Reilly – or the people of America – a meaningful answer, I ask you to examine the two reasons for marriage:

To have the union recognized by God.

To have the union recognized by the state.

Since homosexual acts are condemned by the sacred writings of all the world’s major religions, the attempt to have these unions sanctioned by the church is an attempt to “feel good” at best, so let’s focus on the second reason: Society long has recognized that a committed marriage relationship between a man and a woman is the best environment in which to produce and nurture productive citizens for the future.

For many years, federal, state and local governments recognized the obvious: It cost money to raise children. By legalizing unions between a man and a woman, the government was able to put a “hedge of protection” around the family unit and give the partners in these unions certain rights that went along with their responsibilities, along with certain benefits to encourage the formation and the stability of these units.

Gay rights activists want to change the definition of marriage from a union between a man and woman, to a union between any two (or more) people living together in a “committed” relationship.

Are you beginning to see the problem? If everyone is allowed inside the hedge, then the hedge, for all practical purposes, ceases to exist.

Has the traditional family outlived its usefulness?

It has not! Research has shown that children fare far better with a mother and a father who are married to each other, even if the marriage isn’t perfect.

The answer Bill O’Reilly and all of America deserves is this: It is good public policy to encourage a man and woman to unite in a committed relationship, called a marriage, in order to nurture productive citizens.

Marriage was not invented to discriminate against those who wish to pursue alternate lifestyles.

The question is not whether homosexual couples have the right to cohabitate, but whether it is in society’s best interest to remove the hedge of protection from around the traditional family unit.

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