Anderson on Why Monogamy, Exclusivity and Permanence are Part of Marriage


Ryan Anderson, continuing his discussion of what is marriage for Ricochet:

Yesterday’s post explained government’s policy interest in marriage. Government needs to get marriage policy right, because it shapes the norms associated with this most fundamental relationship.

Redefining marriage would abandon the norm of male-female sexual complementarity as an essential characteristic of marriage. Making that optional would also make other essential characteristics—like monogamy, exclusivity and permanency—optional, as my co-authors and I argue in our new book, What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense. We also show how it is increasingly confirmed by the rhetoric and arguments of those who would redefine marriage (“revisionists”) and by the policies that their more candid leaders increasingly embrace. Indeed, several commentators on Tuesday’s post explicitly jettisoned monogamy, sexual exclusivity and pledged permanence as demands of marriage.