Behold, the institution of marriage! It is one of the Creator’s most marvelous and enduring gifts to humankind. This divine plan was revealed to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and then described succinctly in Genesis 2:24, where we read, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (kjv). With those twenty-two words, God announced the ordination of the family, long before He established the two other great human institutions, the church and the government.

Five thousand years of recorded history have come and gone, yet every civilization in the history of the world has been built upon it.1 Despite today’s skeptics, who claim that marriage is an outmoded and narrow-minded Christian concoction, the desire of men and women to “leave” and “cleave” has survived and thrived through times of prosperity, peace, famine, wars, epidemics, and every other possible circumstance and condition. It has been the bedrock of culture in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South America, Australia, and even Antarctica. Given this unbroken continuity, one might begin to suspect that something mystical within human nature must be drawing the sexes together—not just for purposes of reproduction as with animals, but to satisfy an irrepressible longing for companionship, intimacy, and spiritual bonding. Indeed, how can it be doubted? Passion finds its fulfillment in the institution of marriage.

Admittedly, there have been periods in history when homosexuality has flourished, as in the biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, in ancient Greece, and in the Roman Empire. None of these civilizations survived. Furthermore even where sexual perversion was tolerated, marriage continued to be honored in law and custom.

Only in the last few years have two countries, the Netherlands and Belgium, actually legalized what is called “gay marriage” and given it equal status with traditional male-female unions.2 The impact of that vast sociological experiment is no longer speculative. We can see where it leads by observing the Scandinavian nations of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, whose leaders embraced de facto marriages between homosexuals in the nineties. The consequences for traditional families have been devastating. The institution of marriage in those countries is rapidly dying, with most young couples cohabiting or choosing to remain single. In some areas of Norway, 80 percent of firstborn children are conceived out of wedlock, as are 60 percent of subsequent births.3 It appears that tampering with the ancient plan for males and females spells doom for the family and for everything related to it. We will consider why this is true in a subsequent chapter.

To put it succinctly, the institution of marriage represents the very foundation of human social order. Everything of value sits on that base. Institutions, governments, religious fervor, and the welfare of children are all dependent on its stability. When it is weakened or undermined, the entire superstructure begins to wobble. That is exactly what has happened during the last thirty-five years, as radical feminists, liberal lawmakers, and profiteers in the entertainment industry have taken their toll on the stability of marriage. Many of our pressing social problems can be traced to this origin.

An argument in favor of homosexual marriage that you are likely to hear again and again on radio talk shows, on national television, and on the Internet, reflects a line of reasoning that you must be prepared to counter. It is embodied in these kinds of questions: Why all the fuss about gay marriage anyway? And why should it matter to you if a gay couple marries and moves into your neighborhood? Why shouldn’t our definition of family be broadened and modernized? After all, what harm could possibly be done by yielding to the demands of those who say traditional notions of family are outmoded and irrelevant?