Same-sex marriage advocates—including the courts—often argue that marriage is a fundamental right, and therefore same-sex couples must be granted access to the institution even if that requires changing the definition of marriage itself.[1]

There are three problems with this argument.  First, it proves too much.  If marriage is a fundamental right, such that the qualifications for and definition of the institution must be revised to accommodate those who want access to the institution but do not qualify based on the traditional definition, then the institution will have to be revised to accommodate more than just same-sex couples.  It will need to be revised every time any one wishes to participate in the institution, but does not qualify based on the legal definition in use at the time.  Indeed, if the right to marriage is so fundamental that it requires society to change its definition of marriage to match the desires of hopeful participants, then society is left without a principled basis for declining anyone’s request to have their own idea of marriage recognized by the State.  The State must change the definition of marriage to match every new request, whether we approve of their concept of marriage or not.

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