“The family enjoys the protection of the state. Marriage is based on the free consent of the woman and the man; the spouses are completely equal in their family relations.”
This sounds much like an initial draft of a constitutional amendment for the United States constitution to “protect” heterosexual marriage. Conservatives and liberals both get something out of it, explicit definition of marriage as between a man and a woman and equality of the sexes. Consider the second half of this actual segment of an actual constitution,
“The state helps the family by providing and developing a broad system of childcare institutions, by organising and improving communal services and public catering, by paying grants on the birth of a child, by providing children’s allowances and benefits for large families, and other forms of family allowances and assistance.”
Of course now most people would have a problem with this constitution. The constitution in question here is that of the Soviet Union as of 1980.
The point of showing that such a country did what the President and his surrogates are now suggesting is to show what such an amendment implies, oppression. To codify an abrogation of individual rights, the right to freely make contracts that don’t harm the parties or any third parties, would be an abomination on our country, much as the 18th amendment to prevent the consumption of alcohol or the 16th amendment to allow the levying of income taxes. Of course the constitution did implicitly allow slavery to exist by defering the question to the individual states, but this would be the first time since the triumph of the temperance movement that the constitution was amended to curb rights rather than secure them.
Marriage, contrary to recent alarmist and absurdist statements, is not the cornerstone or foundation of Western Civilization. It is an important contractual and moral committment two or more people make to each other to do certain things, i.e. love one another and not break their contract together, and if they do to fairly divide their joint property amongst them.
This contract needs no protection as it is not under attack, but it does need to be enforced and upheld when it is broken by one of the parties, which is the case for all contracts. Pehaps the government should be more concerned with actually following the provisions already in the constitution before considering new amendments, especially those that would work against the spirit of individual rights, the idea upon which the constitution is built.