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posted: 4/4/2013 5:00 AM

Learn from history about birthrates

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In a letter to the Fence Post on March 19, Mr. Lane wrote about his civil union that took place in 2012. Now he would like to "marry" his same-sex partner.

Historically marriage has been defined as the union of one man with one woman. The state has protected this definition for the sake of procreation. Marriage licenses have focused on the potential birth of children and their healthy development. Brother and sister or close cousins have been forbidden to marry because they are too similar genetically.

The government's oversight of marriage was never intended to affirm love relationships, but rather to protect and encourage stable families. Some historians connect the decline of Rome with sexual behavior. The Roman Empire was at its peak during the rule of Augustus Caesar. Homosexual relationships were common. This ruler was concerned about the declining birthrate. He conducted three censuses. He passed legislation that made promiscuity and homosexuality a crime.

Same-sex relationships do not meet the biological or historical definition of marriage. As our culture pursues a new definition of marriage we should take note of our own declining birthrate. In the U.S. we have dropped below the replacement level.

Carol Van Der Woude

Hoffman Estates

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