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Marriage and Family are protected

Ensuring the law respects God’s creative order for marriage, the family, and human sexuality 

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Why is God’s design for marriage and the family important?

One of God’s first acts in our world was to institute marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman. 

Marriage is a divinely inspired societal good. The marital covenant serves as God’s method and ideal to fulfil his command to be fruitful and multiply humanity – the basic building block of society, and a picture of Christ’s love for His Church. 

Today’s culture actively promotes unbiblical views of marriage and sexuality. But, regardless of what our culture says, we must stand on God’s truth. Scripture makes clear that sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman. 

Further, God created humanity in two – and only two – equal, complementary, and immutable sexes in His image, male and female. All humanity shares this common nature across all time and all cultures. Maleness and femaleness are ordained by God. They are not socially constructed or merely a product of human desire, nor are they variable or fluid. 

Our law should respect God’s creative order for marriage and the family, and yet societally, the lie that marriage is nothing special and can be defined as we wish is spreading across the world. 

We want to see a culture invested in strengthening the future founded upon stable marriages and families. Marriage should be defined as the lifelong union between a man and a woman, placing the needs of others, especially children, first. 

Strong marriages produce strong families, which create a healthy, free, and stable society. And yet, in a culture where individual desires trump what is best for society, we see profound attacks on marriage and the well-being of children positioned as an afterthought. 

Disagreement with this view is seen as a threat to today’s social norms—and some faux rights, such as so-called ‘sexual rights,’ are considered more important than fundamental rights such as religious freedom. 

Marriage benefits society in ways no other relationship does. We at ADF International defend laws and policies that give children the best chance at a stable upbringing, so that they, and in turn all of society, may flourish. 

Children do best when raised by their married mother and father, and the best way to protect them is to promote and protect marriage. But when culture fails to respect marriage, countless individuals, particularly women, children, and the underprivileged, suffer needless emotional and material hardships. 

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

What is the legal framework for marriage and the family?

The role of the State is to protect the family and support parents as they raise their children. While the right for men and women to marry is recognized under international law, there is no corresponding obligation to redefine marriage.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes the right of men and women to “found a family” and describes the family as “the natural and fundamental group unit of society, entitled to protection by society and the State.” This was echoed in the subsequent International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights Article 10(1) holds that, “the widest possible protection and assistance should be accorded to the family, which is the natural and fundamental group unit of society, particularly for its establishment and while it is responsible for the care and education of dependent children.”

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 23(2) states that, “The right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to found a family shall be recognized.”

And the Preamble to the Convention on the Rights of the Child holds that, “the family, as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children, should be afforded the necessary protection and assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within the community.”

Article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights states that, “men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right”.

Christians must be free to follow the biblical understanding of marriage, the family, and human sexuality. And our laws must recognize this understanding to allow for human flourishing.  

At ADF International, we are committed to protecting and promoting marriage and the family, rooted in the truth that marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. 

ADF International safeguards marriage and the family through our advocacy efforts to:


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