Harvard Anscombe believes that the intact, stable family is the most fundamental unit of society. The intact family consists of a man and woman, knit together by marriage, along with whatever children they may have. We define marriage as the exclusive and monogamous union between a man and a woman grounded in a commitment to mutual love and aid, with the intent to remain committed until death. Across the world, this commitment is recognized by state and social custom.
We believe that the family provides the social support necessary for a stable society. The intact, healthy family offers the best environment for raising children, providing them with the love, support, and education necessary for success. The family, therefore, is the best institution for nurturing and rearing future generations, preparing them for the responsibilities that they will need to lead society later on.
The institution of marriage is integral to the existence of the family. We believe that marriage is a social as well as personal good, contributing to the health and happiness of both spouses and their children. Scientific evidence from a variety of fields as well as human experience have shown that any deviation from this norm is harmful, even if sometimes unpreventable — as in the case of death (when a spouse is widowed). It is still more harmful when this variation challenges the institution of marriage itself, as in the cases of same-sex unions and casual divorce. Harvard Anscombe recognizes the new social and political conditions which cause these challenges, but looks to further a holistic understanding of marriage that respects its traditional role in society.