Steyn opposes marriage amendment

I’m breaking with my weekend break from VFR with news of yet another well-known conservative who would deprive us of our only recourse to prevent the institutionalization of homosexual marriage in this country. Writing in the latest issue of National Review, Mark Steyn says he opposes homosexual marriage for two reasons. First, the homosexual identity is, historically, a recent and possibly transient phenomenon, and we shouldn’t change a millenia-old institution in order to accommodate it. Second, marriage is “an organizaing principle of Western society”; without it, society dies, as we can see in the current low birthrates in Western countries where traditional, marriage-centered morés have weakened. But, having said all that, Steyn then turns around and announces that he’s against the federal marriage amendment—because it would violate federalism! But if marriage is the fundamental basis of society, how is protecting it in our highest law a violation of federalism? To put it another way, what conceivable legitimate action by the states would be barred by a Constitutional amendment simply declaring that marriage is the union of a man and a woman? None. Meanwhile, with all of Steyn’s (and Will’s and Fleming’s et al.) precisian concerns about federalism, the left is galloping forward to impose homosexual marriage on the whole country through judicial fiat. The left works a revolution, and “conservatives” like Steyn reject the only means by which it can be stopped.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 13, 2003 11:45 AM | Send

In the original entry, I neglected to draw the parallel between Steyn’s position on homosexual marriage and his position on Moslem immigration, which I wrote about recently. Steyn sees the large-scale presence of Moslems in the West as leading to the ruin of our society, yet proposes that we do nothing about it except to amuse ourselves with the absurdity of it all. He sees homosexual marriage as leading to the literal death of society, yet he would take away the only legal instrumentality by which it can be stopped.

Steyn has been exposed as the lightweight he has always appeared to be. A bright fellow who can write perceptive and amusing put-downs of liberals, yet who has no philosophical or moral core within himself, and no loyalty to a concrete order of society deep enough to make him want to defend it from its cultural destruction. In short, a neoconservative.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on December 13, 2003 12:41 PM

You nailed it my friend. To the Neo-cons, it’s just a game.

As long as Jonah Goldberg and all the rest get to “view with alarm” and write about it, that’s all they need.

Talk about your effete snobs!!

Posted by: Michael D. Shaw on December 13, 2003 2:47 PM

It’s really amazing the circumstances under which people suddenly (re?)discover Federalism. I’ve read a number of Mr. Steyn’s articles and don’t recall him mentioning it too often, certainly not when it really mattered.

It reminds me of the 2000 election, where even Justices Ginsberg and Stevens suddenly fancied themselves States’ Rights activists for a whole day. So did a number of other liberals who have been big govt. centralists all their lives. Their logic in doing so then made about as much sense as Mr. Steyn’s now.

When it advances the liberal agenda liberals run to the Federal govt., and when it advances the liberal agenda then they advocate for States’ Rights. How utterly convenient. Talk about an absence of any true political principles!

And now here is a ‘conservative’ who finally avails himself of the opportunity to show that he too would affirm this old constitutional principle. What a silly and wretched application he makes of it. And what exquisite timing.

Posted by: Joel LeFevre on December 14, 2003 2:45 AM

And what about David Brooks? In his entire writing career he had never indicated any particular feelings about the sanctity of marriage, or the sanctity of anything. Then, suddenly, when it was a matter of legitimizing _homosexual_ marriage, he began waxing all poetic and “spiritual” about how marriage is this sacred thing that delivers us from a culture of “contingency” to a culture of “commitment,” and therefore homosexuals should all be urged to marry each other as quickly as possible.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on December 14, 2003 10:32 AM

I was always of the opinion that marraige has
two fundamental conditions.

The pair are of opposing gender and unrelated.

If one of these tiers is tossed aside, why should
the other not follow?

The reason is simple. Without the two tiers - there is no marraige.

Posted by: Alan on December 14, 2003 6:33 PM

Amending the US Constitution is an enormously difficult and time consuming process. It is not a very effective means of checking a runaway court whose majority is possessed of false and ruinous ideas. Only the appointment of appropriate judges is likely to thwart the ongoing attempt to dismantle our constitutional order being carried out by the judicial wrecking crews on various appellate courts.

Posted by: thucydides on December 15, 2003 6:21 PM

Thucydides has a point, but how much more likely is it that President Bush will be able to change the face of the Federal judiciary given the difficulty he has already had getting ANY of his nominees confirmed? And since such judgeships are lifetime appointments, during ‘good’ behavior, will he even have the opportunity to make enough appointments to make a difference, assuming a sufficient number get through? Finally, can we expect President Bush to make the right appointments in every opportunity and not ram through a stealth Souter-type liberal as his father did? (Granted, some of his appointments have been OK, but how much confidence we can have down the road is uncertain.)

As to the State judiciaries, it depends on the principles of the respective governors, some of whom are unabashedly liberal. A few States elect their judges or justices of course, but again it only takes one State, like Massachusetts, to put a cog in the machinery and throw down a challenge to more conservative States through the FFC Clause.

In short, trying to correct this problem by new judges is not likely to succeed, and even if it were time is too short for the expediency of the threat that is upon us. Passing a new amendment, as difficult and time-consuming as that would be, remains the only realistic course, one that provides a single focus and rallying point for those who would preserve traditional marriage in America.

Posted by: Joel LeFevre on December 16, 2003 1:50 PM

Despite the decision of certain NR contributors to curry favor with the Washington social club set, National Review is against Homosexual marriage.

I suggest that those interested in this debate pick up the December 22 edition (Vol LV, No 24)and turn to the article in “The Week…” section entitled, “Conservative Confusions.”
While the article does not mention Mr. Steyn, it does rebuke Jonah Goldberg.

Posted by: RonL on December 17, 2003 12:44 PM

RonL, is it an unsigned editorial? If it’s a signed article, who wrote it? (Forgive me — I don’t subscribe, and to find one in a store I’d have to drive forty miles each way, or maybe sixty.)

Posted by: Unadorned on December 17, 2003 4:49 PM
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