On marriage, the battle lines are clearly drawn

The ruling of the California Supreme Court that same sex couples be allowed to “marry” confirms what I have been arguing for years, most recently this past February: “civil unions” for homosexual couples are an inevitable step to homosexual marriage, because liberals will argue that couples in civil unions are being denied equal treatment with married couples. Thus the California court said:

[A]ffording same-sex couples only a separate and differently named family relationship will, as a realistic matter, impose appreciable harm on same-sex couples and their children, because denying such couples access to the familiar and highly favored designation of marriage is likely to cast doubt on whether the official family relationship of same sex couples enjoys dignity equal to that of opposite-sex couples, [… and] assigning a different designation for the family relationship of same sex couples … poses at least a serious risk of denying the family relationship of same-sex couples such equal dignity and respect.

There is no compromise possible with homosexual “marriage,” just as, by the 1850s, it became clear that there was no compromise possible with slavery, since the slavery supporters sought to spread the institution through the whole Union. The only way to stop homosexual marriage in this country is through a constitutional amendment declaring (1) that marriage in the United States is the union of one man and one woman, and (2) that this restriction applies to any legalized relationship that is substantially similar to marriage, such as “domestic partnerships” and “civil unions.”

UPDATE: Or, better, “civil unions” should simply be barred, since the only reason they exist is to allow for same-sex quasi-marriages, as discussed in a longer blog entry on the same point in February 2008, and in my 2004 article, “A traditionalist approach to the marriage amendment.” The two measures discussed, the limiting of marriage to a man and a woman, and the barring of civil unions, make up the strong version of the Federal Marriage Amendment that is supported by the Concerned Women for America:

Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither the United States nor any State shall recognize or grant to any unmarried person the legal rights or status of a spouse.

This language is absolute and covers all contingencies. No same-sex marriage, and no same-sex civil unions, whether instituted by a state court or by a state legislature. The weak version of the amendment, which the Republican party has tried unsuccessfully to pass in the Congress, would allow state legislatures to pass same-sex civil unions.

- end of initial entry -

Sage McLaughlin writes:

On the issue of gay “marriage,” you are exactly right on the most important practical point: there can be absolutely no compromises. The foes of marriage wish to annihilate it by defining it out of existence, and there can be no middle ground with such enemies. Marriage either is what we say it is, or it is nothing. The idea so popular among so-called conservatives, that a viable solution is to grant the substance of marriage while withholding the name only, completely misunderstands the issues at stake. Indeed, those who hold this view seem to do so because they simply can no longer muster the moral language necessary to deny the validity of gay “marriage” at all. The reason is that they are liberals deep down where it counts, at the level of first principles. So they can offer no real reason why gay “marriages” in all but name should not receive the full endorsement of the state.

Civil unions are the homosexualist version of the Palestinian Right of Return—an appeal, based on some supposed fundamental right, which is intended to alter the facts on the ground, and by a work of both nominal definition and of practical substance, destroy that which they claim only to wish to join. Having achieved all they might through acts of statutory vandalism, the gays would then overthrow the institution of marriage by perversely claiming that its very essence is radically other than what it is. Having achieved all that they might by force of arms, the Palestinians would overthrow the Jewish state by causing it to lose its Jewish essence, and indeed to take on the character of its mortal foes.

And so many American (neo)conservatives would allow this Trojan Horse through the gates, believing in their unfathomable folly that this will appease the inveterate enemies of the family. If only they could turn their hawkish realism inward, they would see that all their rhetoric concerning appeasement, the futility of negotiating with those who cannot take for granted your right to exist, and so forth, applies all the more readily to certain of their domestic foes. I just cannot imagine how they fail to see it, other than to conclude that they are in fact hopeless liberals. (It was this shocking realization which caused my conversion to traditionalism).

Please keep up the fight on this issue—somebody has to, after all, and establishment conservatism has abandoned the field more quickly than anyone could ever have imagined it would.

LA replies:

This is a change of subject, but when I read Mr. M.’s phrase, “If only [the conservatives/neocons] could turn their hawkish realism inward …” I thought he was about to say that the neocons would see that they themselves are the appeasers whom they criticize. Look at the Soviet-scale lies of Bush in Israel, condemning as appeasers those who would negotiate with terrorists! What has he been doing! It’s unreal. I meant to write about this, but the Orwellian quality of it was so extreme that I could not get my head around it.

On another point, could Sage tell us what was it that made him realize that the conservatives are really liberals?

Hannon writes:

Let’s hope this decision is the precedent-setting and stage-setting event that the opposition to same sex marriage thinks it will be. In the meantime, what exactly is meant by this, from the court:

“…a serious risk of denying the family relationship of same-sex couples such equal dignity and respect.” ?

I take this to be the central theme of this decision as it is reiterated in the portion you provided. I’ve always thought that dignity and respect are what two people (married or not) bring to a relationship. Why would anyone consider them to be external gifts bestowed by the surrounding society? I have no idea what “equal” means in this context. That court decisions are being employed to help boost the success of our interrelationships points to the fears of the Left that citizens cannot be trusted to regard their own or each other’s standing in society.

Furthermore, has anyone seen a poll asking what gays think about “gay marriage”? I’ve read some articles indicating that this supposed issue is largely the manufacture of a vocal, activist segment of the gay population and that a majority either live a lifestyle where marriage would be an absurd consideration or they are happy enough as unmarried partners. That we have allowed the debate to be artificially polarized has not helped the cause of those who would prefer see the institution of marriage remain what it always has been: public, sacred and between man and wife.

Laura G. writes:

It continues to appear that the public at large has also not grasped that “gay marriage” is the prequel to polygamy as well as all other permutations of currently prohibited sexual arrangements such as incest, introduction of young children to the joys of sex, swapping of spouses, etc. Already the advocates of polygamy are aboard the “it’s not fair” bandwagon, and we can confidently await further legal erosions of family structure from those forces. Polygamy being one of the many social structures which differentiate Muslim nations from Western, anything that serves to soften up our spineless legal system to polygamy will also serve to facilitate the accommodation of other portions of sharia law in our nation.

I take a serious interest in the various sites and writers who concern themselves with creeping Islam, and see too little attention to and dissemination of information on the effects of polygamy. I suspect that that custom, by itself, may account for a great deal of the failures of Muslim societies. Among the myriad weirdnesses of our Left is their silent acquiescence to a family structure that is so deeply inimical to the needs of women and children. Multi-culti, don’t you know. Blindness and hypocracy in actuality.

I pester my representatives too much as it is, but clearly I do need to urge them to support a marriage amendment. As a matter of practical interest, are there organizations which you think are effective and use funds efficiently to advocate this issue?

LA replies:

The main organization I know of is Concerned Women for America. As discussed in the update to the blog entry above, CWA pushes for the strong version of the Marriage Amendment.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 16, 2008 12:16 PM | Send

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