The Promise and Pitfalls of "Marriage Equality"

Written by Jack Kenny on November 06 2009.

One gentleman assures me, for example, that the United States will eventually accept equality in marriage — whether homosexual or heterosexual — and “straight” couples will find their marriages have not been affected. I’m afraid that’s not so. Suppose we were to change the requirements of citizenship to include foreign nationals who have never left their native lands. Or, to consider something less drastic, suppose we made citizens of those who migrate here, but did not require them to make any effort to attain citizenship. No waiting period, no length-of-residency requirement, no need to learn anything about the language, culture, Constitution, and laws of their new homeland. You’re a citizen as soon as you step ashore or cross the border. Would that not cheapen the meaning of citizenship?

Or suppose you are a member of a religious body with a defined set of beliefs and the doors are suddenly thrown open to those who accept only, let us say, the even-numbered commandments and hold to no dogma at all about God, salvation, eternal life, etcetera. Now I will concede something pretty close to that appears to have happened, even in a body as hierarchical and doctrinal as the Roman Catholic Church, in which I am a communicant. But the fact that heresy exists inside its walls does not mean the Church has embraced or in any way legitimized it.

But suppose tomorrow a directive issued from the Vatican said: “All of the dogma we have espoused and the heresies anathematized over the past 2000 years have been a vanity and a chasing after the wind. We now recognize that all beliefs have equal validity in the eyes of whatever deity or deities may exist and we refuse to choose among them. We affirm all of them, which is to say we affirm none of them. Our one doctrinal statement is, in a word, ‘Whatever.’ ”

Now suppose the next day someone were to say to you, “I am a Catholic.” What would that mean? It could mean anything, which is to say it means nothing. The meaning of the faith in which you were baptized and schooled has been cheapened. It has become meaningless.

Is it not the same true of marriage? It has already been cheapened by heterosexual couples simply bypassing it and treating their cohabitation as marriage. But neither the Church nor state calls it a marriage, although the civil law in some states recognizes a “common law” wife or husband. But while that is a sort of lawless marriage, it is not the kind of “anti-marriage” that a same-sex union is. A man wedded to a man or a woman to a woman is so contrary to natural law that one need not be religious to see it. As a friend of mine described with a blunt, but charming simplicity, some parts of the body are designed as entrances and others as exits. 'Nuff said.

But my correspondent also said that codification of “gay marriage” will not result in the public schools teaching about “gay” marriage or “gay” sex. I’m afraid that train has already left the station and is a long way down the track. There may be some dispute about what is currently being taught in the public schools in Massachusetts, where the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth ruled in 2003 that the state’s constitution, ratified in 1781, mandated marriage equality for same-sex couples. Perhaps the teaching varies too much from school to school, classroom to classroom, and teacher to teacher to make a definitive statement about what is taught concerning same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. But the ad campaign by the opponents of same-sex marriage in Maine claimed that teachers in the Bay State were giving very “explicit and thorough” answers to students’ questions about “gay” sex.

Common sense would indicate that would happen in a legal climate where in marriage as in other things “gay is just as good as straight.” As much as one might like the state to stay out of it, public schools in America and the education establishment have been so long wedded to the idea that sex education is a state responsibility that any teaching about marriage would almost have to include “non-judgmental” information about “gay” sex.

Parents have the option, if they can afford it, of sending their children to private schools that better reflect their core beliefs and values. But why must they suffer the injustice of having the schools they support with their tax dollars teach as natural and acceptable a view of marriage that both their reason and their Bible tells them is an abomination in the eyes of God?

In short, the state may not be neutral on this. Either a state will support and retain in its laws the concept of marriage that has been accepted and understood for millennia or it will render the word and concept of “marriage” equally useless for all. The proponents of “gay marriage” muddy up the common waters and tell you it doesn’t affect your bathing or drinking. That fallacy in their reasoning was addressed indirectly by the late President Lyndon Johnson, who said:

“Don’t spit in the soup, we’ve all got to eat.”








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