The Marriage Game, as Predicted
A recent editorial in National Review concerning same-sex marriage is a good summary of arguments that traditionalists, like me, have been making for nearly a decade now:
If it is true, as we are constantly told, that American law will soon redefine marriage to accommodate same-sex partnerships, the proximate cause for this development will not be that public opinion favors it, although it appears to be moving in that direction. It will be that the most influential Americans, particularly those in law and the media, have been coming increasingly to regard opposition to same-sex marriage as irrational at best and bigoted at worst. They therefore dismiss expressions of that opposition, even when voiced by a majority in a progressive state, as illegitimate. Judges who believe that same-sex marriage is obviously just and right can easily find ways to read their views into constitutions, to the applause of the like-minded.
The emerging elite consensus in favor of same-sex marriage has an element of self-delusion about it. It denies that same-sex marriage would work a radical change in American law or society, insisting to the contrary that within a few years of its triumph everyone will wonder what all the fuss was about. But its simultaneous insistence that opponents are the moral equivalent of the white supremacists of yesteryear belies these bland assurances. Our tolerance for racism is quite limited: The government, while it generally respects the relevant constitutional limits, is active in the cause of marginalizing racists and eradicating racist beliefs and behaviors. Moreover, social sanctions against racism, both overt and implied, are robust. If our society is truly to regard opposition to same-sex marriage as equivalent to racism, it will have to undergo change both dramatic and extensive. Churches that object, for example, will have to be put in the same cultural position as Bob Jones University was in the days when it banned interracial dating, until they too join the consensus.
There was a notable shift, following the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s Goodridge decision, when advocates for same-sex marriage ceased to try to conduct an intellectual discussion, as Andrew Sullivan had most notably been doing for many years prior, and simply ceased to respond seriously to objections. The entire movement, right up to the judges who have answered the call for activism, has proceeded with large blinders to the possibility that those who disagree, first, might have a point, and second, have a right to shape the relevant law in their system of supposed self government.
The practice continues, even as the obvious next steps emerge before our very eyes:
TLC, the network responsible for behemoth family exposes like “Kate Plus 8” and “19 Kids and Counting,” is turning its reality TV attention to another kind of domestic abundance: polygamy. “Sister Wives,” premiering at 10 p.m. today, follows a fundamentalist Mormon family composed of one daddy, three mommies and 13 children living under one roof.
“It just felt like our story needed to be told,” said Kody, the affable patriarch who works in advertising and lives with his family in Lehi, Utah. “There’s a lot of stereotypes out there that are actually perpetuated by the press. I wanted to make sure the world understood that we’re polygamists, but we’re not the polygamists that you think you know.”