W. Edward Chynoweth
Conservative outrage over the homosexual marriage fiasco in California -- the State Supreme Court's thwarting "the will of the people" -- ignores the real culprit, the people themselves.
Will they see the underlying problem? Please consider. For some time, it has been apparent that homosexuals have been resorting to the claim that "they're being discriminated against," which should have alerted conservatives but it hasn't. Now, it should be obvious:
In his opinion, the Chief Justice
. . . declared that any law that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation will . . . be constitutionally suspect in California in the same way as laws that discriminate by race or gender.
And who enacted this loose-gun "non-discrimination principle"? The people! The court majority's ignoring our culture's roots going back millennia is reprehensible but it was the "people" (with "conservative" support) who enacted the abstract "non-discrimination" idea back in 1964 and again in 1996 with their passage of California's Proposition 209. They're at least as much to blame as the Court. That the majority managed to stretch Proposition 209's acultural mandate against "discrimination as to sex" even further to forbid "discrimination as to sexual orientation" was a stretch but the fact remains that with Proposition 209, "the people" in California thoughtlessly gave them the idea.
Why conservatives continue to miss the boat on this remains a puzzle. Congress' forbidding discrimination as to "sex" in 1964-5 amounted to misfeasance, yet younger stalwarts continue to flock with those like Ward Connerly in his career to extend the non-discrimination principle nationwide through referenda in other states. The originator of the Proposition 209 idea in the 1990s was a reform liberal who believed that decisions on employment and education should be made without reference to race or sex, etc. -- carrying all the baggage of a true Marxist -- yet conservatives have bought it hook, line, and sinker. The idea was appropriate for Connerly's California Regents and similar organizations, but not for sweeping positivist statutes. Now, the chickens are coming home to roost. (The European Union is using the non-discrimination principle as a club to forbid various choices by churches, groups, etc.)
Still savvy about such things, National Review editors in 1964 had the gumption to oppose the Civil Rights Act's ban on "discrimination," etc., realizing that statutes can't control non-criminal human conduct. Now, younger editors [and even Buckley (RIP), Hart, and Rusher] miss the point! Rich Lowry writes, "I'm with you on the importance of sex differences, but I cannot countenance discrimination"! Thinking they're following Reagan, etc., they forget that he signed the Glass Ceiling Act reinforcing the fallacy.
Now, new-age conservative leaders declare, "no vote should ever be cast for racial or for gender reasons" ("Gender"?! a misstep in itself, ignoring the resonant dichotomy of the two human sexes!); "I don't see your concern over not "discriminating"; "it will be interpreted narrowly"; "it only applies to state action"; "a female candidate is like all other candidates"; "but we need women's votes"; etc. etc. Men are absolutely too terrified to be honest about what their grandfathers took for granted.
Now, instead of straight talk as of old, men pretend sapience in silence. Tocqueville was right in predicting that "weak men and disorderly women" would result from an abstract "sex equality" and now male sportscasters blather about a lovely Danica Patrick's getting upset as a factor in her being "successful" when our "culture" -- the "culture" that conservatives cite endlessly -- would see her merely as a "contentious" beautiful woman out of her sphere.
Another example of current confusions appears in Frederick R. Lynch's "conservative" thought in The Diversity Machine:
If the past is a guide to the future, high government and corporate officials will likely flee the specter of sharpening ethnic-gender polarization by avoiding debate or reform of policies that would further trigger ethnic-gender divisions: abortion, affirmative action, diversity management, and immigration. (p. 362)
In a multiethnic society, discrimination by ethnicity and gender is such a volatile matter that the principle of non-discrimination must be enshrined legally in terms as absolute as possible. On a matter of such great importance, the symbolic aspect of the law is crucial. . . . While it is likely that newspapers and police departments will continue to use ethnicity as a factor in making work assignments, strong laws against non-discrimination (sic) will ensure that they do so with the greatest of care and as little as possible. The law should ensure that no one loses an educational or occupational opportunity because of race, color, creed, national origin, or gender. This goal may not be far off. By court decree and ballot initiative, experiments in doing without race and gender preferences are already beginning. (pp. 363-64; parentheses supplied)
This is an alarming example of "conservative" confusion. Lynch's editor in one passage even mistook "discrimination" for "non-discrimination" and the courts judging such matters have done no better. The "discrimination" Lynch abjures is actually bigotry -- a far cry from "discrimination" per se, a natural human requirement for survival. More thought is needed.
Instead of relying on more "propositions" to save "traditional marriage," it will take honest men and women. We should junk the sterile "non-discrimination principle" regarding sex. Besides normalization of "weak men and disorderly women," it is now threatening to normalize acultural, sterile homosexuality -- social suicide. It's a thoughtless substitute for the common law's wise discrimination, and our Judeo-Christian love-honor-obey culture of good will, natural law, common law, and knowledge of and ages-old respect for complementary sex differences. Can't you help turn the tide?
W. Edward Chynoweth
W. Edward Chynoweth is a 1946 graduate of West Point, and a retired deputy county prosecutor for Tulare County, CA. He is the author of Masquerade: The Feminist Illusion, University Press of America, 2005.
"The most important consequence of marriage is, that the husband and the wife become in law only one person. . . . Upon this principle of union, almost all the other legal consequences of marriage depend." --James Wilson