Fayette Durlin and Peter Jenkin
Fayette Durlin and Peter Jenkin write from Brownsville, Minnesota.
The June 22nd issue of the Weekly Standard features an article by Jonathan Last which should alarm us all: "You will be Assimilated: The same-sex marriage bait-and-switch." A brief summary: same-sex marriage was supposed to mean freedom for homosexuals to form marital unions, but now that that seems to be more or less accepted (superficially at least), it means much more to its champions. This is the "bait-and-switch" of the subtitle. The essay opens with a recapitulation of the case of Bernard Eich, who was fired from his company when it was revealed that he had donated to California's Proposition 8 campaign (banning same-sex marriage), showing that the movement is determined to punish dissenters - and more.
It's about revisiting legal notions of freedom of speech and association, constitutional protections for religious freedom, and cultural norms concerning the family.
The author goes on to show how leaders of the movement, sensing imminent triumph, are abandoning arguments they used to advance their cause, arguments they now consider constraining, like the notion that sexual orientation was genetically determined, not a choice. "The genetic argument has boxed us into a corner." Then there was the argument that homosexual marriage would have no effect on normal marriage. That's out the window now, as homosexuals work for "marriage redefinition":
. . . gay marriage has something to teach us. That gay couples provide a model for marriages that are more egalitarian and less burdened by the old gender roles that are weighing marriage down these days.
The woman who wrote that sentence is pushing promiscuity and infidelity, one of the vaunted characteristics of homosexual marriage.
This is only the first step "on the path to redefining the family itself." The author goes on to show that even seemingly moderate homosexual marriage advocates are extremists, as an analysis of Jonathan Rauch's supposed defense of opponents shows. He admits that
. . . asking people to give up history's traditional understanding of marriage is a big ask. You don't expect thousands of years of unquestioned moral and social tradition to be relinquished overnight.
Last's comment is,
So we are asking society to make a wholesale redefinition of one of the pillars of human civilization on the basis of a movement that didn't exist until the day before yesterday.
Rauch goes on to tackle religious opposition to homosexual marriage.
The First Amendment carves out special protections for religious belief and expression. That does not mean, of course, that Christian homophobes can discriminate as much as they want provided they quote the Bible. It does mean, at least for a while, courts and legislators will strike compromises balancing gay rights and religious liberty . . . it means gay-marriage supporters will hit a constitutional brick wall if we try to condemn our opponents to immediate and total perdition. (Emphasis added.)
The emphasized words and phrases are telling. Rauch
. . . is as serious and high-minded as any advocate of same-sex marriage in America. And by his own admission [such] advocates will tolerate religious liberty only so long.
The movement is determined to avoid what it sees as the political legacy of Roe vs. Wade:
Even those who disagree with the pro-life cause respect it and recognize that it has a legitimate place in the debate over public policy . . . it's because of that respect that pro-choice leaders generally respect the religious liberty and conscience rights of their pro-life fellow citizens.
The homosexual marriage movement intends to cast supporters of traditional marriage as "bigots who won't be allowed to make their case in the public square."
Mr. Last concludes that this tells us that the homosexual marriage proponents "realize that they have not persuaded society of the rightness of the revolution they actually seek." A hopeful note perhaps, but this article should warn us of the struggles ahead. *