Would the legalization of gay marriage affect traditional marriage in America? Note carefully the question I’ve actually posed here. Mine is not a moral question, in and of itself, but a pragmatic and philosophical question. “What would happen to the institution of marriage in our society if we embrace gay marriage?”
It might surprise you to find out that changing the law to place gay marriage on par with heterosexual marriage would actually have a decidedly negative impact on marriage. On what basis do I make this sweeping statement? Well, on the basis that many advocates of gay marriage admit this point openly.
Earlier this year the New York Times ran a piece by reporter Scott James, himself gay, saying that new studies of gay couples in San Francisco show that half of gay partners consent to each other having sex with other people. The Times article went on to say that the prevalence of such relationships could “rewrite the traditional rules of matrimony” by showing straight couples that monogamy does not need to be the “central feature” of marriage. James added that sexually open relationships might “point the way for the survival of the institution.”
I couldn’t make this up even if I wanted to. But this is not all. New York University professor Judith Stacey, testifying before Congress against the Defense of Marriage Act (approved and signed during the Clinton administration), said changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry would help to “supplant the destructive sanctity of the family” and help it assume “varied, creative, and adaptive contours, including small group marriages.” Read that last part again.
Gay activist Michelangelo Signorile wrote that homosexuals should “demand the right to marry not as a way of adhering to society’s moral codes bur rather to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution.” The truth is out in the open but many are not paying attention from what I can see. Most gay leaders do not want you to raise the question I am asking because the truth will harm their political cause in the wider culture.
To be fair commentator Andrew Sullivan, another gay activist, argues against the conclusion of Times reporter Scott James but admits freely then says gay unions could “help to strengthen and inform” traditional marriages. Some gay advocates want legal marriage because they believe granting it will allow traditional martial norms to impact the gay community to actually embrace fidelity. But such norms are based on an ideal―namely the bonding of a man and a woman who make a commitment to bear and rear children. Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, writing online for Christianity Today (May 10, 2010) adds that “it would be irrational to expect same-sex partners―whose sexual relations bear no risk of procreation―to share the same norms.” Hemingway later concludes: “Whether or not marriage law should change, the fact is that changing it to include same-sex partnerships would teach people that marriage is fundamentally about the emotional union of adults and not primarily about the bodily union of man and wife (let alone children who result from such a union). The norms of permanence, monogamy, and fidelity would make less sense under such a change.”
So I ask the question again? Does changing the law make a difference about what marriage will actually look like in our society thirty years from now and will this change have real bearing on traditional marriage between one man and one woman? You bet it does and I will show more reasons why tomorrow.