Saturday, January 12, 2013

Same Sex Marriage, Compromise or Surrender

Going through a few back issues of Imprimis, I came across this one by Midge Decter on same-sex marriage, a talk she gave in 2004.   

After giving a brief history of how we've gotten to our present situation as regards same-sex marriage, she goes on to make still-timely observations.  She makes a distinction between 'gay' activists and those who share that lifestyle but are not activists, an important distinction to remember I think. 
It goes without saying that there are homosexuals who are not and have never been activists, who do not storm the streets, who do not frequent the bathhouses, and who keep their sex lives— as most of the rest of us do—to themselves. But in the current debate these homosexuals are, alas, irrelevant. They are neither the stuff of which movements and flamboyant public gestures are made, nor are they people whose ambition is to overturn the conditions of ordinary, everyday life. 
She makes the politically incorrect observation that, despite claims to the contrary, homosexual men tend to act much like heterosexual men with the same true of lesbian vs. heterosexual women. 
By the way, and not surprisingly, it seems that a number of the male couples admitted they had no intention of getting married—it was merely their having won the battle that they were there to celebrate—while every one of the female couples declared their intention to marry. I say not surprisingly because—some might think it impolite of me to point out—homosexual men are essentially no more like lesbians than heterosexual men are like the women whom they either merely pursue or marry. In short, men are men and women are women, whatever their sexual proclivities.  
That is why the right to marriage, fought for with every weapon at their command by homosexual men, would—or must I say will—be largely acted on by lesbians.Why, then, are these men fighting so hard for it?
But to the heart of the matter, Decter says that same sex marriage is about changing society, proclaiming radicalism as the norm and spitting in the eye of anyone who won't bow down to that.  In her words:
The answer is, the right to legal marriage that they are demanding is not about them—it is about the rest of us. It is, and is meant to be, a spit in the eye of the way we live. And whatever the variety of efforts to oppose it— another law or even a whole set of laws, let’s say, or a constitutional amendment—none of it will matter unless and until all the nice and decent people in America begin to understand that we are in a crisis, and it must be up to them to sustain, and with all good cheer defend, the way they lead their lives. 
That last refers to those of us who support traditional marriage.  It also refers to those who think that homosexual marriage, indeed the homosexual movement,  will have no effect on them---or their children.   Anyone who expects traditional marriage and the family to survive the same-sex marriage onslaught might be, with good cheer,  called gullible. 

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