The gay marriage debate nears its conclusion.
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The courts are already gutting the Defense of Marriage Act. At the end of the month when Obama made his gay marriage announcement, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled that the law discriminated against same-sex couples by denying them federal benefits. The judges ruled that “it prevents same-sex married couples from filing joint federal tax returns, which can lessen tax burdens” and “prevents the surviving spouse of a same-sex marriage from collecting Social Security survivor benefits.” They continue: “DOMA also leaves federal employees unable to share their health insurance and certain other medical benefits with same-sex spouses.”
The weight of elite opinion doesn’t just make the enactment of same-sex marriage more likely. It makes the reality of same-sex marriage, as it becomes law in various jurisdictions, more problematic for social conservatives. By the numbers, allowing gay people to call their unions marriages and file joint tax returns shouldn’t impact the institution of marriage all that much. According to the Census Bureau, only 150,000 same-sex couples are considered married. Based on the experience of countries and states with gay marriage, marriage is likely to remain an overwhelmingly heterosexual practice even if the laws change.
Same-sex marriage could become like married priests in the Catholic Church: an exception to the rule for people living in a unique set of circumstances, which doesn’t affect the character of the larger institution. That might be the most desirable outcome for everyone involved. But if the idea is to stamp out traditionalist concepts of sex and marriage, making them as marginal as racism is today, the rules will be rewritten for everybody. It will be hard for marriage to do the things society needs it to do — make parents responsible for the children that their sexual intercourse inevitably creates, make fathers responsible for the mothers they impregnate, and connect successive generations to one another — if that is the case. The ideal will be gone, and so will the way back.
IN MANY RESPECTS, the problem with gay marriage isn’t gay marriage — that is, the act of gays and lesbians holding wedding ceremonies and receiving marriage licenses from the state. The larger problem is the belief that the tradition of marriage being between a man and a woman is hateful, that it is indistinct from prohibitions on interracial marriage.
Obama, Hillary Clinton, and that noted defender of marriage John Edwards all said they believe marriage is between a man and a woman.
The problem with gay marriage isn’t gay marriage. The larger problem is the belief that the tradition of marriage being between a man and a woman is hateful and indistinct from prohbition on interracial marriage.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?