The fight to save marriage, as current being waged, is largely pointless. It simply cannot be won on these terms. If defenders of marriage can let go of their own politically correct fixations and squarely face some harsh but incontrovertible facts, it is still possible to stop the impending destruction of marriage by the courts.
First: Marriage exists to attach the father to the family. It is not a gender-neutral institution. Marriage breakdown produces widespread fatherlessness, not motherlessness. (Motherlessness often follows, but fatherlessness begins the process.) The father is the weakest link in the family chain, and without enforceable marriage bonds, he is easily discarded. This is glaringly obvious: American inner cities, native American reservations, northern England, Parisian banlieues, Africa – all are impoverished, crime-ridden and drug-infested matriarchies. Fatherlessness – not poverty or race – predicts social pathology among the young. Without paternal authority, adolescents run wild, and society descends into chaos.
Once this principle is recognized, same-sex marriage makes no sense. Judge Vaughn Walker’s finding of “fact” in the Proposition 8 case that “Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage” is rendered preposterous. Same-sex marriage simply mocks true marriage. Homosexual parenting marginalizes children still further from their fathers (and sometimes mothers), who lose their children to homosexuals usually through divorce.
Thus the second unpleasant fact: Homosexuals did not destroy marriage; heterosexuals did. The demand for same-sex marriage is a symptom, not a cause, of marriage deterioration. The major threat is obviously divorce. As Mike McManus of Marriage Savers writes, “Divorce is a far more grievous blow to marriage than today’s challenge by gays.”
Same-sex marriage would not be an issue if marriage had not already been debased by heterosexuals. Though gay activists cite their very desire to marry as evidence that their lifestyle is not inherently promiscuous, they also acknowledge that that desire arises only by the promiscuity permitted in modern marriage. “The world of no-strings heterosexual hookups and 50 percent divorce rates preceded gay marriage,” Andrew Sullivan observes. “All homosexuals are saying … is that, under the current definition, there’s no reason to exclude us. If you want to return straight marriage to the 1950s, go ahead. But until you do, the exclusion of gays is simply an anomaly – and a denial of basic civil equality.” Homosexuals are correct that heterosexuals first devalued marriage, though they then use that to rationalize devaluing it further.
Thus the third undeniable truth: To save marriage divorce must be confronted. It is not a private matter. We cannot wash our hands of it by (so to speak) wagging our fingers at immoral people and cultural decay. A lucrative government machine forcibly imposes divorce upon unwilling and innocent people, who are then evicted from their homes, separated from their children, expropriated of everything they possess and incarcerated without trial. It is the greatest violator of constitutional rights in America today. It generates the social ills that rationalize almost all domestic spending and are bankrupting our economies. And it is promoted ideologically by the same sexual radicals who are now promoting same-sex marriage.
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Stephen Baskerville is professor of government at Patrick Henry College and author of “Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family.” He is writing a book on sexual politics.