July 23, 2024

Defining Marriage in California and Elsewhere

Claudia says that California’s referendum against legalized gay marriage should be rejected because Proposition 8 “helps no one and harms many” while removing the right to marry from gay couples.  On the contrary, state-sanctioned gay marriage mocks the sanctity of Christian marriages, the bedrock of western civilization. 

Regarding the right to marry, the ink is barely dry on the divisive, activist decision made by the state’s Supreme Court in May of this year, a decision that should never have been made given the lack of support in the state.  Given that, it’s appropriate for the state’s citizens to insist that their voices be heard on the matter.  But what about other states?  That’s a much more interesting question.

Claudia goes on to say that legalized gay marriage would not result in additional attention being paid to the subject in public schools.  That’s a highly dubious claim – legitimization leads to acceptability, meaning it’s “OK” to discuss.  It also means that students cannot easily reject that acceptability.  Legal = OK; disagreement is wrong.

Gay marriage doesn’t threaten traditional marriage per se.  I admit that Claudia is correct about this.  However, it does elevate degenerate relationships to the same level as marriage, something that’s neither right nor desirable.  While polygamy, gay marriage’s closest analogy, was once common in civilized society, it too is no longer sanctioned.  Similarly, slavery was once the norm and is now despised.  Society strives to better itself by weeding out undesirable practices, as it should, and does well not to introduce them.

Regarding churches, gay marriages, and tax-exempt status, Claudia’s claim that churches would not be forced to choose between economic advantage and their morality is also suspect.  I’m sure the initial implementation of legalized gay marriage would support her contention.  However, one must also acknowledge the tendency of courts to mandate social drift on fringe issues like this one.  It’s all to easy to expect activists and sympathetic courts to attempt to force this issue on a national level.

That’s where the situation gets sticky.  Whether Prop. 8 passes or not, gay marriage laws that suit California would not suit Texas, that much is certain.  Californians should be free to define marriage as they see fit.  But Texans should have the same right, even if it conflicts with what our west-coast countrymen enact.

Unfortunately, the federal courts’ tendency has been to force homogeneity upon the states with preference to the liberal interpretation of the law.  This means that Texans’ right to define marriage as we wish is endangered simply by the existence of California’s law, freshly-minted as it is.  Think abortion, for example, as an example of federal activism.

Contrary to Claudia’s closing challenge, it’s not a case of feeling that my marriage or my faith will fail as a result of gay marriage being legalized.  Rather, it’s simply that society has the right to define cultural standards of its own choosing without requiring every point of view or activity be allowed.  On principle I would choose a country for my children that says only men and women marry and, while other arrangements are allowed, these are neither normal, desired, or self-sustaining. 

Although Claudia mentions artificial insemination as a way lesbians can reproduce, it’s clear from casual observation of the natural world that homosexual unions are a genetic and social dead end.  While my position may seem unfair or even bigoted, it’s really just a reflection of the facts of life.

The one legitimate issue that gay activists present is that of financial and legal disparities in health insurance coverage, inheritance, etc.  These could be resolved by the creation of civil unions one on hand or more flexible beneficiary designation rules on the other.  But it seems unlikely that gay rights activists will allow such a compromise to come to pass.  Their objective is not merely to gain access to health benefits, et al, but to raise their relationships to the same level as traditional marriage.

This is an issue best left to individual states.  And if there were some guarantee of federal restraint I would be content to let California go its own way unhindered.  But because expansion of gay marriage there embodies a very real threat of federally mandated change in other states, I must advocate in favor of California’s Proposition 8.


Marc is a software developer, writer, and part-time political know-it-all who currently resides in Texas in the good ol' U.S.A.

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