Saturday, April 13, 2013


Silly Rationalizations for Marriage Betrayal
Illinois Family Institute – Laurie Higgins – 4/13/2013

Here are some thoughts about and questions that all lawmakers who support the legalization of same-sex “marriage” should be compelled to answer): 

State Rep. Sullivan of Illinois refers to supporting “civil marriage” but fails to address the more fundamental question “What is marriage?” Is marriage something we create out of whole cloth or does it have a nature that we merely recognize? Is it solely about who loves whom or is it connected to sexual complementarity? If it’s solely about who loves whom, then why the binary requirement and why is the government involved at all? 

Legalizing same-sex “marriage” will lead to more government  involvement in marriage—not less. A revolutionary governmental conclusion that marriage has no inherent connection to gender would be neither reflective of smaller government nor resultant in less government involvement. How does Sullivan arrive at the peculiar notion that the decision by lawmakers to jettison one of the central defining features of marriage constitutes more limited government?

Sullivan refers to the freedom to “make personal choices with equal protection under the law” while never addressing the role of government in protecting the superordinate rights of children to know and be raised whenever possible by their biological mother and father (or alternatively by a mother and father). Did his “personal reflection” extend beyond the “personal choices” of homosexual adults to the more fundament issue of the personal rights of children? 

Rights are afforded to individuals not couples. Homosexuals are not demanding a right they don’t have. They are demanding the right to eliminate one criterion from the legal definition of marriage to suit their desires and which will transform not merely the government’s definition of marriage but also the public’s understanding of what marriage is. 

Sullivan, either in an astonishing display of ignorance or dishonesty, claims that he believes religious “adherents should be free to make their own choices about this issue without government intrusion,” pointing to the bill’s purported religious protections which he claims constitute “strong religious protections.” Oh, really. 

Someone should ask Sullivan if Christian owners of wedding-related businesses will be permitted to refuse to use their time, labor, gifts, products, and services for same-sex “weddings.” Will Christian photographers, videographers, bakers, florists, caterers, calligraphers, graphic designers,  wedding venue owners, restaurant owners, and bed & breakfast owners be permitted to exercise their religious liberty by refusing to use their gifts in the service of same-sex “weddings”? And will Catholic and Protestant schools be permitted to refuse to hire custodians or secretaries who are in homosexual “marriages”? 

Did Sullivan’s “personal reflection” include studying deeply the subjects of equality, marriage, and “orientation” Has he read the book What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense or the essay “Cats and Dogs and Marriage Laws”? Has he read the essay “The Red Herring of ‘Marriage Equality“ ? Has he read these essays on limited government and marriage (including three by libertarian economist Jennifer-Roback Morse), all of which argue that the legalization of same-sex “marriage” not only reflects government involvement but actually increases government involvement in non-neutral ways: “Big Government Should Not Redefine Marriage,”  “Privatizing Marriage is Impossible,”  “Privatizing Marriage will Expand the Role of the State,”  and “Privatizing Marriage is Unjust to Children.” 

Studying these resources will be infinitely more helpful than navel-gazing or talking to homosexual relatives. I suspect, however, that Sullivan is little invested in deep study of this crucial social institution and the relevant public policy. I also doubt the capacity of many lawmakers, including Sullivan, to be persuaded by reason. Emotion carries the day in contemporary America

Sullivan recoils from “rules that make moral judgments.” To learn that a lawmaker has an aversion to moral judgment-making is unfortunate because all laws “make moral judgments.” Why do we prohibit Jim Crow laws? Why do we prohibit marriage between minors and adults? Why do we prohibit two brothers from marrying? Why do we prohibit plural marriages? In fact, Sullivan himself has determined that it’s not moral to withhold marriage licenses from homosexual couples. 

Sullivan claims that the “government should not stand in the way of consenting adults who wish to commit to each other through civil marriage.” Well, the government prohibits consenting adults who are closely related by blood from marrying, and the government prohibits consenting adults who wish to marry more than one person from marrying. Will further “personal reflection” lead Sullivan to evolve on the issues of plural marriage and incestuous marriage? Will he soon argue that polyamorous citizens “should be left to make deeply personal decisions regarding life and the pursuit of happiness”? If not, why not? Inquiring minds want to know precisely what Sullivan’s reasons are for jettisoning the gender requirement while retaining the binary requirement. 

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