Donald Douglas over at American Power Blog has an excellent post on the topic of How Does Gay Marriage Affect Me? He quotes Robert Bork at length. Some questions arise in regard to the following:
Studies of the effects of same-sex marriage in Scandinavia and the Netherlands by Stanley Kurtz raise at least the inference that when there is a powerful (and ultimately successful) campaign by secular elites for homosexual marriage, traditional marriage is demeaned and comes to be perceived as just one more sexual arrangement among others. The symbolic link between marriage, procreation, and family is broken, and there is a rapid and persistent decline in heterosexual marriages. Families are begun by cohabiting couples, who break up significantly more often than married couples, leaving children in one-parent families. The evidence has long been clear that children raised in such families are much more likely to engage in crime, use drugs, and form unstable relationships of their own. These are pathologies that affect everyone in a community.Personally, I'm from the "judge the tree by the fruit" school of thought. I know "2+2=4" with the same clarity that I know what "marriage" means. The same people that are for thrashing traditional symbols are frequently the global warming zealots and endorsers of perpetual financial motion machines (bailouts). Bad ideas are tacky in the sense of sticking to each other as well as making lousy fashion.
However, it seems paradoxical that the same people screaming about nanny states and excessive taxation are the same ones seeking to empower to the government to control behavior. For a thought experiment, if people are allowed to express their political will one way or another in a given state, might the idea be allowed to flourish or crash on its own? Let a state take on all these tacky ideas, all manner of weird geometries being called "marriage". Let them legalize every sort of chemical. Let them have a baby abbatoir on every street corner. Let them worship every false modern idol in the name of "tolerance." From an academic standpoint, it would be interesting to watch the downward spiral.
UPDATE (RSM): The problem with the "laboratories of democracy" states-rights approach to gay marriage lies in the "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution. As a small-d democrat, I have no problem saying that Vermonters have every right to go to hell in the manner of their own choosing.
That such a desolate wasteland as Vermont (state motto, "We're Practically Canadian") should have two seats in the U.S. Senate is almost as bad as that miserable swamp Delaware (state motto, "Not Quite Good Enough To Be Jersey") having two seats in the U.S. Senate. I've never been to Vermont and have no plans to go there, and their social institutions are of no more interest to me than those of New Guinea or Toronto or some other Third World pesthole.
Yet there will inevitably come the time when Adam and Steve, legally husband and wife in Montpelier, shall demand to be recognized as lawfully wed in, say, Houston. At which point, in the immortal words of Jack Swigert, "Houston, we have a problem."
I'm very skeptical as to how the Supreme Court would ultimately rule in such a case. We have seen, as in the case of Roe v. Wade, how SCOTUS has often tried to short-circuit democracy and federalism by imposing one-size-fits-all "solutions" on difficult social issues, and we've seen the disastrous results. At some point, we've got to rethink this business of letting five guys in black robes run the whole freaking country.